Can one pray for a friend who has died as a non-Muslim?


Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa was asked in a letter whether a person could pray for a friend who died as a Christian, a Hindu or a Buddhist but who had had good and loving sentiments for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. 

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 15 February 2021, provided the following reply to this question:

“As I wrote to you previously, Islam does not teach us to hate any humans, only to detest their evil deeds. As far as anyone’s going to Paradise or Hell is concerned, Allah the Exalted has kept this decision in His hands and has not given any human being in this world the right to pass judgement on whether someone is destined for Paradise or Hell. Nonetheless, it is true that sometimes Allah informs His prophets and messengers whether a particular person is destined for Heaven or Hell. However, Allah the Exalted alone decides whether that person would go to Heaven or Hell. Hence, Allah the Exalted describes this subject in the Holy Quran as follows: 

“‘(As to) those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Magians and the idolaters, verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection; surely Allah is Witness over all things.’ (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.18)

“Then, Allah the Exalted also states in the Holy Quran that He does not waste the good deeds of any human being regardless of what religion he may belong to. Thus, He says: 

“‘Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians – whichever party (from among these truly) believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds – shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear (shall come) upon them, nor shall they grieve.’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: Ch.63)

“So, there is no harm in paying condolences over the death of someone, in reciting the supplication of:

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَإِنَّا‭ ‬إِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُونَ

“[‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’] or in asking for the mercy of Allah the Exalted. One who recites:

إِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَإِنَّا‭ ‬إِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُونَ‭‬

it even becomes a prayer for him as well because Allah the Exalted has instructed us to recite this prayer in case of any harm or loss. The purpose of this supplication is to express: ‘O Allah, remove this distress or make up for this loss.’ And when we offer this supplication upon the death of a person, one of the purposes may also be to say that, ‘O Allah, at the death of this person, I pray that You fulfil the expectations I had from him.’

“One may ask for Allah’s mercy for anyone because it is also up to Allah the Exalted to show mercy to anyone and He knows best when to show mercy to which person. Therefore, it is mentioned in the ahadith that one day, as a result of Allah’s mercy, Hell will be completely emptied. (Tafsir al-Tabari, Tafsir of Surah Hud verse 108)”

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