While millions of mindless Hindus post "RIP" as a comment on receiving the news of someone's death on social media platforms and messaging services without realising the phrase's Christian connotation, a mufti's office has urged Muslims not to pray for forgiveness for non-Muslims or are forbidden to say "Rest in Peace" or "RIP" for short. The Office of the Mufti of the Federal Territory (PMWP) said, in the wake of "RIP" messages flooding England since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, that the act was prohibited clearly in Islamic texts including the compilation of speeches and deeds of Mohammed, Islam's prophet.
However, PMWP said Islam respects human death very much where it is sunnah for Muslims to offer condolences and good words to non-Muslims. In sunnah, which means observing Islam in its pristine form, the traditions and practices of Mohammed, their prophet, constitute a model for Muslims to follow.
The PMWP says praying for peace and tranquillity for non-Muslims who have died is prohibited according to the Islamic scriptures: "This is because the concept of Islamic faith and prophethood does not accept the forgiveness of people who die in a state of shirk (apostasy), so there is no need to ask for forgiveness for them."
The PMWP says that if the prayer is to pray for a person to be blessed with Islamic guidance or the goodness of the world, it is allowed. Appropriate and good condolence is allowed, the mufti's office says, to be given to non-Muslims as long as the person is not hostile to the religion of Islam.
The PMWP insists that Islam is a harmonious and flexible religion in worldly affairs towards all groups regardless of religion. The comments by PMWP came in the wake of internet users debating the issue of RIP by Muslims towards non-Muslims following the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-serving monarch.
The phrase "rest in peace" comes from the Christian assumption that the dead shall stay buried and undisturbed until God calls each one of them to account for their deeds on the earth on Judgement Day.