Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
How do I seek forgiveness of non-Muslims whom I harmed before embracing Islam?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
If these sins occurred before you embraced Islam and did not occur thereafter, your embracing of Islam is forgiveness and expiation for all of your sins, major and minor.
‘Amr bin al-‘As (Allah be pleased with him) narrates saying, “I came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, ‘Stretch out your hand, so I can pledge my allegiance to you (i.e., embrace Islam at your hand).’ He stretched out his hand, and I pulled mine back. He said, ‘What’s wrong, O ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I wanted to add a condition.’ He said, ‘What condition would you add?’ I said, ‘That my sins be forgiven.’ He said, ‘Did you not know that Islam obliterates what precedes it (of sins), and migration (hijra) obliterates what precedes it, and the Hajj obliterates what precedes it.’” [Muslim]
Seeking Forgiveness for a Non-Muslim
The only prohibition for praying for a non-muslim relates to deceased non-muslims. As for living non-Muslims, one can pray for their guidance, their well-being, and even their forgiveness by means of their embracing of Islam.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.
He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.
In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.