I was told that it's not allowed to say "May Allah be merciful to him" رحمه الله for Non-Muslim deads.

Well, while I know we can say that for both livings and deads, I didn't know that it's not allowed for non-Muslims deads, also I wonder if it's allowed for non-Muslim livings.

Is is allowed or forbidden (or other like Makrouh) to say that for non-Muslim livings/deads? A proof from the Quran or Sunnah or consensus... (any Sharia source) would be much appreciated.

Thanks in Advance.

  • Can you add the living non-muslims too to the question? Since I don't know if it is allowed to pray for mercy of living non muslims. Jul 2, 2012 at 0:36

3 Answers 3


It seems that is permissible to pray for a non-muslim who is alive, but if they are already dead, then no.

Lets get the easier one out of the way, in Qur'an 9:113 (At-Tawbah/Repentance):

It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire.

So no, you may not pray for a non-muslim who is already dead.

Now onto the non-muslim who is alive. It is accepted that you may pray for his or her guidance to the right. I will provide a translated quote about Abu Hurayrah's Mother (and how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed for her guidance):

"I have not let up in inviting my mother to Islâm but she has always rebuffed me. Today, I invited her again and I heard words from her which I do not like. Do make supplication to Allâh Almighty to make the heart of Abu Hurayrah's mother incline to Islâm."

The Prophet responded to Abu Hurayrah's request and prayed for his mother. Abu Hurayrah said: "I went home and found the door closed. I heard the splashing of water and when I tried to enter my mother said: "Stay where you are, O Abu Hurayrah." And after putting on her clothes, she said, "Enter!" I entered and she said: "I testify that there is no Allâh but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger."

NOTE: In case you feel my answer is not relevant, here is my thinking: I stretched your quote to be a "prayer". And I want to say in atleast one of these cases (Qur'an 9:114) they are not even a prayer, just request to Allah for mercy or forgiveness.

  • +1. The prayer is only acceptable if it is for their guidance, any other prayer (As far as I know) is unacceptable
    – Anwar
    Jul 2, 2012 at 8:03
  • I cannot help but notice the wording "polytheists" in At Taubah:113. Please consider At Taubah:111, where Christians and Jews are mentioned specifically, and thus excluded from the polytheists context on the succeeding ayats. So I believe the restrictions applies to non-Ahlul Kitab, not for entire non-Muslims. Jul 2, 2012 at 11:01
  • @IbrahimArief , while I may not disagree with you, you need to back it up with some evidence. Surat At Taubah was very heavily focused on the munafiqueen, so it can be argued that it was not the intention of Allah to stop muslims from praying for Christians/Jews, but pagan/polytheists who tried to undermine The Prophet's (PBUH) message (particularly the family members of Muslims during that time). I will say that I cannot really argue that prespective as I just don't see enough evidence.
    – Youssef G.
    Jul 3, 2012 at 2:14

This world is a test. Till it is over, a person can come to the right path. I don't see any problem for asking having mercy on a living non-muslim, so that he/she can come to right path. In fact, we must.

For a non-living non-muslim, I would say, only God knows what is in his heart. He might have converted at the last (allowable) minute of his life and only God knows about it. So, we should also ask mercy for him too.


For guidance it is good and no problem and even needed. All prophets came for this.

But for asking forgiveness non-Muslims are two group:

  • Some are believers (for example Christians) who do not have envy and enmity with Islam and for any reason could not know true Islam and if knew Islam without propaganda accepted it. For them there is no problem.

  • For those who have envy and enmity with Islam it is prohibited.


  1. مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ

    [9:113] Sahih International It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire.

  2. لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّـهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

    [60:8] Sahih International Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

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