Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Is it permissible to view the deceased’s face after the washing and shrouding prior to the burial?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.
It is mubāḥ (islamicaly allowed) to view the deceased’s face prior to the burial. However there is no Islamic merit to this act. If viewing does take place, it should be brief and preferably only close family members, relatives and friends that fall under the Islamic protocol of upright gender interaction and maḥram rules. (See: Fatḥ Al-Bārī)
Unnecessary delaying the deceased’s burial is also against the Islamic injunctions.
In Canada, leaving the body out of the mortuary can also lead to unpleasant occurrences.
The Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) kissed the face of his deceased Companion, ʿOthmān Ibn Maʾdhūn (See: Sunan Abī Dāwūd)
Jābir (may God be pleased with him) viewed his deceased’s father’s face in the presence of the Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings be upon him). (See: Ṣaḥiḥ Bukhārī)
Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) viewed and kissed the Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) when he passed away. (See: Ṣaḥiḥ Bukhārī)
“Hurry up with the dead body [for its burial].” (Ṣaḥiḥ Bukhārī)
“When any one of you die, do not keep them with you rather hasten them to their grave.” (Mishkāt Al-Maṣābīḥ)
And Allāh Knows Best
This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.