Tuesday, 25 May 2010

It's ok to cry...

Sometimes, I wonder if I have given the wrong impression to the people who visited my blog. Reading some of the comments brings shivers down my spine. Especially the ones that come from people I don't know personally. I am worried that some people might look up at me as someone who is unbreakable, with unwavering mettle to face whatever adversity that comes my way. Someone who is very strong at heart, with an iron resolve.

In real fact, I am not. I am just like everyone else. I cry when things go beyond my control. I cry when trials just kept on coming over and over again. I cry when I feel helpless in the battle I face.

I remembered, when my doctor first broke the news about my disease back in December 2008, I was in a lost as to how should I convey the news to my mom, back home in Malaysia. I was in the mosque, having just performed my Asr prayer. From the main praying hall, I made my way to one of the area inside the mosque where no one was around. I called home, and as soon as my mom picked up the phone, I could hear from the background that my mom was trying hard to keep her tears. Apparently my brother, who found out about the news earlier, had told mom in advance before I made the call. Hearing mom crying broke my heart. Tears started to run down my face, I could barely say anything. Whose soul wouldn't break apart having heard the tears of his/her dearest mom?

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.

Even after I hung up, I just couldn't stop crying. I told myself,

"Cry Afzal, cry. Let it out."

There I was at a corner inside the masjid, wiping over my tears. That, admittedly was one of the most emotional moment in my life. Not because that I found out I have cancer, but because I felt so bad that the person I love so much in my life would have to hear such news, and not being able to hold my hand, and offer me a hug, as we were thousands of miles apart.

A few minutes later, I got up, picked up a Quran from the shelf, and started reciting one of the chapters in the Holy book. I was looking for a source of strength, and I looked at none other than Allah's beautiful words for it. Not long after, I managed to gather myself, and started to make plans of how I should encounter my latest trial in life.


Dearest friends,

It's ok to cry. Natural it is for a human being to feel sorrow over times of hardship. The heart doesn't have to be dead or numb. The act of crying does not necessarily denotes that one has not got the strength of patience and fortitude. Our beloved Prophet cried over the death of his son, Ibrahim, yet he is the epitome of strength in the face of trials and tribulations.

As long as crying doesn't turn into wailing, or sobbing loudly, as if we are venting our anger to the One who has decided on our destiny. Our Rabb. And that we don't remain trapped in this pool of sadness, acting like someone who is totally paralyzed by what has happened, as if it is the end of the world. Ibn al Qayyim, a respected scholar in Islam, beautifully describes how Prophet Muhammad cried over a sad situation;

"As for the weeping of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) it was in the same degree as his laughter. He wouldn't sob loudly and raise his voice, just like his laughter wasn't loud. However his eyes would fill up with tears, until they flowed out, and you would hear the sound like that of a whistling kettle coming from his chest. He would weep out of mercy for the dead, out of fear and compassion for his ummah, out of deep fear of Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى), upon listening to the Qur'aan. And it was a weeping of longing, love and exaltation, accompanied by fear and khashyah".

The important thing is how we reacted after we cried. The mistake that a lot of people often fall into is when they start to whine over the calamity that afflicts them, saying things like "Why has Allah allowed such a difficulty on me?" or that when they were supplicating, they would complain, " Why have you not answered my wish and prayers O Allah?". You might think that you won't fall into such traps, or utter such sayings, but believe me, the heart tells you to do and say all the strangest of things when you feel helpless or stressed up.

So a person with seemingly strong character does not necessarily mean that (h)she never shed tears over a calamity. Rather, after letting his/her heart out, there is a positive reaction that succeeds the sadness. That should be the attitude of every Muslim. In life, there will definitely be a day when you might fall down. You cried because you have a cut on your knee, or that the ankle is bruising up. But it isn't the injury or the nature in which you fell that matters, but it is how you get up from it.

And that, is the character of STRENGTH. To get up, when you have fallen down.

To cry over something that saddens you is a mercy which Allâh puts in the hearts of His servants. And verily Allâh shows mercy to those of His servants who are merciful. Insha Allah.


adibah abdullah said...


Mas, I'm one of those persons who regard crying and tears - if it comes from me - as a sign of weakness. Ironically, I do tend to get touched easily, having tears welling up is not an uncommon occasion to me. Perhaps it is in reaction to such 'sensitivity', in reaction to my 'inability' to keep those tears off, that I developed the attitude that crying = weakness = helplessness = BAD. If, when facing certain problems, I felt like crying, or worse, if I did cry, then I am weak and despisable.

