Imam Zayn al-‘Abideen, peace be on him, kept weeping day and night over his father and the members of his Household. Imam as-Sadeq, peace be on him, said: “My grandfather, Ali Ibn (son of) al-Hussayn, wept over his father for twenty years. When food was put before him, he wept.” One of his retainers blamed him, saying: “I fear for you lest you should perish.”
So the Imam kindly said to him: “I only convey my complaints and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah what you all do not know. Ya‘qub (Jacob) was a prophet from whom Allah caused one of his sons to be separated. He had twelve sons, and he knew that his son ([Yusuf] Joseph) was still alive, he wept over him till he lost his eye sight. I looked at my father, my brothers, my uncles, and my companions (and saw them) slain all around me, so how can my grief end? Whenever I remember how Fatima’s children were slaughtered, tears choke me. Whenever I look at my aunts and sisters, I remember how they were fleeing from one tent to another.”
When the Imam looked at water, his weeping increased, and his pain doubled. This is because water reminded him of the thirst of his father and the members of his Household. The narrators said: “When he took some water to drink, he wept. So he was asked about that, and he answered: ‘How do I not weep (while) my father was prevented from drinking the water which was free for beasts and wild animals?’”
The Imam always wept over his father, and it was said to him: “You always weep, even if you kill yourself, you will increase (nothing) with this.” So he said: “I have killed my soul, and over it I weep.”
A group of his retainers and the members of his Household felt pity for him because of his abundant weeping, so one of them asked him: “Hasn’t your grief end yet?”
The Imam answered him, saying: “Woe unto you! Ya‘qub (Jacob) was a prophet from whom Allah caused one of his sons to be separated. He had twelve sons, and he knew that his son ([Yusuf] Joseph) was still alive in the world, he wept over him till he lost his eye sight. I looked at my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen (persons) from the members of my Household (and saw them) slain all around me, so how can my grief end?”
And Imam as-Sadeq (peace be upon him) said: "The weepers are five, Adam, Jacob [Ya’qub], Joseph [Yusuf], Fatima the daughter of Mohammad (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household), and Ali Bin Al-Hussayn (peace be upon them).
As for Adam, he did cry over the heaven till his cheeks had wrinkles like valleys.
As for Jacob [Ya’qub], he did cry over Joseph [Yusuf] till he lost his sight and it was said to him: (They said: By Allah! You will never cease remembering Yusuf (Joseph) until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead).
As for Joseph [Yusuf], he did cry over Jacob [Ya’qub] till the people of the prison got annoyed with him and said to him: You either cry during the day and be quiet at night, or cry at night and be quiet during the day, so he picked one of the two choices.
As for Fatima the daughter of Mohammad (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household), she cried over the death of the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household) till the people of Medina were annoyed by her crying, and they said to her: You are hurting us with your continuous crying, so she started to go to the grave yard of the martyrs and keep crying till she feels satisfied and then go back.
And as for Ali son of al-Hussayn (peace be upon them) he cried over al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) Twenty or forty years, and whenever they used to put food in front of him, he used to cry, until a servant of him once told him: May I be sacrificed for your sake O son of the Prophet! I do fear that you might become among the dead. So he (peace be upon him) said: Indeed I do complain to God my unbearable grief and sorrow, and I do know of Allah what you all do not know, I do remember the demise of the children of Fatima and I cannot but feel that I am choked with tears".