Sayyiduna `Abdullah bin Mas`ud narrates:
‘The Messenger of Allah said to me: “Recite [the Qur’an] to me.”
I replied: “O Messenger of Allāh, you wish for me to recite to you and you are the one to whom the Qur’an was revealed?”
The Messenger of Allah said: “Yes, I like to hear other people recite it.”
So I recited Surat al-Nisa’ until I reached this verse:
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاء شَهِيدًا
How will it be when We bring from each people a witness, and We bring you as a witness against these people?1
At this point he said: “You have read enough.”
[I looked at him and saw that] his eyes were flowing with tears.’2
Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) was asked: what is the secret behind his crying upon hearing this verse?
He replied: the scholars talk about this. They say that he was crying out of fear of Allah, and of course there was no-one more fearful of Allah than him. Beyond this, however, Allah is ennobling His Prophet in this verse. The fact that he is a witness over the whole of creation, that only Allah’s testimony is above his, is an awesome fact. Also the fact that he is a witness over the nation for whose welfare he is concerned is a cause of joy and celebration. His tears were thus tears of joy upon receiving this gift and upon being raised by Allah to this station. It is only fitting that someone sheds tears of joy upon receiving Allah’s bounty.