I do read your writings from time to time. However I must say that it is this one that struck the chord the most with me.

Those closest to me have always told me that it is OK to cry. I do cry on their shoulders, but I need to work hard on not chastising myself or feeling immensely stupid afterwards. Sometimes I wish that I would not NEED people to soothe me, that I would be self-sufficient enough, that 'hasbiyAllah' would really mean Allah is enough.

Nevertheless I am human who will need to cry, will need those shoulders to lean on, and furthermore, deep inside I realised that those desires of independence, of self-sufficiency may even lead to takabbur, and be contrary to the spirit of Islamic solidarity.

Thanks Mas. Maybe one day I will be able to cry with tawakkal and without remorse.

Allah be with you, inshaAllah.


Mohd Shahnom Ismail said...

Salam alaikum :)

"The important thing is how we reacted after we cried. "

We always with you, be strong Mas..

sarah said...


semoga kamu terus tabah. He always be there.

Mas Afzal Masarudin said...

@ Adibah - Thank u so much for sharing a bit about urself. I must admit that I am slightly surprised to know that it's not uncommon of you to cry over something, as I'd always thought of you as a very tough lady judging from your outward appearance. =)

Nevertheless, knowing you, I hope that one day Allah will grant your wish; to cry with an utmost reliance to only Him!

@Shahnom - Looking forward to hear good news on your return home to Malaysia soon akhi. Insha Allah.

@Sarah - Amiin, jazakillah khair ukhti.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger,
I am extremely glad that u have shared this. I too thought that crying was shameful. But when at one devastating point in my life, i had to cry. And i just cried and cried, not for days, not weeks, but months. I did some terrible things, and I hurt and probably will hurt people because of it. And with this heartache that I have to carry til the end of days, I will still cry, and will not stop crying. Tears still struck my eyes whenever I think about this, and it makes me repent, and remind.

I just wish to thank you so much. You have brought me so much closer again to the point in my life. To make me realise that yes it is ok to cry. And yes, it will bring me closer to Him. And yes, theres a hikmah behind all my sobs and tears. I just may not know it yet :)

el nino said...

mas, i was crying when i read the mom line..Whose soul wouldn't break apart having heard the tears of his/her dearest mom?..

nway, br perasan kat bwh tuh ade credit kat pisang ...wow, fuiyo...
ana still akan jd kipas susah mati enta mas selain spanish football team..

zatil hidayah said...

Hopefully Allah will bless u. Be strong Bro. :))

Mas Afzal Masarudin said...

@Anonymous - You must have gone through quite an experience. I hope things are getting better for you, and that you have gained enough strength to move on with life, insha Allah. Crying can certainly be a very soothing therapy, as long as we keep it in check.

@Cha - Hati anak mana tak luluh mendengar tangisan ibunya. Moga Allah jauhkan kita dari menjadi penyebab airmata ibu yang terluka dengan perbuatan kita. Nauzubillah!

@Zatil - Syukran ukhti, do keep the prayers coming!

hamka said...

selamat akh mas inshaallah.

Anonymous said...

salam brother mas,

i just found ur blog and found out tht ur words made me shiver but somehow soothing and let me to feel at ease. i'd encountered so much difficulties until at one point i feel like i cant bare and deal with it anymore.but i always believe tht Allah is there to lend me a hand. its just the matter of time. and i do cry a lot as i feel no one else can help me instead of myself. thus it makes me calm for a while before i proceed to try again.
anyway, the point is ur words reminds me to keep on the right track and that there are many people out there facing much2 more greater challenges and that im still lucky to earn what the others dont.i just need to hold up my patience and dont ever give up.

subhanallah u hd passed through a very great journey..inshaAllah with HIS will u'll be fine.


Iman Aisyah said...

Assalamualaikum wbt.

yupp its ok to cry when everything seems goes wrong. gather strenght from that!

InsyaAllah. we will be strong after that.

andi fitriani said...

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again ;-)
p/s: stay strong bro!

Anonymous said...

dear mas,

i'm usually a silent reader of blogs but reading your words i'm compelled to comment. your spirit, faith and positive attitude is truly an inspiration for us out here who complain when inflicted by the slightest fever.

my prayers and doas are with you, hope i can be as strong as you are when tested with such adversity.