What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is it permissible for a woman to see the face of her husband after he has passed away, and likewise can a man see the face of his wife after she has passed away and can he lower her into her grave?

Questioner: Sarfraz from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If a woman’s husband has passed away, then she is in his ‘Iddah [waiting period] of death, hence from one perspective she is still in the Nikāh [marriage] of her husband so she may bathe her husband and touch him, therefore she is definitely allowed to see and look at his face. However, a husband – upon the passing of his wife – cannot touch her, but he can carry her body on his shoulders at the time of the funeral as well as lower her into the grave, and he can also look at her face but he is only not allowed to touch her.

Just as Sayyidī A’lāhadrat Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān – upon whom be countless mercies – states, ‘Only strangers [non-familiar i.e. non-Mahrams] touching the body, lifting on their shoulders, taking it to the grave; what has the husband done wrong. This matters is merely wrongly well-known & unjustly infamous amongst the ignorant. Yes, it is impermissible for a man to touch his deceased wife; it is permitted for him to look.

“کمانص علیہ فی التنویر والدروغیرھما”

‘Just as it is clearly explicitly stated in Tanwīr al-Absār, Durr Mukhtār, etc.’

A stranger [non-Mahram] is not even permitted to look; a Mahram is permitted to touch other than the stomach, back, and from the navel up to [and including] the knees.’

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol. 9, p. 138]

Furthermore, it is stated in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah that as long as a [widowed] wife remains in the ‘Iddah [waiting period] of her deceased husband, touching his body – even giving Ghusl – remains permissible.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0854] Can I perform the ghusl on my deceased spouse?

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