Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 2 years ago

as salam alaikum

there is no direct reference in the above-mentioned verses about the religion of Abu Talib, neither to Abu Talib himself. The verse 28:56 is very general and says that Allah is the ultimate guide and that no one, even the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, can guide the people if Allah doesn't wish. The verse 9:113 is also general and it is explained by its following verse (9:114) that talk about the prohibition to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, in particular it mentions the case of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and Azar.

What made to conclude the majority of Sunni scholars that these verses refers to Abu Talib not being Muslim are some ahadith found in Bukhari and Muslim linking those verses to such opinion. There are other narrations and evidences to support the fact that Abu Talib was a Muslim: this is also an opinion held by a minority of Sunni scholars.  

In conclusion, these two verses should firstly and foremost interpreted according to their apparent meaning avoiding solitary reports (akhbar ahad) which are contradictory. Then, to establish historical facts, other ways than tafsir by solitary reports should be taken into consideration in order to determine truth and valid knowledge.

With prayers for your success.