What should I do in order to make my eyes shed tears, my heart feel sad and soften my heart while performing prayers? What can prevent me from reaching this ideal?

The Details of the Question
What should I do in order to make my eyes shed tears, my heart feel sad and soften my heart while performing prayers? What can prevent me from reaching this ideal?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, we should state that shedding tears changes from person to person. Some people are more emotional and can cry due to a small cause.   

Therefore, what matters is not tears but the grief of the heart and the crying of the heart. For this reason, it is better to think that we are in the presence of Allah and we are worshipping our Lord, who created us out of nothing, and to try to worship Allah with this consciousness while performing prayers instead of trying to force ourselves to shed tears and to cry.

The grief of the heart depends on the preference of the person. The preference of the heart appears based on the grievous views that it sees. If the heart comes across with a nice view, it uses its preference in favor of joy – without depending on the will of its owner. If the view it comes across is grievous and troubled, it uses its preference in favor of grief and trouble – automatically. This rule is always valid whether we understand it or not.   

Therefore, if we do not want to grieve our heart, we should not make it come across with grievous views and imaginations.

What we should do regarding the issue is to try to remember our faults, sins and disrespect toward our Lord, who granted us thousands of bounties, even if a few minutes before performing prayers.

It is necessary to know Allah very well in order to understand what disrespect toward Allah means. The principle of wisdom that means, “The real wisdom is to know Allah” (Kanzu’l-Ummal, h. no: 5873) tells us many things. It is also possible to understand what a treasure of knowledge it is to know Allah from this verse:  “Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants who have knowledge” (Fatir,35/28).

An important point is this: in the hadith that praises those “who shed tears due to fear of Allah...” (Kanzu’l-ummal, h. no:5874), the issue that is emphasized is the fear of Allah not tears. Tears are important because they are a sign of fear of Allah. The eyes that cry without fear of Allah have no value at all. What is the use of constrained crying without feeling respect and fear toward Allah, without feeling His magnificence, without assuming the state of humbleness, modesty and shivering originating from knowing Allah?

Fear of Allah becomes manifest by obeying His orders and prohibitions. Those who obey them will definitely have respect, love and fear toward Allah; and they will shed tears from their hearts.

Every sin forms a stain in the heart. Every stain closes some of the windows of the feelings that a person needs to show toward Allah. When those windows are closed, the feelings like respect, love, modesty and fear lie fallow.   

Therefore, in order to make the heart and the eyes cry, it is necessary to avoid oral, actual, virtual, in short, all kinds of illegitimate imaginations and forbidden deeds in the first place.

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