AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu
Q57: Allah (may He be Exalted) says in His Book: Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 15 And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). (Surah Al-Isra’, 17:15). It was narrated in some Hadiths that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that his parents will be in the Fire. The question is: Were they not from Ahlul-Fatrah (those to whom Da`wah has not reached in an uncorrupted manner), those whom the Qur’an clearly mentioned as being saved in the Hereafter. Please answer me, may Allah guide you.
A: There is nothing in the Qur’an that explicitly states that Ahlul-Fatrah will be saved or destroyed. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 15 And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). (Surah Al-Isra’, 17:15).Due to His Perfect Justice, Allah does not punish anyone until after He has sent a Messenger. So, whomsoever the message of Islam did not reach, they will not be punished until the proof is established against them. This is what was told by Allah (may He be Praised). It is also narrated in the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) that the proof will be established against Ahlul-Fatrah and they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection, and those who satisfy and follow the straight path will be safe, but those who disobey will enter the Fire. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the man who asked him: "Where is my father?" He replied, "In Hellfire." When he saw the man’s face change, he (peace be upon him) said, "My father and yours are in the Fire." This was done to console the man and let him know that
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this was not just for his father. It may have been that both the Prophet’s and the man’s fathers had heard Daw`ah
and when the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: My father and yours are in the Fire he was talking about something that he knew, as he (peace be upon him) never told lies or spoke through his own desire, as Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says:Surah Al-Najm, 53: 1 By the star when it goes down (or vanishes). Surah Al-Najm, 53: 2 Your companion (Muhammad, peace be upon him) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Surah Al-Najm, 53: 3 Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. Surah Al-Najm, 53: 4 It is only a Revelation revealed. (Surah Al-Najm, 53:1-4).If evidence had not been established about the Prophet’s father, `Abdullah ibn `Abdul-Muttalib, he (peace be upon him) would not have said that about him. He might have been told about Ibrahim’s (Abraham) religion, and that was enough to establish proof against him. People had been following Prophet Ibrahim’s religion until `Amr ibn Luhay Al-Khuza`y propagated the worship of idols and they followed him and supplicated to them instead of Allah. It may also have been the case that `Abdullah had knowledge that enabled him to discern that what the Quraysh were doing in worshipping idols was null and void, but he still followed what they were doing, and that was the proof against him.
It was also narrated in the Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Allah’s Permission to ask forgiveness for his mother, but he was not granted it, and that he asked Permission to visit her grave and he was granted that. He was not permitted to ask forgiveness for his mother maybe because sufficient Daw`ah that established proof against her had reached her. It may also be because people of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) are treated the same as other disbelievers with regard to worldly rulings, and therefore it is not permissible to supplicate to Allah or ask forgiveness for them, and that their situation is left to Allah in the Hereafter.
If no proof is established against a person in this world, they will not be punished until they are tested on the Day of Resurrection, because Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says:Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 15 And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). (Surah Al-Isra’, 17:15)
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So if it is known that a prophet’s Daw`ah did not reach people in a certain era, they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection; if they are successful they will enter Jannah (Paradise), but if they fail they will enter into the Fire. The same applies to the elderly, those who are mentally ill, and others whom Daw`ah did not reach, and the children of the disbelievers; all of these people, according to the most correct opinion in this regard, will be tested. This is because when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about them, he said, Allah knows best what they were doing. So, children of the disbelievers will be examined on the Day of Resurrection along with Ahlul-Fatrah; if they give the correct replies they will be saved, otherwise they will be with those perishing in the Fire. Praise be to Allah, the matter concerning the Prophet’s parents is not a problem for those who know the Sunnah and the rules of the Shari`ah (Islamic law).
Source for the above: Nur `Ala Al-Darb Fatwas from Alifta.com