We hate to break your spirit but Muslims have been warned against asking for forgiveness for non-Muslims or from saying “Rest in Peace,” or simply “RIP”, according to Malaysia’s Federal Territories Mufti Luqman Abdullah.
The statement which was posted on the Mufti’s Office website justified the remark by citing several hadiths that forbid Muslims from pleading for forgiveness on behalf of those who practise different religions.
“‘Rest in peace’ or ‘R.I.P’ is a form of prayer by non-Muslims. As such, Muslims are forbidden from uttering it,” it said on Friday.
This came about after questions were raised by certain parties about using the phrases to pray for peace among the dead following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept 9.
The statement highlighted that there are several hadiths and quranic verses that say Islam does not accept the forgiveness of those who die as non-Muslims.
“Thus, there is no need to seek forgiveness on their behalf,” it said.
It also made notice of the strict opinions of some ulama (Islamic scholars), who believe that using the term to wish non-Muslims is in reality against Islam.
However, the mufti’s office said that as a gesture of respect for another human being, it is acceptable for Muslims to extend their condolences to non-Muslims.
“Islam allows its followers to offer their condolences to family members, neighbours, and friends who have just lost someone they love, regardless of race and religion,” it said.
“In fact, offering your condolences is encouraged. Hence, such messages are allowed, so long as they are not among the enemies of Islam.
“This proves Islam is a religion of harmony and flexibility in worldly matters, regardless of religion,” it added.
However, the latest statement is nothing new considering that in the past Muslims have been told to avoid wishing “Merry Christmas” to their non-Muslim counterparts.
Non-muslims are also not exempt from these strict rules too. It was only last year that the High Court overturned the law that did not allow non-Muslims to use the word “Allah”.