The Believer is Tormented Because of His Family’s Crying for Him?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the meaning of the words of the Prophet (ﷺ), “The believer is tormented because of his family’s crying for him”

He replied: 

What it means is that if his family cries for him, he will know of that and will feel pain. It does not mean that Allaah will punish him for that because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.” [al-An’aam 6:164]. 

Torment is not necessarily a punishment. Have you not heard the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Travel is a kind of torment”? 

Travel is not a kind of punishment, but a person suffers torment and exhaustion during it. Similarly, when the deceased person’s family weeps for him, he suffers pain and is upset by that, even though that is not a punishment from Allaah. This interpretation of the hadeeth is quite clear and does not cause any confusion. There is no need to say that this has to do with one who left instructions that they wail for him, or one whose family’s custom was to wail but he did not tell them not to do that. Rather we say that a person may be tormented by something but it doesn’t harm him.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 17/408

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