From Issue: 496 [Read full issue]
Weeping During Recitation
It is an attribute of those with profound knowledge of God, and a distinguishing feature of God's righteous devotees. God Most High said, They fall down upon their faces weeping, and it increases them in humility (Quran 17: 109).
Many hadiths and accounts from the Righteous Forebears have been related concerning this. Among them is from the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself: "Read the Quran and weep. If you do not weep, cause yourself to weep." [Ibn Majah]
Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, prayed the Morning Prayer in congregation and read Surat Yusuf. He wept until his tears flowed over his collarbone.
Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali said, "Weeping is recommended while reciting [the Quran] or witnessing [its recitation]." He said, "The way to achieve this is by bringing sadness to mind by pondering the threats and warnings, the covenants and agreements that it contains, and then contemplating one's shortcomings with their regard. If this does not bring to mind sadness and weeping, as it does with elite worshippers, then one should weep from the lack of it, since it is among the greatest of calamities." [Ihy Ulum al-Din]
"Etiquette with the Quran" - Imam al-Nawawi, pg. 45