The Prophet's parents

Question:

Is it correct that Ahl-ul-Fatrah (people having no access to Divine Messages) will be saved from Hell and that the parents of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were among them and will therefore be saved from Hell and enter Paradise? If this is not correct, how can we rebut this claim? What is the ruling of Islam on this claim? Please, advise.

Answer:

Scholars held different opinions on Ahl-ul-Fatrah, and the preponderant opinion is that they will be tried on the Day of Resurrection; those who will respond to the order will be saved; and those who refuse will be doomed. This was authentically narrated on the authority of Al-Aswad ibn Sari’ Al-Tamimi Al-Sa’di and others. Parents of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not belong to Ahl-ul-Fatrah because the Arabs followed the faith of Ibrahim (peace be upon him), particularly the people in the lands of Hijaz. Later, Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) reached them during the era of ‘Amr ibn Luhay Al-Khuza’i, but they were still practicing some rites of Ibrahim’s faith, such as Hajj. For that reason, the Prophet’s parents were not among Ahl-ul-Fatrah because this term refers to a people to whom the Da’wah of Allah’s Messengers has not reached in an uncorrupted manner.

It was authentically narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied to a man who asked him about the fate of his father, saying, “My father and yours are both in Fire.” Related by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith 1.

It was authentically narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the permission of Allah to visit his mother’s grave, and he was granted it. He again asked permission to ask forgiveness for her, but it was not given to him. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states, “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allâh’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh), even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief).” [Al-Tawbah: 113]

This Ayah (Qur’anic verse) was revealed regarding Abu Talib and others who died in the state of Shirk after the start of Da’wah (the call to Islam).


  1. Ahmad, vol. 3, pp. 119 and 268; Muslim, vol. 1, p. 191, no. 203; Abu Dawud, vol. 5, p. 90, no. 4718; Abu Ya’la, vol. 6, p. 229, no. 3516; Ibn Hibban, vol. 2, p. 340, no. 578; Ibn Mandah, Book on faith, vol. 2, p. 871, no. 926; and Al-Bayhaqy, Al-Sunan, vol. 7, p. 190, and Al-Dala’il, vol. 1, p. 191. 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions