Crying is one of the ways in which we show sincerity in our du’a. It brings about a feeling of humility in front of Allah, and shows the importance of our request. It displays the great need that we have for our Lord, and that we cannot do without His help and assistance.
Once, the Prophet, peace be upon him, recited some verses from the Qur’an, including the Prophet Ibrahim’s statement:
“O My Lord! These (idols) have caused many people to go astray, so whoever follows me is of me, and whoever disobeys me, then (even then) you are the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Ibrahim:36)
And the Prophet Isa’s statement:
“If You punish them, then they are Your servants. And if You forgive them, then You are the One of Honour, the All-Wise.” (Surah al-Maidah:118)
After reciting the verses, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “O Allah! My Ummah! My Ummah!“, and he started crying. Allah said to the angel Jibril, “O Jibril, go to Muhammad – and your Lord knows – and ask him what makes him cry?” So Jibril went to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and asked him. The Prophet, peace be upon him, responded that he was crying out of concern for his followers, just like Ibrahim and Isa were concerned for their followers, and Allah knew why he was crying, without having to ask Jibril. So Allah said, “O Jibril! Go to Muhammad and say: ‘We will please you regarding your followers, and will not cause you grief”. (Recorded in Sahih Muslim)