بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
It is not (fit) for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are inmates of the flaiming fire. (9: 113)
Now since we have already proved that the above verse was not revealed for Abu Talib, where the Prophet and the Muslims have been advised not to pray for the polytheists, it would help us to look at those verses that asked the Prophet and the Believers not to eshtablish relations for the polytheists, let alone pray for them, out of love and respect!
You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Apostle, even though they were their own fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; these are Allah’s party: Surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.
This was revealed in the Battle of Badr and this event occured in the 2 year of the Hijra. However there are some commentators that relate its revelation with The Battle of the Uhud, that occured in the 3 year of the Hijra. How ever, the verse advises us not to make friends with the non believers or even love them. This Chapter was revealed well before Surah Baarat (Chapter 9, for the verse cited in the beginning)
- Tafseer Ibn Katheer, v 4 p 329
- Tafseer Sho Kafi, v 5 p 189
- Tafseer Aloosi, v 28 p 37
Those who take the unbelievers for guardians rather than believers. Do they seek honor for them ? Then surely all honor is for Allah. O you who believe! do not take the unbelievers as protectors instead of than believers; do you desire that you should give to Allah a manifest proof against yourselves ?
This is a Mecci Surah, where the above verses advise the believers not to take unbelievers as helpers or protectors. How could the Prophet get help from an unbeliever if we assume Abu Talib is unbeliever?! Ofcourse, this verse was revealed well before Chapter 9, that has been the focus our attention!
- Tafseer Qurtubi, v 5 p 1
Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than the believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribition from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual journey.
According to reference (1) the first eighty (80) verses of this Chapter were revealed during the beginning of the Hijra. The latter references indicate that the above verse (verse 28) was revealed during the Battle of Ihzab (5 Hijra). The last reference indicates that Surah Ale Imran and Surah Baarat were revealed with a difference of four Surahs.
- Seera of Ibn Hisham, v 2 p 207
- Tafseer Qurtubi, v 4 p 58
- Tafseer Khazan, v 1 p 235
- Tafseer Itqan, v 1 p 17
O you who believe! do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and who ever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the unjust.
Ask forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them; even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will not forgive them; this is because they disbelieve in Allah and the Apostle, and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.
These two verses were revealed before Verse 9:113 (the verse used against Abu Talib), and as I conclude this discussion, let me pose a question to these accusers:
- Is it possible that the Prophet (saw) would ask for forgiveness for Abu Talib (May Allah bless his soul), especially when these two verses declare that it is futile to do so, assuming that Abu Talib died as an unbeliever? If your answer is yes, then isn’t it against the text of the Holy Book and the Will of Allah, the Almighty?!!
- The fact is that the verse 9:113 is just a command to Prophets in general, and not apprehension for what Prophet Muhammad did not! This will become clear when one looks at the next verse that (i.e., 9:114) which shows this is the command of Allah to Prophet Abraham who prayed for his uncle Azar (not to be confused with his father whose name was Tarokh. This needs a separate discussion) before it was known to him that he is the enemy of Allah. Qur’an states:
.. But when it became clear to him that he (Azar) was an enemy to Allah he dissociated himself from him; for Abraham was most tender- hearted forbearing. (9:114)