Islam is the religion of truth and it highlights and teaches us how to govern and live our lives. When it comes to dealings with the non-Muslims we are given detailed teachings for that as well. The Prophet ﷺ taught us that our neighbours have rights over us whether they are Muslim or not.
He ﷺ said, "The rights of a neighbor are that, if he falls sick you visit him, if he dies you follow his funeral procession, if he asks you for a loan you lend to him, if he is in need you assist him, if good befalls him you congratulate him, if misfortune befalls him you console him, that you not build your house up above his, blocking out the breeze, and that you not afflict him with the aroma of your cooking pot without offering him some."
That being said, distinction has to be made between the worldly life and the life of the hereafter. We deal with everyone with utmost justice, pristine smiles, and the best of manners. But that does not change the theological facts that have been established for non-Muslims. Just like they are kuffar for us, we are kuffar according to their religions.
Kafir or Kuffar are not a derogatory terms as many are making it out to be. It is an established fact and terminology to denote a person who has rejected the true message. The word ‘Kafir’ comes from the root to cover or something covered, and the root has 525 cognates in the Quran. The Quran mostly uses the term Kufr to mean ‘disbelief, a rejection of true belief’ (as in: to ‘cover’ the truth).
Shaykh Ibn Baaz رحمه الله was asked about the difference between Kufr and Shirk and he replied saying, “Kufr (disbelief) is to deny the truth and to cover it, like the one who denies the obligation of the prayer, or the obligation of Zakat, or the obligation of fasting Ramadan, or the obligation of Hajj when one is able to perform it, or the obligation of being kind and dutiful to the parents, and so on, such as the one who denies the prohibition of adultery, or the prohibition of consuming intoxicants, or the prohibition of severing ties with the parents and so forth. As for Shirk, it is to dedicate an act of worship to other than Allah, such as the one who seeks refuge in the dead people, or in the absentees, or in the jinn, or in the idols, or in the stars, etc., or offers a sacrifice to them or makes an oath to them. The Kafir is called a Mushrik (polytheist), and a Mushrik is called a Kafir."
Praying For Forgiveness VS Praying For Guidance
In recent times, we see a lot of debates on whether we can pray for the salvation of a non-Muslim. Can we pray for them? If so, how? A clear that distinction needs to be made here is the timing of such a prayer and if it can be one of salvation in the first place. Certain things are allowed while a non-Muslim is alive whereas some things are not allowed when they have passed away.
Our Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله said, "Ahlus Sunnah do not claim that a certain individual will go to Hell. But if a person's death is confirmed upon Kufr, it has to believe that this person is in Hell and will be in Hell forever. As for a Muslim, we cannot say if he will go to Paradise or Hell for we do not know how he completed his life.
Furthermore, Allah says in the Quran:
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ
It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire. [Surah at-Tawbah, Ayah 113]
There is no ta'weel. May Allah guide all of us. There are some contemporary scholars who say that when some Christians pass away, they ask Allah to have "Peace" on them. This is completely against, inappropriate and impermissible as per the belief of Ahlus Sunnah." [Commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen]
Abdullah Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, “It is not fitting for anyone to pass judgment on [how] God [rules] on His creation, nor to assign them to the Garden or the Fire" [Tafsir at-Tabari]
The scholars are unanimously agreed that one can supplicate for the guidance of a non-Muslim who is still alive, but not for mercy or forgiveness. By doing so, one will avoid an area of scholarly differences concerning this issue.
Abu Musa رضي الله عنه said: The Jews would pretend to sneeze in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ hoping that he would say to them, “May Allah have mercy on you,” but he used to say: “May Allah guide you and set your affairs straight.” [Abu Dawud]
Imam Bukhari رحمه الله titled in his al-Saheeh -“Chapter on Making Dua for the Mushrikin to be Guided so that their Hearts may be Softened.” Then he listed the hadith of Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه who said: “Al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr came to the Prophet ﷺ and said. ‘(The tribe of) Daws has rebelled and rejected (Islam). Pray to Allaah against them.’ He said, ‘O Allah, guide Daws and bring them here.’” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Explaining this hadith, Imam Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said, "Al-Bukhari mentioned the hadith of Abu Hurairah according to which al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al-Dawsi came (to the Prophet) and the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘O Allaah, guide Daws and bring them here.’ The phrase “so that their hearts may be softened” indicates that the compiler (i.e., al-Bukhari) understood the variations in the Prophet’s ﷺ attitude, because the Prophet ﷺ sometimes prayed against the kuffar and sometimes prayed for them. He did the former when they were strong and able to do more to the Muslims, and he did the latter when they were not causing any harm to the Muslims and there was the hope that they might enter Islam, as in the story of Daws. [Fath al-Bari]
Compare this to when the person has died. Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, "Prophet Ibrahim did not cease to seek forgiveness for his father until he died, so when it became clear to him that he (died as) an enemy of Allah, he disassociated himself from him." [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
When x person is alive = Pray for guidance
When x person has died = Cease all dua for them
Islam doesn't change based on our emotions or how we feel about someone or something. It is submission to Allah. Anyone who has heard the message of the Prophet and does not enter Islam will go to Hell. Simple and final.
What does 'forgiveness' mean in the context of non-Muslim? Allah highlights in the Quran that Prophet Ibrahim said,
رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًۭا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ ۖ فَمَن تَبِعَنِى فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنِّى ۖ وَمَنْ عَصَانِى فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
“O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me, – still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Surah Ibrahim, 36].
and the words of the Prophet, “O Allah, forgive my people, for they do not know.” [Bukhari]
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله explaining this said, “And whoso disobeys me, – still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” – it does not say “still You are indeed Almighty, Most Wise”, because the context speaks of seeking the kindness of Allah and of dua i.e., if You forgive them and have mercy on them by enabling them to recant shirk and accept Tawheed, to give up sin and turn to obedience, as it says in the hadith, “O Allah, forgive my people, for they do not know.” [Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/36]
There is absolutely no difference of opinion among the scholars that one cannot pray for forgiveness and mercy for a non-Muslim who died in a state of kufr.
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, and He did not give me permission. I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He granted me permission.”[Muslim]
Imam al-Nawawi رحمه الله said, "This indicates that it is forbidden to pray for forgiveness for the kuffar."
Imam al-Nawawi رحمه الله said, "Offering the funeral prayer for a disbeliever and praying for forgiveness for him is haram according to the text of the Quran and scholarly consensus. [Al-Majmu‘, 5/119]
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said, "Praying for forgiveness for a disbeliever is not permissible according to the Quran, the Sunnah and scholarly consensus. [Majmu‘ al-Fataawa, 12/489]
For those having trouble understanding this concept of judgement, get off social media, find an actual teacher, and get grounded in the basic foundations of Islamic belief. Debating online, especially in matters of creed without prior knowledge is setting ourselves up for embarrassment in this Dunya and potential punishment in the Hereafter. Why?
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Verily, the servant may speak a single word for which he plummets into the Hellfire farther than the distance between East and West.” [Bukhari]
Rest in Peace?
What does this phrase entail? Such things need to be understood because they are not as simple as they appear a lot of the time. As per Cambridge Dictionary, "It said to express the hope that someone's spirit has found peace after death: She was a decent and compassionate woman: may she rest in peace."
As per Merriam Webster, "Definition of rest in peace - used to say one hopes a person who has died will have peace in death. May she rest in peace."
Did you know that RIP has a religious connotation as well? The acronym R.I.P., though containing the same initial letters as the phrase rest in peace, originates from a Latin phrase with the same meaning: Requiescat In Pace, “may (the deceased person) rest in peace.” The Latin phrase began appearing on Christian gravestones in the 8th century and was widespread on Christian grave markers by the 1700s. In this early use, rest in peace (as requiescat in pace) was a prayer or wish that the soul of the deceased would find eternal peace in Heaven. Catholic burial services in particular still incorporate the original Latin requiescat in pace in this way. It became ubiquitous on the tombs of Christians in the 18th century, and for High Church Anglicans, as well as Roman Catholics in particular, it was a prayerful request that their soul should find peace in the afterlife.
Biblical roots of “Rest In Peace” appear in Isaiah 57:2: “He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.” (NASB) This verse is promising relief in death, an “escape from turmoil”.
Although commonly associated with Christianity, the phrase is also used in Judaism.
What then can we say when a non-Muslim passes away? We can keep it simple and resort to statements like:
- To Allah we belong, and to Him We are returned.
- May Allah ease the affairs of the family.
- May Allah grant patience to the family.
- My thoughts and support are with the family. And so on...
What If The True Message Didn't Reach Them?
If the message hasn't reached them, Allah will judge them accordingly as Allah is Most Just. There many Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who are presented with a distorted version of Islam. They sincerely follow their own religions believing they are the truth. It is possible that Allah may forgive these people and reward them for their sincerity to Him, as Allah never punishes people unless they receive the authentic message clearly.
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا
Never will We punish until We send a messenger. [Surah al-Isra’, 15]
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah, from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that he said, “By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one of this nation, Jew or Christian, hears of me then dies without having believed in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.” [Muslim]
Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله explaining this said, "From this it may be understood that whoever was not reached by the call of Islam will be excused." [Sharh Saheeh Muslim (2/188)]
Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله writes, "As for one far from the era of the Messiah (Prophet Isa) and some of his reports reached him to the exclusion of others, or from Moses and only some of his reports reached him, for these the proof has been established upon them to the extent that their reports reached them, without regard to those which did not reach them. If they disagree over the interpretation of some of the Torah and the Gospel, whoever aimed for the truth and strove in seeking it, he must not be punished even if he was mistaken in the truth due to ignorance or misguidance, like an erudite jurist (mujtahid) in seeking the truth from the nation of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him." [al-Jawab al-Sahih 2/301-302]
It can be summarized that - A person who has never heard of Islam or the Prophet, and who has never heard the message in its correct and true form, will not be punished by Allaah if he dies in a state of kufr (disbelief). If it were asked what his fate will be, the answer will be that Allah will test him on the Day of Resurrection: if he obeys, he will enter Paradise and if he disobeys he will enter Hell.
al-Aswad ibn Saree رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: There are four (who will protest) to Allah on the Day of Resurrection: the deaf man who never heard anything, the insane man, the very old man, and the man who died during the fatrah (the interval between the time of Isa and the time of Muhammad). The deaf man will say, O Lord, Islam came but I never heard anything. The insane man will say, O Lord, Islam came but the children ran after me and threw stones at me. The very old man will say, O Lord, Islam came but I did not understand anything. The man who died during the fatrah will say, O Lord, no Messenger from You came to me. He will accept their promises of obedience, then word will be sent to them to enter the Fire. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them. [Ahmad]
A similar report was also narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه, except that he said at the end: “… whoever enters it, it will be cool and safe for him, and whoever does not enter it will be dragged to it.” [Ahmad]
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said, "Allah will judge between His slaves on the Day of Resurrection by His wisdom and justice, and He will not punish anyone except those against whom proof is established through the Messengers. This category of people will definitely be dealt with in that manner.
But as for the question of whether or not proof is established against any particular individual, this is a matter to be decided by Allah and we cannot issue rulings concerning specific individuals in that regard. Rather what is required is to believe that everyone who follows a religion other than Islam is a disbeliever, and that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, does not punish anyone except after proof has been established against him through the Messenger. This is in general terms; with regard to specific individuals, the matter is left to the knowledge and judgement of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. [Tareeq al-Hijratayn (2/900)].
The ignorant person among those who are originally disbelievers is to be dealt with as a disbeliever according to rulings in this world in terms of burial, praying over etc, and in the hereafter their fate will be decided by Allah as they will be tested and hujjah will be established for or against them.
What About The Good Non-Muslims Did?
Firstly, what even is 'good'. People with no religious backing or moral tradition cannot define good and bad for Muslims. Good and bad are not determined by reason or emotion but only by revelation, and therefore only known through the Shariah. Islam means submission to Allah. Slavehood to Allah is not only to pray five times a day and to perform other acts of worship. Rather, it is to submit to Allah in all matters, outwardly and inwardly, as He as commanded us to, by following the guidance of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), in whose obedience lies the obedience of Allah.
Coming to the people. Priorities matter. No matter how "good" a person is, it becomes worthless if they haven't accepted Islam. A person who has rejected Allah, His Messenger and His Message and set up partners with Him cannot be termed as someone who is 'good'.
