Is it permissible for him to pray over and inherit from his dead father who was illiterate and ignorant and used to commit major Shirk?

The questioner: “Virtuous Shaykh, may Allah grant you success, this questioner says that he migrated away from a village in which ignorance and illiteracy is spreading.”

Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him: “In which is spreading?”

The questioner: “In which ignorance and illiteracy is spreading…”

Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him: “Illiteracy, yes.”

The question: “…and went to another country in which are scholars and studied Tawheed and Sunnah. Then when he returned to his village in order to teach the people, he says, he found that his father had passed away, and he used to be a Mushrik (polytheist) who committed major Shirk with Allah, however he was illiterate and ignorant, and no one had warned him. His question: Is it permissible for him to inherit from him and to pray over his grave?”

Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him: “No, he is to be treated with the same treatment as the Kuffar, because he died upon disbelief as with regards to what is apparent. He is to be treated with the same treatment as the Kuffar. And as for the Hereafter, then Allah is most knowledgeable about his situation. If the d’awah has not reached him, and no… then this one is considered from the people of al-fatrah[1] to whom a prophet will be send on the Day of Judgement, calling them to Allah. If they respond they will enter Paradise, and if they disobey they will enter into the Fire. He is considered from ahl-ul-fatrah if nothing has reached him. Yes. However we treat him with the same treatment as the Kafir; he is not inherited from, he is not to be buried in the graveyards of the Muslims, he is not to be supplicated for, and he is not to be sought forgiveness for. Yes.”

The questioner: “Virtuous Shaykh, may Allah grant You success, he says: “Can we pray behind the Imam who calls upon the Awliyaa and the dead?”

Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him: “No. Calls upon the Awliyaa and the dead; this one is a Mushrik. There is no prayer for him. Don’t pray behind him, but explain to him, perhaps he is ignorant and he doesn’t know. Explain to him and correct his ‘Aqeedah for him. Yes.

Footnote by translator:
[1]  Who are Ahl Al-Fatrah (people having no access to Divine Messages)? Is it true that some of them exist now?​

Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him

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