Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa and asked, “Is it permissible to show kindness to and seek [God’s] forgiveness for non-Muslims? Would it make a difference with regard to showing kindness to them or seeking [God’s] forgiveness for them whether itmam al-hujjah had been carried out or not i.e. whether the truth had been conclusively communicated to them or not?”
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 20 July 2020, gave the following reply:
“This kind of question from a person who possesses knowledge of the Holy Quran is surprising. By using the phrase:
[Lord of all the Worlds] for Himself in the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted has elucidated that He is the One Who nourishes the creations found in all the worlds without any distinction of race, colour, religion or nationality. Likewise, Allah the Exalted has explained to us, by using the phrase:
[mercy for all peoples] (Al-Anbiya: 108) instead of ‘Rahmatan lil-Momineen’ [mercy for the believers], or ‘Rahmatan lil-Muslimeen’ [mercy for Muslims] for the blessed person of our Lord and Master, Hazrat Muhammad, the Chosen One, peace be upon him, that this Messenger is mercy personified for all peoples, irrespective of colour, race, religion and nationality.
“The same teaching was given by the Holy Prophetsa to his followers. Hence, he states:
لَا يَرْحَمُ اللّٰهُ مَنْ لَا يَرْحَمُ النَّاسَ
“[Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.] (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tawhid)
“Here too, the Holy Prophetsa has explained to us, by using the words ‘yarham an-naas’ instead of ‘yarham al-momineen’ or ‘yarham al-muslimeen’, that the heart of a true Muslim will only be able to receive the mercy of Allah the Exalted once it is full of mercy for all mankind.
“As far as seeking forgiveness for someone is concerned, the Quran and the sunnah have instructed us not to seek forgiveness for an idolater [mushrik] about whom it becomes clear that he is an enemy of God and is absolutely Hell-bound. However, the knowledge of one’s being destined to hell is either with Allah the Exalted or with His Prophets and chosen ones whom Allah Himself informs of someone being destined to hell. That is why when Allah the Exalted informed Hazrat Abrahamas that his father was an enemy of Allah, he gave up seeking forgiveness for him. (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.114)
“Due to the mischief of the hypocrites, of Medina and the hardships inflicted by them on the Holy Prophetsa and the Muslims, Allah the Exalted warned them severely in the Holy Quran and declared them Hell-bound on account of their disobedience. However, in spite of this, the Holy Prophetsa led the funeral prayer of Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool, the leader of the hypocrites upon his death and sought forgiveness for him. He did so on the basis of the choice that was given to him by Allah the Exalted up to that time that he may seek forgiveness for them or choose not to do so.
“The teaching of Islam on forgiveness has such profound wisdom in it, of which the teachings of previous religions were devoid. Hence, Islam teaches concerning every one of its enemies, that [Muslims] pray for their guidance and to strive for their tarbiyat as long as there is hope for their reformation. Thus, in the Battle of Uhud, when the Muslims were harmed and even the Holy Prophetsa was also wounded, someone requested the Holy Prophetsa to curse the opponents of Islam. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Allah did not appoint me to curse, but He sent me as His Messenger who shows mercy.’ The Holy Prophetsa then prayed to Allah, ‘O Allah, guide my people because they are ignorant of (my status and Islam’s) truth’ (Shu‘ab al-Iman, Al-Bayhaqi). Similarly, in another narration, the Holy Prophetsa humbly supplicated to Allah, saying: ‘O Allah, forgive my people, for they are opposing Islam due to their ignorance of (my status and Islam’s) truth.’ (Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, at-Tabarani)
“Therefore, Islam urges its followers to be full of compassion for all mankind, irrespective of religion, nationality, colour and race, and to seek forgiveness for everyone except for such idolators and enemies of God whom He has definitively condemned to hell.
If your question is related to a particular person, then the question of Muslim and non-Muslim does not arise; rather, the judgement should be made according to the circumstances, events and facts related to that person.”