When to say: Inna Lilaahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raaji'oon
Fatwa No: 169403

Question

Salam alaikum, Is "Inna lilayhi wa inna ilayhi" only to be said when a Muslim dies, or also when a kaafir dies, when one looses his job, pet, house, etc.? Salam alaikum Nuha

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds.  I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The texts from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) , legislated the permissibility for a Muslim to say: {“Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.”}[Quran 2:156] when a calamity befalls him in his own self, his family or his money, and we have already issued Fatwa 90218 clarifying this.

Therefore, it is permissible to say: “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.” when losing one’s job, one’s animal, one’s house and so forth. Rather, it is desirable to say: “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.” when one is afflicted with a calamity. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the Hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her in the incident of Al-Ifk (when she was falsely accused of adultery) when she mentioned the arrival of Safwaan Ibn Al-Mu’attal to her while she was asleep that he said: “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.” he (An-Nawawi)  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "This is evidence that it is desirable to say, “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.” when one is afflicted with a calamity in his worldly matters or in his religion, whether it is in his own self or in a person who is dear to him.

However, is the death of a non-Muslim a calamity? The death of a non-Muslim may be a calamity for a Muslim. Al-Hattaab  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him quoted in his book Mawaahib Al-Jaleel from Ibn Rushd  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that he said in regard to presenting one’s condolences to a Muslim son about his dead non-Muslim father, “There is no greater calamity for a man than the death of his father who used to be compassionate with him and benefit him in his worldly matters while he was a non-Muslim, and so he will not be with him in the Hereafter, so one makes the calamity easier for him (the son) by engaging him and presenting his condolences to him.

If the death of a non-Muslim relative is a calamity for his Muslim relative and he says: “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return.” for his calamity, then we hope, Allaah willing, that this is permissible.

Allaah Knows best.

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