I wanted to ask you about what to say for those who have passed away but weren't Muslim. I came from a Christian family and converted to Islam almost 5 years ago, Alhamdulillah. However, I'm always concerned over the fate of my family, who dies only in Christianity. I love my family dearly, and I always pray that Allah guides them as he did for me. My uncle has passed away recently, and he was a good and honest man from only what I know. He was born and raised Christian his whole life, and I do not believe Islam reached him. I'm deeply saddened for his passing, and I wish he is at peace since he left this world in pain (he had cancer). I know It is forbidden for a Muslim to ask Allah for forgiveness since he wasn't a Muslim, so what am I allowed to say to Allah for my uncle? Is it possible I would see him again in the Hereafter?
The concern you have for your family’s Hereafter is a sign of Iman. The Prophet (SAW) had the same concern for his ummah. Regarding those who are still alive from your non-Muslim family members, continue calling them towards Islam with wisdom and good character. Also, continue beseeching Allah (SWT) to guide them, for He is the only one who can guide.
Praying for a non-Muslim after their demise is not permissible, e.g., asking Allah تعالى to forgive them. The evidence for this can be found in the Quran where Allah تعالى says, “And it is not (lawful) for the Prophet and for those who believe to seek forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they are relatives after it has become clear to them that they are the people of Hell.” (Surah Taubah: v. 113) Nevertheless, one may make dua for the unbelievers while they are living, e.g., asking Allah تعالى to guide them, give them good health, etc.
Whether you will see your uncle in the Hereafter or not, this is a matter that will be known in the Hereafter. I sincerely advise you to focus on living a righteous life according to Islam to earn Allah’s (SWT) pleasure thereby attaining everlasting paradise in the Hereafter. We should consign those matters that we have no control over to Allah (SWT), e.g., the fate of others, and focus on what is within our control.
And Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
Darul Ifta Texas