[Q-ID0138] Reciting the shahadah on behalf of someone who died as a disbeliever

QUESTION:

What do the true Scholars or Ulama-e-Haq say about the following personality who claims to be the leader of the Muslim mass, especially after uttering the following words. What does the pure Shari’ah state in this concern? Kindly provide us with a comprehensive and authentic reply and also include the relevant citation of Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma and Qiyaas-al-A’immah Al-Arba’ah. And also make the Aqeedah of the Ahlus Sunnah clear by both its branches Asha’irah and Matureediyah as well.

Zaid wrote the following:

“Alhamdulillah, he passed away on a Thursday night during our Zikr at Masjidul-Quds. There was a reason why our Zikr took longer last night. We pray Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has mercy on the soul of Nelson Mandela as he was a good man who had qualities of greatness. It reminds me of the time when the King of Abyssinia passed away and the Rasul (sallalahu alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam) prayed for him. To Tata we say on your behalf “La ilaaha illalahu Muhammadur Rasulullah”. Jumuah Mubarak.”

  • (a) Is the above mentioned statement ja’iz (permissible), makruh (disliked), haram (forbidden) or kufr (disbelief)?
  • (b) Is Zaid worthy of being the Imam or leader of the believers?
  • (c) Does Nelson Mandela, a Kafir have similarity with the king of Abyssinia in terms of “belief system”?
  • (d) Do statements above take one out of the folds of Ahlus Sunnah and Islam?
  • (e) Is it permissible to make the du’a of mercy for him?
  • (f) Does reading Kalimah on behalf of a Mushrik or Kafir make him a Mu’min?
  • (g) How is it to praise a Kafir through the Zikr of Allah as Zaid tried to utilize in the statements above?

Please shed some light on these issues, for the Ummah of Rasul-Allah ﷺ is being misled by these so-called Scholars and Imams. JazakAllahu Ahsan!

ANSWER:

الجواب بعون الوھاب

We praise Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala who sent Prophets (peace be upon them) for the guidance of mankind and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala bless and elevate the ranks of the Prophets and especially our Leader, Sayyiduna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) who made the distinction between belief and disbelief clear beyond doubt.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave His beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ the knowledge of the unseen and the Prophet ﷺ warned us about the signs of the Final Hour. One of the signs of the Final Hour as described by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is narrated by Imam al-Bukhari in his Saheeh:

‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ فَإِذَا لَمْ يُبْقِ عَالِمًا اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالاً فَسُئِلُوا فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّو

“Allah will not take away knowledge by removing it from people (from their hearts). Rather He will take away knowledge by taking away the Scholars, then when there are no scholars left, the people will take the ignorant as their leaders. They will be asked questions and they will issue verdicts without knowledge, thus they will go astray and lead others astray.”

[al-Bukhari : Book 1, Hadith 54]

Verily, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said:

بادروا بالأعمال فتناً كقطع الليل المظلم يصبح الرجل مؤمنا ويمسي كافراً ويمسي مؤمنا ويصبح كافراً، يبيع دينه بعرض من الدنيا‏

“Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his Faith for worldly goods.”

[Riyad as-Salihin – Book 1, Hadith 87]

Unfortunately in today’s day and age every Tom, Dick and Harry claims to be a Scholar of Islam. Those who do not know anything about Arabic and the rules of exegesis are doing Tafseer of the Qur’an. Those who do not have any idea about Ahadith, the types of Ahadith and asma ur-Rijal claim to be the Muhaddith of the era. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us from these so called Imams and Leaders and keep us steadfast on the path of the Ahl us-Sunnah, ameen.

The Qur’an and Ahadith have clearly stated what Iman is and what Kufr is. There are glad tidings given to believers at the same time the kuffar and mushrikeen, who have rejected Iman & Islam, are promised the Hell-fire.

Islam is the only religion accepted by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and those who reject Islam and take some other religion have gone completely astray and Hell is their abode.

Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an Majeed regarding Islam, believers, the kuffaar and the mushrikeen:

اِنَّ الدِّیۡنَ عِنۡدَ اللہِ الۡاِسْلٰمُ۟ 

“Verily, only Islam is the Deen (Religion) before Allah.”

[Surah al-Imran verse 19]

اَلْیَوْمَ اَکْمَلْتُ لَکُمْ دِیۡنَکُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیۡکُمْ نِعْمَتِیۡ وَرَضِیۡتُ لَکُمُ الۡاِسْلٰمَ دِیۡنًا

“This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen Islam as religion for you.”

[Surah al-Maida verse 3]

وَمَنۡ یَّبْتَغِ غَیۡرَ الۡاِسْلٰمِ دِیۡنًا فَلَنۡ یُّقْبَلَ مِنْہُۚ وَہُوَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِیۡن

“And who so will desire for a religion other than Islam that shall never be accepted from him and in the next world he shall be among the losers.”

[Surah al-Imran verse 85]

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَمَاتُوۡا وَہُمْ کُفَّارٌ اُولٰٓئِکَ عَلَیۡہِمْ لَعْنَۃُ اللہِ وَالْمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ وَالنَّاسِ اَجْمَعِیۡنَ

“No doubt, those who disbelievers and died as disbelievers on them is the curse of Allah and of Angels and of men combined.”

[Surah al-Baqarah verse161]

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ جٰہِدِ الْکُفَّارَ وَ الْمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَ اغْلُظْ عَلَیۡہِمْ ؕ وَ مَاۡوٰىہُمْ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئْسَ الْمَصِیۡرُ 

“O the Communicator of unseen (Prophet)! Strive hard against the infidels and hypocrites and be strict against them, And their destination is Hell. And what an evil end it is.”

[Surah at-Teheem verse 9]

اَلْقِیَا فِیۡ جَہَنَّمَ کُلَّ کَفَّارٍ عَنِیۡد

“It will be commanded cast you, twain into Hell every ungrateful, obstinate.”

[Surah Qaf verse 24]

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ صَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللہِ ثُمَّ مَاتُوۡا وَہُمْ کُفَّارٌ فَلَنۡ یَّغْفِرَ اللہُ لَہُمْ

“Undoubtedly those who disbelieved and hindered from the way of Allah and then died as disbelievers, Allah shall never forgive them.”

[Surah Muhammad verse 34]

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ جٰہِدِ الْکُفَّارَ وَالْمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَیۡہِمْ ؕ وَمَاۡوٰىہُمْ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِیۡرُ 

“O Communicator of the hidden news, (Prophet) fight against the infidels and the hypocrites and be strict to them their destination is Hell and what an evil place of return.”

[Surah at-Tauba verse 73]

وَعَدَ اللہُ الْمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَالْمُنٰفِقٰتِ وَالْکُفَّارَ نَارَجَہَنَّمَ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ؕ ہِیَ حَسْبُہُمْ ۚ وَلَعَنَہُمُ اللہُ ۚ وَلَہُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِیۡمٌ

“Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and infidels, the fire of the Hell; wherein they will abide forever. That is sufficient for them, and the curse of Allah is upon them, and for them is the lasting torment.”

[Surah at-Tauba verse 68]

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَمَاتُوۡا وَہُمْ کُفَّارٌ فَلَنۡ یُّقْبَلَ مِنْ اَحَدِہِمۡ مِّلْءُ الۡاَرْضِ ذَہَبًا وَّلَوِافْتَدٰی بِہٖؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمْ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ وَّمَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِیۡنَ 

“Those who disbelieved and died as infidels, there shall never be accepted an earth full of gold from anyone of them, though he offers it in ransom for himself. There is painful torment for them, and they have no helpers.”

[Surah al-Imran verse 91]

فَمَنۡ یُّرِدِ اللہُ اَنۡ یَّہۡدِیَہٗ یَشْرَحْ صَدْرَہٗ لِلۡاِسْلٰمِ ۚ وَمَنۡ یُّرِدْ اَنۡ یُّضِلَّہٗ یَجْعَلْ صَدْرَہٗ ضَیِّقًا حَرَجًا

“And whomsoever Allah wishes to show the way, He opens his breast for Islam, and whomsoever wishes to lose his way, He makes his breast narrow, straitened well as if he is climbing up into the sky forced by some one else And thus Allah inflicts Punishment on those who believe not.”

[Surah al-In’aam verse 125]

مَا کَانَ لِلنَّبِیِّ وَالَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّسْتَغْفِرُوۡا لِلْمُشْرِکِیۡنَ وَلَوْکَانُوۡۤا اُولِیۡ قُرْبٰی مِنۡۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمْ اَنَّہُمْ اَصْحٰبُ الْجَحِیۡمِ

“It is not worthy for the prophet and the believers to ask forgiveness for the associators, even though they be relatives, after it has been made clear to them that they are men of Hell.”

[Surah at-Tauba verse 113]

The Ulama-e-Mufassareen have written the below reasons why this verse was revealed:

1) The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to pray for forgiveness for his uncle Abu Talib (who refused to accept Islam at death bed – according to some Scholars). Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed this verse to stop the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ from doing do.

2) The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked permission to visit his mother’s grave which was granted and later when he asked for her forgiveness, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed this verse and stopped him from doing so. [The Ahl us-Sunnah believe that the parents of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ were saved]

3) A few companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ requested him to pray for their parents forgiveness, so this verse was revealed.

[Tafseer Khazain ul-Irfan]

From the above Quranic verses it is very clear that a person who dies in the state of kufr and shirk will always remain in the Hell-fire. Even after reading these ayahs if someone seeks forgiveness for a kafir and mushrik this mean he is rejecting the clear Quranic verses which is clear kufr.

The Ulama have stated that praying for the forgiveness of a kafir is an act of disbelief. The Fiqh Book al-Muheet ul-Burhani states:

والاستغفار للكافر حرام قال الله تعالى: {اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَسِقِينَ}

“It is prohibited to seek forgiveness for a kafir, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: Ask your forgiveness for them or ask not. If you will ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will never forgive them. This is because that they have rejected Allah and His Messenger. And Allah guides not the disobedient.”

[Al Muheet ul-Buhani 2/184]

Imam Ahmad Rida writes in his fatawa:

کافر کے لئے دعائے مغفرت وفاتحہ خوانی کفر خالص وتکذیب قراؑن عظیم ہے

“Supplicating for forgiveness for a Kafir and doing fatiha is pure kufr and rejection of the Qur’an.”

[Fatawa Ridawiyyah Vol 21, Page 32]

Imam Ahmad Rida writes at another place from the authority of Gamz un-Uyoon:

اتفق مشائخنا ان من رأی امرالکفار حسنا فقد کفر

“Who deems any act of the Kuffaar good, he indeed committed kufr.”

[Fatawa Ridwiyah Vol 14 , Page 132]

So from the above Quranic verses, ahadith and fatawa, the answers to the questions posted are as followed:

a) The statement made is Kufr. It is obligatory upon the person who said this statement and all the people who heard this and accepted, to do tajdeed-e-Iman and tajdeed-e-Nik’ah (if married).

b) Zaid who doesn’t even know the basics of Islamic belief can’t be an Imam or the leader of the believers. Now with this clear blasphemy he no longer remains a Muslim so how can he be a leader of the Muslims?

c) This statement clearly shows the ignorance of this so called Muslim leader of ahadith texts and commentaries. Nelson Mandela doesn’t have any similarity with the King of Abyssinia, an-Najjashi. He accepted Islam and Nelson Mandela died a non-Muslim.

Imam Ai’ni writes in his commentary of Saheeh ul-Bukhari:

وانہ اسلم علی یدی جعفر بن ابی طالب

“and he became Muslim on the hands of Ja’far bin abi Talib.”

[Umdat ul-Qari Vol 8 Page 27]

d) Yes, the statements are so grave that it will make a person out of fold of Islam & the Ahl us-Sunnah.

e) It is prohibited to make any sort of dua and prayers for disbelievers who are now dead.

f) This is sheer ignorance and nothing else. Just like you can’t bring the dead to life likewise you cannot make the disbelieving deceased into believers by reading the Kalimah (testimony of faith) on their behalf.

g) It is haram and kufr to praise a disbeliever through the zikr of Allah azzawajal.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Mohammed Kashif

Please also see:

[Q-ID0292] Which dua can we make and not make, for a non-Muslim?

[Q-ID0265] Will all Disbelievers of Islam enter Jahannam eternally?

[Q-ID0206] What is the fate of the insane non-Muslim?

[Q-ID0202] Will a non-Muslim child enter Jannah?

[Q-ID0186] Is it possible that the Prophet’s intercession will include the non-Muslims in Hell?

Refutation of ‘The Study Quran’ by the Ulama of Zabid

[Q-ID0054] My non-Muslim neighbour passed away, can I attend his funeral?

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