Is it permitted to make Dua for a Kafir (non-Muslim) after death?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

No, it is not permitted to make Dua for a Kafir (non-Muslim) after death.

مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَى

It is not (appropriate) for the Prophet nor those who believe to seek forgiveness for idolaters, even if they are close relatives. (Surah al-Towbah, verse 113).

As we see in the verse of the Holy Quran above, it is not permitted to make Dua for a Kafir (non-Muslim) after death. The scholars of Islam explained that the verse prohibits Muslims from making Dua (supplication) for a deceased Kafir (non-Muslim).

فَقَالَ الْمُفَسِّرُونَ وَأَهْلُ الْمَعَانِي مَعْنَاهُ مَا يَنْبَغِي لَهُمْ قَالُوا وَهُوَ نَهْيٌ. (شرح صحيح مسلم)

The scholars of Tafseer and interpretation said the meaning is that it is not appropriate for them (to seek forgiveness). And they said it is prohibited. (Imam al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim).

مَا يَنْبَغِي لَهُمْ ذَلِكَ وَهُوَ خَبَرٌ بِمَعْنَى النَّهْيِ (فتح الباري)

That (to seek forgiveness for non-Muslims) is not appropriate for them. And it is a statement denoting prohibition. (Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari).

والاستغفار للكافر حرام. (المحيط البرهاني)

Seeking forgiveness for a Kafir (non-Muslim) is Haram (prohibited). (Imam Burhan al-Deen al-Bukhari, al-Muheet al-Burhani).

It is important to keep in mind the saying something like ‘rest in peace’ is a supplication (Dua, so should be avoided. It is certainly permitted to pay one’s respects to the deceased’s family. However, this should be done without supplicating (Dua) for the deceased. One may say, ‘sorry for your loss.’

Although, it is not permitted to make Dua for a Kafir (non-Muslim) after death. It is permitted whilst he or she is alive. The best Dua to make in such circumstances is to supplicate for the non-Muslim to be guided to Islam. Since this will bring blessings for them in this life and the next.

Another mistake many Muslims make is to comment on a specific individual’s situation in the afterlife (Akhirah). This is not permitted, irrespective of it being positive (he is in Jannah) or negative (he is in Hell). This is from the affairs of the unseen (Ilm al-Ghayb) and we can only comment upon it when we have something explicit from Quran and Hadith (see the link below for more details).

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (09.09.2022)

See also:
Explanation of the Hadith About Praising the Dead

See also: