I have a question and it is about praying for the dead non-Muslims by saying RIP which means “Rest in Peace”. The practice is common on social media especially in the wake of recent death of prominent people who are non-Muslims and you see Muslims praying for the departed soul. Is this proper?
Answered by Ustadh Rasheed Haashim
It is strictly prohibited for Muslims to seek Allah’s forgiveness or mercy for dead non-Muslims no matter their level of closeness or kinship. Almighty Allah in the Glorious Qur’an outrightly condemned that. Allah says:
وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَىٰ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَدًا وَلَا تَقُمْ عَلَىٰ قَبْرِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
“AND NEVER PRAY for any one of them (non-Muslims) who dies and do not stand by his grave; surely they disbelieve in Allah and His Apostle and they die as transgressors.”
This same prohibition extended to the Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah addressed him in the Qur’an as thus:
“It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allaah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikoon, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)” Q.9:113
It is a conspicuous fact that the parents of the Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died as non-Muslims. Despite Prophet’s closeness to Allah, he was forbidden from seeking
Allah’s forgiveness for them.
Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
“I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, and He did not permit me.I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He granted me permission.”
(Transmitted by Muslim)
The above proofs are informing us that we need to desist from saying RIP for deceased non-Muslims even on social media.