Short Answer: Likely no, based on authentic ahadith which do say that Prophet Muhammad himself was sure of the abode of his parents in Hell. However, it’s important to understand that only Allah judges the soul of a person and since they died before he received revelation, they could not have known what he would bring from God. Let’s trust in the mercy of Allah regarding them, and all people.
Salaam alaikum Brother Dhul-Quarnayn, and thank you for your question.
Hadiths Regarding the Fate of the Parents of the Prophet
There are two specific hadiths that mention the fate of the parents of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
Anas narrated that a man asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where is my father?’ The Prophet said, ‘In Hell.’ When he turned away the Prophet called him back and said,
‘My father and your father are in Hell.’” (Sahih Muslim 203, Book 1, #408)
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
I sought permission to beg forgiveness for my mother, but Allah did not grant it to me. I sought permission from Allah to visit her grave, and Allah granted it to me. (Sahih Muslim 976a, Book 11, #134)
This is interpreted as the mother of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) being in Hell, because of what is said in the Qur’an:
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 (Quran 9:113)
If the Prophet’s mother was a believer and in Paradise, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have been granted permission to pray for forgiveness for her.
Everyone is Responsible for Their Own Actions
It is very important for everyone to remember that each person is ultimately responsible for their own actions.
Allah says in the Qur’an,
No soul burdened with sin will bear the burden of another. And if a sin-burdened soul cries for help with its burden, none of it will be carried—even by a close relative. You can only warn those who stand in awe of their Lord without seeing Allah and establish prayer. Whoever purifies themselves, they only do so for their own good. And to Allah is the final return. (Qur’an 35:18)
On the Day of Judgment, we must take full ownership of all of our deeds, both our good deeds and our sins.
We cannot have anyone else take responsibility or blame for our sins, and no one can claim our good deeds as their own.
This applies to everyone, even our family members; no matter how much we may want to help out our loved ones regarding their fate, we cannot.
Allah is the Ultimate Judge and will judge us solely on what we ourselves did.
Families of Prophets are Not Exempt from Judgment
Even the family of the Prophets are not exempt from this.
Simply being related to or close to a Prophet does not mean that a person is by default a believer, a good person, or destined for Paradise.
If a relative of a Prophet doesn’t believe in Allah or does evil deeds, they will be punished in the Hereafter, and their familial connection to the prophet will not be of any help to them.
Allah specifically mentions that this is the case for the wives of Prophet Noah and Prophet Lot:
Allah sets forth an example for the disbelievers: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. Each was married to one of Our righteous servants, yet betrayed them. So their husbands were of no benefit to them against Allah whatsoever. Both were told, “Enter the Fire, along with the others!” (Qur’an 66:10)
Abu Lahab, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), was also condemned to Hell in the Qur’an because of his disbelief. (Qur’an 111:1-5)
This illustrates the extent of Allah’s Justice; it would be very unfair to grant people Paradise just because they are related to a Prophet, regardless of their actions in life.
Because Allah is the Most Just, Allah therefore only judges people based on their own deeds.
Having Faith in Allah’s Mercy
But, all of this does not mean that we can be totally sure that the Prophet’s parents are doomed.
Allah promises, “We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.” (Qur’an 17:15)
This means that if a person is not aware of the message of Islam, they will not be penalized because they had no chance to accept or reject it.
Although most people in pre-Islamic Arabia were pagan, there were people there that believed in Allah (Jews, Christians, and general monotheists).
It is possible that the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were believers in Allah.
Since they died before the advent of Islam, they weren’t able to accept or reject Islam, so Allah would therefore not punish them.
Ultimately, Allah is the Final Judge, and Allah will decide who will be in Paradise or Hell.
We can only believe, do good deeds, and have faith in the Mercy, Kindness, and Generosity of Allah.
May Allah grant us all the best in this life and the Hereafter, Ameen!
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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