“Our eyes shed tears and our hearts grieve, but we do not say anything except what pleases our Lord”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ وُلِدَ لِيَ اللَّيْلَةَ غُلاَمٌ فَسَمَّيْتُهُ بِاسْمِ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ دَفَعَهُ إِلَى أُمِّ سَيْفٍ امْرَأَةِ قَيْنٍ يُقَالُ لَهُ أَبُو سَيْفٍ فَانْطَلَقَ يَأْتِيهِ وَاتَّبَعْتُهُ فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى أَبِي سَيْفٍ وَهُوَ يَنْفُخُ بِكِيرِهِ قَدِ امْتَلأَ الْبَيْتُ دُخَانًا فَأَسْرَعْتُ الْمَشْىَ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ يَا أَبَا سَيْفٍ أَمْسِكْ جَاءَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ فَأَمْسَكَ فَدَعَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالصَّبِيِّ فَضَمَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَقَالَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَقُولَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَنَسٌ لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَكِيدُ بِنَفْسِهِ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَدَمَعَتْ عَيْنَا رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏”‏ تَدْمَعُ الْعَيْنُ وَيَحْزَنُ الْقَلْبُ وَلاَ نَقُولُ إِلاَّ مَا يَرْضَى رَبُّنَا وَاللَّهِ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ إِنَّا بِكَ لَمَحْزُونُونَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

A child was born into me this night and I named him after the name of my father Ibrahim. He then sent him to Umm Saif, the wife of a blacksmith who was called Abu Saif. He (the Holy Prophet) went to him and I followed him until we reached Abu Saif and he was blowing fire with the help of blacksmith’s bellows and the house was filled with smoke. I hastened my step and went ahead of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “Abu Saif, stop it! as there comes Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).” He stopped and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) called for the child. He embraced him and said whatever Allah wished. Anas said: I saw that the boy breathed his last in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). The eyes of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) shed tears and he said, “Ibrahim, our eyes shed tears and our hearts are filled with grief, but we do not say anything except that by which our Lord is pleased. O Ibrahim, we are grieved for you.”

[Saheeh Muslim #2315]

Imam al-Nawawi, in part of his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, writes:

قوله : ( فدمعت عينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى آخره ) فيه جواز البكاء على المريض والحزن ، وأن ذلك لا يخالف الرضا بالقدر ، بل هي رحمة جعلها الله في قلوب عباده ، وإنما المذموم الندب والنياحة ، والويل والثبور ، ونحو ذلك من القول الباطل ، ولهذا قال صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” ولا نقول إلا ما يرضي ربنا ” .

In his statement, “The eyes of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) shed tears” until the end of the hadeeth there is the permission to weep in the case of sickness and grief. And that does not contradict being content with the qadr; rather it is a rahmah that Allah has placed in the hearts of His slaves. And what is blameworthy is only lamentation, wailing, excessive weeping and acts of destruction [i.e. ripping clothes, pulling out hair, etc.], and the likes of that in terms of false speech, and it was for this reason that he (ﷺ) said, “but we do not say anything except that by which our Lord is pleased

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #2315]

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