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Tabākī (Arabic: تباکي) is to pretend to cry. In the Shiite culture, it is very virtuous and recommended to cry or to pretend to cry during one's worships as well as in the mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a). If someone cannot actually cry in the mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a), during the recitations of supplications, in one's prayer, hajj, and during the recitation of or hearing the Qur'an, then it is recommended that they pretend to cry. According to some scholars, "Tabaki" is different from crying out of hypocrisy; so, it is acceptable only if it is done purely for the sake of God (out of ikhlas).

The Notion

The word, "Tabaki", literally means to make oneself cry or to cry with efforts.[1] In the Shiite culture, Tabaki is a virtue and has the same divine reward as that of actual crying.[2] According to hadiths, if one cannot cry, then they had better try to have a drop of tear coming out of their eyes or pretend that they are crying in order to share the rewards of those who cry.[3] Shaykh Ja'far Shushtari said: Tabaki is different from crying out of hypocrisy, and it is acceptable only if it is done out of "ikhlas" (purely for the sake of God).[4]

Cases of Tabaki

In the Mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a)

According to some hadiths, if someone cries for Imam al-Husayn's (a) elegies or make others cry for him or pretends to cry, then they will certainly go to the Heaven. Tabaki in the mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a) means that one has a facial expression of sadness and pretend to cry in order to count as a mourner of the Imam (a) and enjoy the relevant divine rewards.[5]

During Worships

According to hadiths, when one prays to God and asks for the fulfillment of their needs or fears the occurrence of something, they had better cry or pretend to cry.[6] According to another hadith: "pretend to cry and try to have at least one drop of tear coming out of your eyes, even by the memory of one of your loved ones who has died.[7] According to a hadith from the Prophet (s), if one cries or pretends to cry while reciting the Qur'an or hearing it, then they will certainly go to the Heaven.[8] Moreover, according to other hadiths, it is recommended and effective to pretend to cry out of the fear of God, the love for God, the desire to the Heaven, or the fear of the Hell, particularly in one's prayer, ta'qibat, supplications, dhikr, and during the practices of hajj, especially in Sa'y, stay in 'Arafa, and on top of Mount Marwa.[9]


  1. Dihkhudā, ‘’Lughatnāma’’, vol. 5, under the word «تباکی».
  2. Makārim Shīrāzī, ‘’ʿĀshūrā’’, p. 81.
  3. Majlisī, ‘’Mirʾāt al-ʿuqūl’’, vol. 12, p. 56.
  4. Aḥmadwand, ‘’Ḥadīth-i būy-i sīb’’, p. 99.
  5. Makārim Shīrāzī, ‘’ʿĀshūrā’’, p. 81.
  6. Majlisī, ‘’Mirʾāt al-ʿuqūl’’, vol. 12, p. 57.
  7. Nūrī, ‘’Mustadrak al-wasāʾil’’, vol. 5, p. 205.
  8. Muʾaddab, ‘’Iʿjāz-i Qurʾān dar naẓar-i Ahl al-Bayt’’, p. 184.
  9. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, ‘’Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa’’, vol. 6, p. 289.


  • Aḥmadwand, Muḥsin. ‘’Ḥadīth-i būy-i sīb’’. Qom: Nashr-i Miytham-i Tammār, 1381 Sh.
  • Dihkhudā, ʿAlī Akbar. ‘’Lughatnāma’’. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Lughatnāma-yi Dihkhudā, 1377 Sh.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. ‘’Mirʾāt al-ʿuqūl’’. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1420 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. ‘’ʿĀshūrā rīshahā angīzahā rūydādhā’’. Qom: Nashr-i Muʾallif, 1387 Sh.
  • Muʾaddab, Riḍā. ‘’Iʿjāz-i Qurʾān dar naẓar-i Ahl al-Bayt’’. Qom: Intishārāt-i Aḥsan al-Ḥadīth, 1379 Sh.
  • Nūrī, Mīrzā Ḥusayn al-. ‘’Mustadrak al-wasāʾil’’. Beirut: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1408 AH.