how to grieve for nonmuslim mother


Junior Member
Salam aliakum sisters and brothers..
My elderly mom died in July.. I was her main caregiver and miss her terribly. Now, Im finding things to fill my time when not working going back to the mesjid, learning and reading about my deen, IA
..Anyway, she was nonmuslim but she respected my faith for the most part, Alhamdullah.
I visit her grave often and put flowers. Is it ok to talk to her there? I dont cry for her really..just talk. I know technically shes not there.. My husband, who is muslim says he doesnt think Im supposed to.. When she was dying, I said shahada to her, recited Al-Fatiha and made dua for her that she accepted Islam in her last moments. Allahu Allum if she did. She was in a induced coma/hospice. I was with her in the end, holding her hand. She was 92 and had a wonderful life. Inshallah Allah swt gave her mercy. I can only hope and pray I cant dwell on it. :((

Abu Abdillah

Super Moderator
Staff member
Muslims are also encouraged to be present when non-muslims are dying in order to present Islaam to them,in the hope that they will accept Islaam prior to their deaths. For the acceptance of Islaam at this point to be of any benefit, it must be based on knowledge, it must be expressed sincerely and with certainty, and it must take place before the actual throes of death begin.

Hadith - Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p.20, #41, Narrated Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (SallAllahu 'AlaihiWassalam) said, "I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. Any servant who meets Allah with those two {testimonies}, having no doubt in them, will enter Paradise."

Allaah the Most High has said, what means:

“Surely you can not make those in the graves hear” (Faatir 35:22)

The principle is that the dead do not hear the words of the living, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning of the Quran ayah): "… but you cannot hear those who are in graves." [Faatir 35:22] and

"Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear" [al-Naml 27:80]

Perhaps the psychological motive for your talking to your mum knowing if she could hear you is an attempt to do something to re-establish the communication that has been cut, in order to alleviate the pain you are feeling. But you should understand, my sister, that Islam has explained what actions on the part of the living may benefit the dead, and what may reach them in their graves.

The Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam) said:
"When a person dies, all his deeds come to an end except three: sadaqah jaariyah (ongoing charity, e.g. a waqf or endowment), beneficial knowledge (which he has left behind), or a righteous child who will pray for him."
(Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no 1376; he said this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth)

The most important thing that will benefit your mum after her death, and that you can do for her now is that she is in her grave, is to strive to pray for her and ask for forgiveness and mercy for her, and for Paradise and salvation from the Fire, and other good and beautiful du’aa’s (Islamic prayers).

Prayers for forgiveness offered for the deceased bring great benefits, as the Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam) said:
"A man’s status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, ‘How did I get here?’ He will be told, ‘By your son’s du’aa’s (prayers) for forgiveness for you." (Reported by Ibn Maajah, no 3660; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1617)

Another thing that may reach the deceased is sadaqah (charity) given on his behalf, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that a man said to the Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam):

"My mother has passed away, and if she could have spoken, she would have given something in charity. Will she receive a reward if I give something on her behalf?" He said, "Yes." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 1388)

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the mother of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) died when he was away from her. He said: "O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died and I am away from her. Will it benefit her anything if I give in charity on her behalf?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then I ask you to be my witness that I am giving my garden al-Mikhraaf (so called because it bore so many dates) in charity on her behalf." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 2756)

Abu Hurayrah reported that a man said to the Prophet(SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam): "My father has died and left money behind. He did not make a wasiyyah (a will); will it expiate for his sins if I give some of it in charity on his behalf?" He said, "Yes." (Reported by al-Nisaa’i)

Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah said: "I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died. Should I give charity on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘What kind of charity is best?’ He said, ‘Providing water.’" (Reported by al-Nisaa’i)

Other deeds that may also benefit the deceased are Hajj and ‘Umrah on their behalf, after the living person has first performed Hajj and ‘Umrah on his or her own behalf.

‘Abdullaah ibn Buraydah reported that his father (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "While I was sitting with the Messenger of Allaah (SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam) a woman came to him and said: ‘I gave my mother a slave-woman in charity, and now my mother has died.’ He said: ‘You have got your reward, and your right of inheritance has brought your gift back to you.’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, she still had one month to fast – can I fast it on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Fast it on her behalf.’ She said, ‘She never went to Hajj – can I perform Hajj on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Perform Hajj on her behalf.’" (Reported by Muslim, may Allaah have mercy on him, in his Saheeh, no. 1149)

This shows that it is also permissible to fast on behalf of the deceased.

Another thing that may benefit the deceased is to fulfil their nadhr (vow), because Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that a woman came to the Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihiwassalam) and said: "My mother made a vow to perform Hajj but she died before she could do it. Can I perform Hajj on her behalf?" He said, "Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Don’t you think that if your mother owed a debt you would pay it off?" She said, "Yes." He said, "Then pay off what is owed to Allaah, for Allaah is more deserving of having vows fulfilled." (al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 7315)

Another thing that may benefit the deceased is if his relative devotes a share to him of a sacrifice he offers. When the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered a sacrifice, he said: "In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad" (reported by Muslim, no. 1967) – and the family of Muhammad included both the living and the dead.
You should also know that keeping yourself busy with praying for your mother is more important and better for you, and more beneficial to the deceased, than thinking about whether she can hear your voice. So try to do whatever will be of benefit both to her and you.

Also keep away from forbidden innovations (bid’ah) such as marking the fortieth day after death, or the passing of one year since the death, or gatherings for reciting al-Faatihah (the first chapter or soorah of the Qur’aan), doing forbidden acts at graves, and so on, deeds which are done by those who are ignorant and are imitated by others.

I ask Allaah to forgive your mother and have mercy on her and on all the deceased Muslims, for He is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

And Allaah knows best.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Wa`alaikum salaam warahmatullaah. Sorry to hear about your loss dear sister. No doubt your mom was a kind-hearted person but the fact of the matter remains that she passed away in a state of kufr so you're not allowed to make du`aa for her. Remember our beloved prophet :saw: was in a similar situation and he lost the one person who was like a father figure to him but as it says in the hadeeth, he also could not ask for forgiveness for him:
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (916) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, and He did not permit me. I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He granted me permission.”

I think starting now you, or any any other Muslim who has non-Muslim relative, should take advantage of every opportunity possible to introduce/invite them to Islam. We never know when we, or our beloved ones, are destined to return to Allaah, but we can do our best to prepare until then inshaa'Allaah.


Junior Member
JAK SISTER..this is helping..IA .. I guess Im just going thru horrible grief that I never have had. as many of us, my mom and I were very close. I saw her every day/other day and talked on phone daily. I was a prime caretaker. some days are better than others.. I know that I am committing myself to charity deeds and learning my deen now since the passing of my mom too..IA...She had said to my sister that she was very happy with my devotion to my faith and saw how happy and comforted I felt from it.. I just wish she couldve found Islam too..