Can one recite “inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un” upon the demise of a non-Muslim?

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Last Updated on 8th October 2021

During a virtual mulaqat of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, which was held on 29 November 2020, a tifl asked, “When a Muslim passes away, we recite ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji‘un’. However, if a non-Muslim passes away, can we also recite this for them or not?” 

Huzooraa replied: 

“Naturally, if you feel for their loss and have had any kind of relation with them, you may recite this because we will all eventually return to Allah. Everyone is going to return to Allah but only Allah knows best how He will deal with them after that. It is possible that although a person was a non-Muslim, they may have pleased Allah by one of their good deeds and owing to that, Allah may create the means for their forgiveness or He may deal with them in whichever manner He deems appropriate. 

“The reason that we recite ‘inna lillah’ is that if any kind of harm has occurred, then it is Allah the Exalted who can recompense and make matters good again. So, we say that we belong to Allah and turn towards Him alone in every difficulty and in every matter. If we have a friend or know a person that has been kind to us; if we recite this prayer upon their [demise], then it means that they have returned to Allah, and we too shall return to Allah; may Allah the Exalted compensate for any harm that was caused to us because of their loss and where possible, may He treat them with mercy on account of his good actions and words. 

“In reality, the reason we recite ‘inna lillah’ is that we implore Allah to compensate us for our loss; He may free us from the grief or sorrow we feel for a departed one because we belong to Allah and turn towards Him in every matter, regardless of what kind of loss we may have suffered, such as loss of life, loss of wealth or loss of any other kind. 

“This is not only recited when someone passes away; rather, if one incurs a loss in wealth, even then one would recite ‘inna lillah’. The reason for this is that we turn to Allah alone in all matters and we shall not depend upon anyone else. Therefore, there is no harm in reciting ‘inna lillah’ [at the demise of a non-Muslim]. A person whom you know, one who is close to you and helps you; if such a person passes away, then there is no harm in reciting ‘inna lillah’. 

“Generally speaking, one should seek the mercy of Allah the Exalted for everyone except if one is an idolater. You should not pray for someone who is an idolater – who associates partners with Allah the Exalted. Aside from that, there is no harm in seeking the mercy of Allah the Exalted for those people who follow a particular religion.”

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