Fatwa: # 13286
Category: Funeral
Country: South Africa
Date: 8th August 2005

Title

to say 'fi nari jahannam' when a christian dies

Question

there is a tradition in some muslim guys that when a non-muslim (people from other religion/disbelievers) dies, some of them say 'fi nari jahannam'. is there any authenticity that we can say this? i think as a muslim we cant desire any ones death and jahannam. may be it happens because of not having the proper knowledge of islam. so far i know, islam is the most tolerent religoin (code of life) who are highly respectful to others.

may allah help us all to be true muslim.

ma assalam.

Answer

A Muslim will regard adherents of other religions as non-Muslims upon their death in terms of Salaatul Janaaza, burial and du’aa. A Muslim will not perform Salaatul Janaza for a non-Muslim. Similarly, a non-Muslim will not be buried according to Islamic rites. It is also not permissible to make du’aa for a deceased non-Muslim. Allah Ta’ala prohibited Ibraahim [alayhis salaam] from making du’aa for his father, Aazar, who died a non-Muslim.

A Muslim cannot make any further comment regarding the fate of any deceased, be he a Muslim or non-Muslim. The fate of every person is only within the absolute knowledge of Allah. No living person can state with certainty the fate of any deceased. Only Allah knows the condition and faith (Imaan and otherwise) of an individual at the time of his death. It is possible that a person be regarded as a non-Muslim and was not honoured with Salaatul Janaza and Islamic burial rites, but he could be a Muslim in the sight of Allah. It is mentioned in a Hadith that on the day of judgment, Allah will order the angels to remove every Muslim from the fire of hell. When the angels will do that, Allah will say that there are some people in the fire who are Muslims but their faith and belief is only known to Me and nobody else. Thereafter, Allah will take out such people the fire of hell.

It is, therefore, incorrect to make an absolute statement, ‘Fee naar jahannum’, regarding the initial or ultimate fate of a non-Muslim. Such a statement can be made only regarding those non-Muslims regarding whom Allah and His Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] declared as dwellers of the fire like Firawn, Abu Jahl, etc.

We make du’aa that Allah grant us death in the state of Imaan and that Allah be pleased with us, Aameen.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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