The Latin originated phrase “rest in peace” has been used in many contexts on social media, but it’s intended use was to lay rest to the dead and wish the soul of those deceased eternal rest and peace.
And sometimes we use it for memes, but anyways…
According to Malaysia’s Federal Territories Mufti Luqman Abdullah, Muslims are not allowed to say the phrase to non-Muslims.
The statement was released in lieu of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, with timelines filling up with people sending their condolences to the Royal family.
It said that Muslims are forbidden to plead for forgiveness on behalf of those who practice different religions. Apparently, there are several hadiths and verses from the Quran that say Islam does not accept the forgiveness of those who die as non-Muslims.
“Thus, there is no need to seek forgiveness on their behalf,” said Luqman.
But this is not to say that Muslims can’t offer up their condolences at all. On the contrary, they’re encouraged to do so.
“Islam allows its followers to offer their condolences to family members, neighbours, and friends who have just lost someone they love, regardless of race and religion,” he said in a statement.
“In fact, offering your condolences is encouraged. Hence, such messages are allowed, so long as they are not among the enemies of Islam.”
Shortly after the report was released, Turkish Islamic scholar Mustafa Akyol countered the Mufti’s words, conversely acknowledging that Muslims can say “rest in peace” when offering their condolences to deceased non-Muslims.
According to FMT, Akyol cites two almost identical verses in the Quran – 2:62 and 5:69 – which state that all good people who believe in God will be saved.
These verses explicitly state that “believers (Muslims), Jews, Christians and the Sabians (an extinct religious group)” will be saved in the afterlife, he said.
He told FMT that “God’s mercy is not limited to Muslims.”
Akyol also commented on FT Mufti’s statement, saying that it reiterates the common view amongst Muslims – that every other religion will be condemned to hell.
He said that the statement was perpetuating mainstream Islamic tradition, which was created in the age of religious conflict and supremacism.
In view of the context and the times, Akyol called on fellow Muslims to ponder on what he calls “religious exclusivism”.
Apparently, this isn’t the first instance that Mufti has deemed a phrase as forbidden or condemning. In the past, Muslims have been encouraged to avoid wishing non-Muslims “Merry Christmas.”
Up until last year, non-Muslims weren’t allowed to say “Allah” but the High Court has since overturned the law.
What other common phrases do you know that have been forbidden due to religious reasons?