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Cursing and Speaking Ill of the Dead

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza


Where does it say in the Quran or Hadith that it is haram to speak ill of the dead or to curse at them?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


It is not permitted to backbite or speak ill of anyone, nor to curse them, whether they are living or dead. There are many pieces of evidence from the Quran and Sunnah which inform us of this.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ

“And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it.” [1]

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بِالطَّعَّانِ وَلَا اللَّعَّانِ وَلَا الْفَاحِشِ وَلَا الْبَذِيءِ

“The believer does not insult others, does not curse others, is not vulgar, and is not shameless.” [2]

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

لاَ تَسُبُّوا الأَمْوَاتَ فَتُؤْذُوا الأَحْيَاءَ

“Do not abuse the dead and thus hurt the living.” [3]

The Prophet (PBUH) encouraged covering up the bad deeds of the dead and speaking about the good things, as can be seen from the following hadith.

اذْكُرُوا مَحَاسِنَ مَوْتَاكُمْ وَكُفُّوا عَنْ مَسَاوِيهِمْ

“Mention good things about your dead, and refrain from mentioning their evil.” [4]

The only exception to cursing someone is the one who has died as a kafir, and there is proof of this. [5]

Only Allah (swt) knows best

Answered by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 Surah Al-Hujaraat, Verse 12

2 Jaami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 1977

3 Jaami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 1982

4 Jaami’ at-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 1019

5 Ibn Abideen, Raddul Muhtaar, Volume 3, Page 416

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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