مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَىٰ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ
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.
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(It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters…) [9:113-114]. Abu'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Shirazi informed us> Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Khamirawayh al-Harawi> Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Khuza'i> Abu'l-Yaman> Shu'ayb> al-Zuhri> Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab> his father who said: “When Abu Talib was about to die, the Prophet, Allah bless him and givehim peace, entered in on him while Abu Jahl and 'Abd Allah ibn Abi Umayyah were present. He said: 'Ouncle, say with me, there is no god but Allah, so that I can plead with Allah in your favour'. Abu Jahl and IbnAbi Umayyah said: 'O Abu Talib, will you shun the religion of 'Abd al-Muttalib?' And they kept talking to himsuch that the last thing he uttered was: 'I follow the religion of 'Abd al-Muttalib'. The Prophet, Allah blesshim and give him peace, then said: 'I will pray for your forgiveness as long as I am not forbidden from doingit'. This verse was then revealed (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for theforgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that theyare people of hell-fire)”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> 'Abd al-Razzaq> Ma'mar,and also by Muslim from Harmalah> Ibn Wahb> Yunus; both Ma'mar and Yunus related it from al-Zuhri.Abu Sa'id ibn Abi 'Amr al-Naysaburi informed us> al-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Mu'ammil> 'Amr ibn 'Abd Allah al-Basri> Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab> Ja'far ibn 'Awn> Musa ibn 'Ubaydah> Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazi who said: “I heard that when Abu Talib fell ill to the illness that led to his death, the Quraysh said tohim: 'O Abu Talib, send for your nephew to send you something to cure you from the Garden he mentions'.The emissary went to find the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He found him sittingwith Abu Bakr. He said to him: 'O Muhammad, your uncle says to you that he is old and weak and he wantsyou to send him some of the food and drink of the Garden you mention so that he regains health'. Abu Bakrreplied: 'Allah, exalted is He, has made it forbidden for the unbelievers'. The emissary went back to themand said: 'I conveyed to Muhammad that with which you have sent me. He did not give me any answer, butAbu Bakr told me that Allah has made the Garden forbidden for the unbelievers'. They pressured Abu Talibuntil he sent his own emissary to the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. He found him sitting inthe same place and conveyed to him the same message. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and givehim peace, said to him: 'Allah, exalted is He, has made the food and drink of the Garden forbidden for theunbelievers'. He then followed the emissary to the house of Abu Talib. He found it full of men and so hesaid: 'Could you leave me alone with my uncle?' They replied: 'We will not leave you alone; you do not havea better right to him than us; if you are related to him, we are also related to him!' He sat close to his uncleand said: 'May you be rewarded with good, O uncle; you have adopted me when I was small and lookedafter me when I grew up. Help me with one sentence by means of which I will intercede to Allah on yourbehalf on the Day of Judgement'. Abu Talib asked: 'And what is it, son of my brother?' He said: 'Say: there isno god but Allah, alone without any partners'. Abu Talib said: 'You have advised me; by Allah, were it not forthe fear that Quraysh will slander me, saying 'Your uncle is afraid of death', I would please you by saying it'.The people around him shouted: 'O Abu Talib, you are the head of the primordial religion (Hanifiyyah), thereligion of the elders'. Abu Talib said: 'I do not want the women to relate that your uncle was scared at themoment of death'. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: 'I will keep praying foryour forgiveness until my Lord stops me from doing so'. After Abu Talib died, the Prophet kept praying forhis forgiveness, and so the Muslims said: 'What prevents us from praying for the forgiveness of our fathersand relatives? Abraham prayed for the forgiveness of his father, and here is Muhammad, Allah bless him andgive him peace, praying for the forgiveness of his uncle'. And so they prayed for the forgiveness of theidolaters until the verse (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness ofidolaters)”. Abu'l-Qasim 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Harrani informed us> Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibnNu'aym> Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Umawi> Bahr ibn Nasr> Ibn Wahb> Ibn Jurayj> Ayyub ibn Hani'>Masruq ibn al-Ajda'> 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud> who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and givehim peace, went out one day to look at the graveyards and we went out with him. He ordered us to sit andthen proceeded across until he stopped at one particular grave. He spoke to it for a long time and then theMessenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, wept loudly and we wept for his weeping. After awhile, he came toward us and was met by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab who asked him: 'O Messenger of Allah, whathas made you cry, for we also cried and we were also scared?' He came toward us, sat with us and thensaid: 'My weeping made you scared?' We said: 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah!' He said: 'The grave you saw metalking to is the grave of Aminah bint Wahb. I sought permission from my Lord to visit her and He allowedme to do so. Then, I asked His permission to pray for her forgiveness and He did not grant it. The words ofAllah, exalted is He (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaterseven though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.The prayer of Abraham for the forgiveness of his father was only because of a promise he had promisedhim…) were revealed and I was seized by the tenderness which a son has toward his mother. This is thereason why I wept”.
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ أُوْلِى قُرْبَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَحِيمِ - وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ
(113. 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 (because they died in a state of disbelief).)
(114. 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). But when it became clear to him Ibrahim that he (his father) is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah and forbearing.)
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.