Ruling on Women Visiting Graveyards

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Question: What is the ruling on women attending graveyards and funeral prayer in the Hanafi School?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

In the Hanafi School, it is permissible for old women to visit graves provided no act which is contrary to the Shariah, is practiced. If there is a fear of loud crying, wailing or the intermingling with men, then it will be impermissible.

As far as the young women are concerned, if the above mentioned conditions are met with, then it is permissible, although disliked.

It is stated in one of the foremost references for Fatawa in the Hanafi School al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“The Scholars differed about women visiting graves. Imam al-Sarakhsi (Allah have mercy on him) said: The most correct opinion is that it is not wrong”. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, V.5, p. 350).

The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Radd al-Muhtar (Super commentary on al-Haskafi's Durr al-Mukhtar, and one considered a fundamental source in the Hanafi School):

“The soundest opinion in the School is that it is permissible for women to visit the graves. Al-Ramali said: “If they visit graves to renew their sorrows, or to cry and wail, as is the customary practice of many, then it is not permissible. This is how the Prophetic Hadith “Allah has cursed women who visit graves” is understood. However, if they visit for contemplation, compassion and seeking Baraka, then it is not wrong if they are elderly. It is disliked if they are young” (V.2, P.242).

From the foregoing we can conclude that there are two conditions for the permissibility of women visiting graves:

1) There should be no wailing and loud crying.

2) There is no fear of Fitna.

If the above two conditions are complied with, then it would be permissible for women to visit graves. However, if there is fear of wailing / loud crying or more importantly Fitna (intermingling with the opposite sex), then it would be impermissible.

Therefore, if by women attending the funeral prayer or burial, there is fear of Fitna, then this is not permissible.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester, UK

Article taken (with Thanks) from Darul Ifta


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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .