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The Prohibition of supplicating for Polytheists Print E-mail

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Al-Musayyib said that his father Al-Musayyib said, "When Abu Talib was dying, the Prophet went to him and found Abu Jahl and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah present. The Prophet said,

«أَيْ عَمِّ، قُلْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلِّا اللهُ كَلِمَةً أُحَاجُّ لَكَ بِهَا عِنْدَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(O uncle! Say, `La ilaha illa-llah,' a word concerning which I will plea for you with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.) Abu Jahl and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah said, `O Abu Talib! Would you leave the religion of Abdul-Muttalib' Abu Talib said, `Rather, I will remain on the religion of Abdul-Muttalib.' The Prophet said,

«لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ مَا لَمْ أُنْهَ عَنْك»

(I will invoke Allah for forgiveness for you, as long as I am not prohibited from doing so.) This verse was revealed,

﴿مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ أُوْلِى قُرْبَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَحِيمِ ﴾

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the Mushrikin, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire.) Concerning Abu Talib, this Ayah was revealed,

﴿إِنَّكَ لاَ تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ﴾

(Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills) ﴿28:56﴾.'' This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Ibn Jarir recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said, "When the Prophet came to Makkah, he went to a grave, sat next to it, started talking and then stood up with tears in his eyes. We said, `O Allah's Messenger! We saw what you did.' He said,

«إِنِّي اسْتَأْذَنْتُ رَبِّي فِي زِيَارَةِ قَبْرِ أُمِّي فَأَذِنَ لِي، وَاسْتَأْذَنْتُهُ فِي الْاسْتِغْفَارِ لَهَا فَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لِي»

(I asked my Lord for permission to visit the grave of my mother and He gave me permission. I asked for His permission to invoke Him for forgiveness for her, but He did not give me permission.) We never saw him more tearful than on that day.''' Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas about Allah's statement,

﴿مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ﴾

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the Mushrikin) "The Prophet wanted to invoke Allah for forgiveness for his mother, but Allah did not allow him. The Prophet said,

«إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم قَدِ اسْتَغْفَرَ لِأَبِيه»

(Ibrahim, Allah's Khalil, invoked Allah for his father.) Allah revealed,

﴿وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ﴾

(And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he ﴿Ibrahim﴾ had made to him (his father)). '' `Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, "They used to invoke Allah for them (pagans) until this Ayah was revealed. They then refrained from invoking Allah to forgive the dead among them, but were not stopped from invoking Allah for the living among them until they die. Allah sent this Ayah,

﴿وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ﴾

(And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only...) ﴿9:114﴾.'' Allah said next,

﴿فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ﴾

(But when it became clear to him ﴿Ibrahim﴾ that he (his father) is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him) ﴿9:114﴾. Ibn `Abbas commented, "Ibrahim kept asking Allah to forgive his father until he died, when he realized that he died as an enemy to Allah, he disassociated himself from him.'' In another narration, he said, "When his father died he realized that he died as an enemy of Allah.'' Similar was said by Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and several others. `Ubayd bin `Umayr and Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Ibrahim will disown his father on the Day of Resurrection, but he will meet his father and see dust and fatigue on his face. He will say, `O Ibrahim! I disobeyed you, but today, I will not disobey you.' Ibrahim will say, `O Lord! You promised me that You will not disgrace me on the Day they are resurrected. What more disgrace than witnessing my father being disgraced' He will be told, `Look behind you,' where he will see a bloody hyena -- for his father will have been transformed into that -- and it will be dragged from its feet and thrown in the Fire.''' Allah's statement,

﴿إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ﴾

(Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah and was forbearing.) means, he invoked Allah always, according to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud. Several narrations report this from Ibn Mas`ud. It was also said that, `Awwah', means, `who invokes Allah with humility', `merciful', `who believes with certainty', `who praises (Allah)', and so forth.

﴿وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِلَّ قَوْماً بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَاهُمْ حَتَّى يُبَيِّنَ لَهُم مَّا يَتَّقُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ - إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِىٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ ﴾

(115. And Allah will never lead a people astray after He has guided them until He makes clear to them what they should avoid. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.) (116. Indeed to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, He gives life and He causes death. And besides Allah you have neither any protector nor any helper.)

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