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No hard and fast rule when it comes to RIP, says Penang mufti
Published on: Thursday, September 22, 2022
By: FMT, Nora Mahpar
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Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor says there can be differing views on ‘RIP’ as ‘there is nothing written on it’. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said there is no hard and fast rule on the use of the phrase “Rest in peace” or “RIP” when offering condolences to non-Muslims.

He said there is no specific mention in the Quran on the matter.

Wan Salim said it also depends very much on the intention behind the use of the phrase.

“If we are saying ‘Rest in peace’ to mean a person is no longer shouldering the burden of responsibilities, like for instance a leader such as Queen Elizabeth II, it is all right,” he told FMT.

However, he said, Muslims were prohibited from praying for the sins of the deceased to be forgiven or for the soul to be blessed if they were non-Muslims.

He was commenting on the debate over the use of the phrase after the office of federal territories mufti Luqman Abdullah prohibited Muslims from using it as Muslims were not allowed to pray for forgiveness for non-Muslims as prescribed in several hadiths.

According to the mufti’s office, “RIP” is a form of prayer and Muslims are forbidden from uttering it.

Turkish scholar Mustafa Akyol has since argued against this statement, citing verses in the Quran to back his view.

Wan Salim said the view held by Luqman was the latter’s take on the matter.

“There can be differing views on this as there is nothing written on it. We cannot be expected to share the same views,” he said.

Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman said Islam made it compulsory for Muslims to pay respects to non-Muslims who have passed on.

He cited the time Prophet Muhammad himself had paid his respects to a non-Muslim who had died.

“There’s nothing wrong in paying one’s respects and, in fact, it’s compulsory based on what the Prophet did. However, any form of worship or religious gesture is prohibited,” he said.

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