No non-Muslim aided Islam more than Abu Talib and yet he is in the hellfire for he rejected Allah and the Message of Islam. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not pray his janazah, nor was he allowed to ask Allah for his forgiveness. In fact, he explicitly described his punishment in the afterlife: "...he may be placed in the shallow part of the Fire which would reach his ankles and his brain would be boiling." [Muslim]
Salman al-Farisi رضي الله عنه reported: I asked the Prophet ﷺ about the people of religion who had been with me, mentioning their prayers and acts of worship. Then, Allah revealed the verse:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Verily, those who have faith, those who are Jewish, Christian, or Sabians, whoever had faith in Allah and the Last Day and worked righteousness will have their reward with their Lord and they will not fear nor grieve. [Surah al-Baqarah, 62]
For whatever good deeds that they have done, Allah will recompense them for it for Allah is the Most Just and Most Wise. He will never oppress, not wrong, nor be in debt to His Servants. Many non-Muslims who've done good deeds are still remembered in the world today. Them being remembered and not made to be forgotten itself is one of the ways they are being recompensed for their good deeds. Also, the Prophet ﷺ’s unbelieving uncle Abu Talib had his punishment in the Hereafter reduced thanks to good deeds he had performed in life.
Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib said, "O Messenger of Allah! Did you benefit Abu Talib with anything as he used to protect and take care of you, and used to become angry for you?" The Prophet (saws) said, "Yes, he is in a shallow place of Fire. But for me, he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire." [Bukhari]
Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “When a disbeliever does a good deed, he is rewarded for it in this world. For believers, Allah saves their good deeds to reward them in the Hereafter and provides them sustenance in this life as a reward for obedience.”
Another narration reads: “Allah does not deal unjustly with a believer regarding a single good deed. He is given blessings for it in this world and will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. The disbeliever is given sustenance as a reward for good deeds in this world, so when he comes to the Hereafter, there are no more good deeds for him for which he can be rewarded.” [Muslim]
Imam al-Nawawi states, "The scholars have a consensus that there is no reward in the Afterlife for a non-Muslim who dies in a state of unbelief."
Even hell and the punishments meted out will be in levels. Imam al-Ghazali رحمه الله describing Hell said, “The levels of people vary in the degrees of pain and pleasure in innumerable ways.” There are, in effect, as many different levels of Heaven and Hell as there are people, since each person will be judged with absolute and exact justice. [Ihya Ulum al-Din]
Not just the uncle, there are direct reports about the father of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ himself. Anas رضي الله عنه reported: Verily, a person said: Messenger of Allah, where is my father? He said: (He) is in the Fire. When he turned away, he (the Holy Prophet) called him and said: Verily my father and your father are in the Fire. [Muslim]
وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَىٰٓ أَحَدٍۢ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَدًۭا وَلَا تَقُمْ عَلَىٰ قَبْرِهِۦٓ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَمَاتُوا۟ وَهُمْ فَسِقُونَ
And do not pray [the funeral prayer, O Muhammad], over any of them who has died - ever - or stand at his grave. Indeed, they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and died while they were defiantly disobedient. [Surah at-Tawbah, 84] and
Imam Bukhari رحمه الله narrated that the Prophet ﷺ called his uncle Abu Talib to Islam when he was dying, and the Prophet ﷺ said: “I will pray for forgiveness for you so long as I am not forbidden to do so.” Then the following ayat were revealed :
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوٓا۟ أُو۟لِى قُرْبَىٰ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَبُ ٱلْجَحِيمِ
It is not for the Prophet (ﷺ) and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire [Surah al-Tawbah, 113]
The argument of doing good can be seen from another angle as well. A person fails Mathematic and Science in the final exams at school but passes the other subjects. Is such a person promoted to the next class? No, they are considered to have failed the class overall as well.
This might be tough for some to accept but this is is the simple truth.
(Non Muslim + Good) x 0 = 0
(Muslim + Good) x 1 = 10
وَقَدِمْنَآ إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُوا۟ مِنْ عَمَلٍۢ فَجَعَلْنَهُ هَبَآءًۭ مَّنثُورًا
“And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust” [Surah al-Furqan, 23]
The Prophet ﷺ explained, "‘Indeed, Allah does not accept a deed, unless it is done sincerely seeking only His face." [Nasai]
Who Is Jannah For?
