However, I am quite shocked to see some of my Brothers and Sisters in Islam wrote 'RIP' on their FB's wall when they mentioned about Steve's death. After that I managed to realize that RIP means 'rest in peace'.
1st: Don't ever deny that Steve Jobs had done great job during his lifetime. It benefits many of us including muslim communities.
2nd: We must accept the fact that Allah does not allow us tp pray for non-Muslim who has passed away. When prophet Ibraheem wanted to pray for forgiveness for his musyrik father, Allah disallowed it. When Prophet Muhammad saw wanted to ask for forgiveness for his mother who was a non-Mulim, Allah also disapproved it.
3rd: We can show our sympathy to our non-Muslims friend if their parents die.. We can also help them, reply their salam/greeting, share food with them, visit them if they are sick. Sadly, we don;t do what is allowable, but we choose to do what is prohibited. To show respect to non-Muslim deceased does not mean we need to pray Allah to forgive them, rest in peace (RIP) and so on.
4th: Al-Umur bi Maqasidiha. However, when the meaning is clearly showing it's a prayer for the deceased, we don;t need to go and talking about intention and so on anymore. Don;t tell me that when you say 'May God Bless You', you don;t have any intention to pray for him, what you said just to show respect. Your intention is between you and God, nobody knows you intention except God and yourself. However, intention is only one part, the action itself is another part. There is no such thing our pure intention will justify whatever we do.
5th: I don't ask people to stop talking about his achievement, because what he did was very great. I just focus on one issue, RIP's issue.
I found a nice writings about this issue. A Saudi's scholar, Shaikh Abdul Aziz at-Tharifi had written his opinion:
يسخر الله إنسانا للدنيا وهو كافر فيُنتفع به أكثر من المسلم وهذا لا يرفعه عندالله لأن أمر التسخير كوني فالشمس والقمر جمادان أنفع للدنيا من الناس. منع الله إبراهيم أن يستغفر لأبيه، ومنع النبي أن يستغفر لأمه (استأذنت ربي أن أستغفر لأمي فلم يأذن لي) ولا مشرك أكرم على النفس من أم نبي وأبيه.
Translation (credit to Bro. Wan Norhaziki) "Allah may cause someone to offer service in this world while being a disbeliever. And people may benefit from him more than from a Muslim. However, this world not raise his position in Allah's sight because providing service is a natural function.
For instance, the sun and moon are inanimate objects that provide more benefit to the world than people." "Allah prohibited Ibrahim from asking for the forgiveness of his father, and He prohibited Prophet SAW from asking for the forgiveness of his mother (I sought permission from my Lord to ask for the forgiveness of my mother, but He did't grant me permission). And there is no mushrik dearer to the soul than the mother or father of a prophet."Bro Abu Eesa Ni'matullah had written very long writing related to this issue:
I see this saying of "Rest In Peace" for the death of a non-Muslim as one of the major fitnahs of our time: the "need" for Muslims to want to "fit in", or their weakness with respect to their own 'aqidah, or their ignorance of what Allah jalla wa 'ala teaches us in the Qur'an, or their ignorance of the Seerah of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
To say RIP or Rest in Peace was originally a Catholic du'a for their dead, and stems from the latin "May his soul and the souls of all the departed faithful by God's mercy rest in peace." and indicates a request to God to allow that soul peace in the afterlife. This original meaning doesn't change just because now every Tom, Dick and Patel uses the term for anyone who dies.
It's meaning is it's meaning because it is never used for anything outside of showing sorry over someone's death, and Muslims do the same for those souls who deserve such a du'a i.e. Believers. The issue is that Muslims are strictly prohibited for making such a du'a for someone who dies upon kufr (Steve Jobs was a Buddhist and we judge upon the apparent, not dream about the hidden or make extravagant irrational connections between him and his Muslim father).
This is a matter of consensus amongst the scholars, because Allah forbade His Prophet from doing the same as He forbade Sayyidina Ibrahim the same, and He said in the Qur'an, "And the intercession of the Intercessors will not benefit them" and He said, "Not even if you seek forgiveness for them seventy times" and He said, "Verily, those who disbelieve and die, and they are still disbelievers then the curse of Allah, the Angels and all of mankind is upon them" and He says, "Whoever takes partners alongside Allah then of a surety Allah has made Paradise impossible/impermissible for him and his abode shall be the Fire" and so many more evidences.
And any argument that "we don't intend any of that by saying RIP, we're just being polite/expressing our sadness" is just ridiculous and indeed shows that ignorance I mentioned above of what people will justify to themselves just to fit in. RIP will always mean that you wish peace for a non-Muslim when Allah jalla wa 'ala has decided otherwise. DECIDED that is (based upon their death) not something up in the air or not.
Of course, this is after their death. Whilst they are alive, we can desire and seek guidance for them and wish and request that their souls do indeed rest in peace by accepting the rights due to the One true God whilst they are still alive. And of course we can and should show sadness and regret for the loss of our loved ones or admired ones, whatever their religion. But don't lose YOURS over that loss. That's all. Wallahu a'lam. A reminder for myself and all others. AE