Making du'a to Allah for mercy upon our loved ones
I am the only Muslim in my family, and I watched my mother when she was dying. I kept on telling her to saying the shahada., but she was not able to. I was told that I cannot make du'a' for them after they die, but I wonder why?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
My understanding of the verse in the Qur'an that instructs the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, not to pray [funeral prayers] on those who died in disbelief is explained in the same verse; that they knowingly and deliberately rejected the truth. Some scholars generalize that which I do not share. In fact the Qur'an indicates that no one will be punished until he/she received the true message of Islam and deliberately rejected it. In Hadeeth, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said that we are not commanded to split open peoples' hearts, [i.e] to find out if they are sincere, confused...
As Islam is mercy to all creation and since Allah forgives whoever He decides based on His knowledge of peoples' intentions, I see no problem of asking Allah for mercy upon our loved ones.
This by no means implies that belief and rejection of belief have the same consequences. It does imply, however, that we ask for mercy and let Allah decide what He deems in line with His justice, mercy and wisdom.
Allah Almighty knows best.