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Praying for Non Muslims

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za

Q: Are we allowed to make dua for non-Muslims for things such as their well being, benefit or protection from calamities in this worldly life?

Also, are we allowed to greet with the Islamic greeting Ismailis, Qadianis, Shias, Barelwis? Will you also please give the Arabic text and when to say the greeting, I think the meaning is something like this: Peace be on those who follow the guidance.

A: As Muslims, we wish well for all people regardless of their religious views, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have said:

الْخَلْقُ عِيَالُ اللَّهِ، فَأَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ إِلَى عِيَالِهِ
“All created beings are Allah’s dependents, and the most beloved of people to Allah is the one who is good to His (Allah’s) dependents.” (Al-Mu’jam Al- Awsat Vol:5 Pg:356 Dār –al- Haramain)

Shariah teaches us to be good to all people, however, it is an unfortunate reality that majority of the people do not believe in the Allah and the religion of Islam. The people who do believe are special and divinely guided. Because of this, there are some things that are specific privileges for Muslims only; Salaam and Dua of forgiveness after death are two such things.

Dua for Non-Muslims

As mentioned above; we wish well for all human beings; which is why we are permitted to make Dua for the guidance, health and well being of non-Muslims.[1] It is prohibited to make Duas’ of forgiveness for a non-Muslim after his death.

As for your second query regarding Salaam with other sects and people with incorrect beliefs; this differs according to the person and situation.

It should be kept in mind that ‘Al-Salaam’ is one of the names of Almighty Allah Ta῾ālā. It means ‘The peace, source of Peace, safety, Saviour). Being one of the names of Almighty Allah Ta῾ālā, it is not befitting for it to be used when greeting people who do not believe in Allah Ta῾ālā. Keeping this in mind, the following is a summary of rulings about greeting non- Muslims etc.

Salaam to Non-Muslims

·         It is prohibitively disliked to say Assalamu Alaikum to non- Muslims. However, if one requires something from them he should say Assalāmu Alā man ittaba’l huda (Peace be upon those who follow the guidance) or its equivalent in English.
·         If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim with their religious greeting such as ‘namaste’, the Muslim should reply by saying ‘Salaam’ or Hadāka Allah or both.
·         If a non-Muslim says salaam to a Muslim, the Muslim should reply by saying ‘Wa alaikum’.

Salaam to a Shi’ite etc.
·        If the person in question (Shi’ite, Barelwi etc.) is out of the fold of Islam, the rulings of a Non-Muslim will apply (as mentioned above)
·        If the person in question is still in the fold of Islam, one should deal with him as one would deal with a normal Muslim.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Aadiel Moosagie (Mufti)
[email protected]

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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