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ
Verily, the religion with Allah is Islam. [Surah Aal Imran, 19]
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "By the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, there is no one who hears of me from this nation of Jews and Christians and then dies without believing in my message but that he will be a companion of the Hellfire. [Muslim]
Embracing Islam is the only path to salvation and the only attainment of truth. Jannah is meant only and only for Muslims and there is no difference of opinion on this from the time of the Prophet ﷺ till date. There is no inclusivity. Our Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله said, "Allah did not create Kuffar. He Created people and gave them the choice to do what they want. If anyone goes to Hell, then this is because of their absolute choice based on their deeds. Allah doesn't want anyone to go to Hell.
This is why Allah did not leave us solely to our Aql. He sent to us hundreds of thousands of Messengers and even more Prophets calling us to Allah and reminding us to do what needs to be done. Not everyone can decide what needs to be done. That's why Allah sends his Messengers to guide us. What is written in the Preserved Tablet it that what we are going to choose.
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "Everyone of my Ummah will enter Jannah except those who refuse". He was asked: "Who will refuse?" He (ﷺ) said, "Whoever obeys me, shall enter Jannah, and whosoever disobeys me, refuses to (enter Jannah)". [Bukhari]
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ ٱلْإِسْلَمِ دِينًۭا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ مِنَ ٱلْخَسِرِينَ
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. [Surah Aal Imran, 85]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ ordered Bilal رضي الله عنه to proclaim and announce to the people, "No one will enter Paradise but a Muslim soul". [Bukhari and Muslim]
The Prophet ﷺ sent Ali رضي الله عنه to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj in the 9th year to announce four rulings, one of which was, "No one will enter Paradise but a Muslim soul". [Tirmidhi]
Then he ﷺ himself proclaimed in Mina while performing Hajj in the 10th year, "No one will enter Paradise but a Muslim soul". [Ibn Majah]
In the end, a parting advice. Our Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله said, "We do not push or force anyone to accept Islam but the best opinion and Allah knows best, the non Muslims and Allah between them, are supposed to be following Islam A-Z. They will be questioned and held accountable for not completing those required actions.
It is better for a person to have accepted Islam, submit to Allah, follow the Messenger of Allah and then miss Salah, and have deficiencies instead of a person not believing but is praying, doing Hajj and even praying Zakat. All of this is waste for they are missing the Shahadah. The Prophet never proposed such a method of trying the message of Islam before accepting it. What if such a person dies while trying out Islam? Where does he go to? Hell. Establish the roots first." [Commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen]
How To Invite People To Islam?
Our Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله said,
"It's not the message that needs to change. Islam is here to stay for all the times. What can be changed is our way of presentation. A teacher adapts different methods to teach the students so that they understand. The reason the Jews and the Christians went astray was because they focused too much on what the scholars said and neglected what Allah said so much so that they didn't even know what Allah told them in the first place."
"Advice others with knowledge, but have the wisdom of knowing how to advice and mix it with leniency. Do not show arrogance when advising others for otherwise they will throw it back at you. The Prophet ﷺ through his life and Sunnah taught us that leniency has not been placed in anything except that it makes it beautiful and harshness is not placed in anything except that it makes it ugly.
What matters is not just conveying the message but actually making the people understand what it means. For all you know they might have heard that message which you are bringing to them even before you heard about it. We need to learn HOW to convince the person being advised about the truth. Remember, whatever truth that you may have with you, there's always a better way to convey the message.
See the way Allah has conveyed His message in the Quran. It is filled with leniency. It is as though Allah is teaching us how to deal with those who err and do wrong. See how Allah responds and the choice of words Allah uses for those who attribute a son to Allah:
أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Surah al-Ma'idah, Ayah 74]
Allah doesn't need to show any leniency, for these people have done the worst thing possible by attributing a son to Allah. This is a sign of destruction about to descend. Yet we see the way Allah addresses them throughout His Book.
Sometimes even though you may have the truth and be right, your harshness might push you to cross the boundaries and become one of the wrong-doers yourself." [Commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen]