The Official Site of Shaykh Abdul Raheem (hafizahullah)

Q677: Can a husband look at his wife's face after her death?

A.W.W
If a husband loses his wife in death, does she become non mehram to him?
Is the husband not able to see her face for the last time before she is buried? Is she classed outside of Nikah?
Walaykum sallam,
Jazakallah Khayran,

Walaikumussalam w w
Nikah is for this worldly life. Death brings that to a close and severs all connections of this worldly life between husband and wife. So a husband cannot give ghusl to the wife nor can he look at her in a married way.

However, just looking at her face is allowed. Hazrat Mawlana Abdul Hayy lukhnawi ra has mentioned this in his fataawa.

The face being part of satar itself, is a mukhtalaf feeh mas’ala. (a disputed one) wallahu a’alam

2 Responses

  1. UmmBilal

    But isnt there hadiths where it says it was the Prophet’s wives who gave him his final bath? And anothr hadith where Aiysha(ral) has severe headache and the Prophet consoles her and tels her not to worry, that if she were to die becoz of this headache, he himself would give her her final bath and kaffan her wit his own hands…

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    Answer:

    You have been misinformed.

    Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam was not given ghusl by ummahatul mu’mineen. Sayyiduna Ali, sayyiduna Abbas and his family members gave him ghusl.

    As for the Hadith of Aysha, in Arabic there is something called haqeeqat and majaaz. In these wordings majaaz is taken into account. Which means “I will oversee your ghusl and kafan dafan etc.

    This is the problem with translations. People take everything in their literal sense and then go astray. To understand the Quran and Hadith you have to learn the basics first.

  2. Mehboob

    Salaams, Sheikh. Your answer is confusing in view of the fact that Hz Ali (r.a.) gave ghusl to his wife Fatima. Also, if someone is living in countryside or small vilage (e.g. Wales or even overseas) and its difficult to transfer (not transport) deceased to another county, what is the husband/wife supposed to do? Can you please clarify asap. JazakAllah.

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    Walaikumussalam w w

    My answer is pretty clear. Forgive me if you felt confused.

    The mas’ala in itself is what I have mentioned. The scenario which you have put forward is that of necessity.

    There is a difference between the the normal circumstances and dire necessity. A person dying of hunger is allowed to eat carrion to save his life.

    First you should try to find some Muslim ladies who can give ghusl. Get in touch with any Muslim society close to you. Make arrangements for the ladies to come from there to wash the body. If you have tried everything but failed then the mas’la of washing the deceased could supersede the mas’ala of touching the body of the opposite gender.

    There could be some flexibility, although I will have to check first.

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