Ask forgiveness for them O Muhammad (s) or do not ask forgiveness for them this leaves the choice of asking forgiveness or refraining up to him; the Prophet s said ‘I have been given the choice and I made it’ meaning the choice to ask forgiveness as reported by al-Bukhārī. If you ask forgiveness for them seventy times God will not forgive them it is said that the ‘seventy’ is intended to express by hyperbole a great frequency of asking forgiveness. In the Sahīh of al-Bukhārī there is a hadīth which states ‘If I was sure that were I to ask more than seventy times God would forgive them I would have done so’. It is also said however that the very number seventy is actually meant on account of this other hadīth of his ‘I shall ask more than seventy times’ whereupon it was made clear to him the Prophet that the matter regarding forgiveness had been concluded by the verse Q. 636 Alike it will be regarding them whether you ask forgiveness for them or you do not ask forgiveness for them God will not forgive them; that is because they disbelieved in God and His Messenger; and God does not guide the wicked folk.