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Can a Wife Visit Her Dead Husband Before the Burial?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com


Is it permissible for a widow to go to the hospital to see her dead husband before they bury him or do the “iddah period start immediately so she have to stay home?


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

Regarding a woman leaving her house to attend her husband’s funeral, Bujayrimi mentioned that it is not permissible and said,

أي كخروجها لجنازة زوجها أو أبيها مثلا فلا يجوز

“Meaning, like her going out for her husband or father’s funeral (for example), it is not permissible.” (Tuhfat al-Habib v. 4, p. 52)

Imam Nawawi related from Imam Malik that it is disliked for a woman to follow a funeral procession besides when it is of her late son, father, or husband. (Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 5, p. 169) Furthermore, Sh. Ahmad al-Sawi al-Maliki mentioned,

يجوز لها الخروج لجنازة زوجها مع أنها بموته لزمها الإحداد وعدم الخروج إلا فيما سيأتي بيانه

“It is permissible for her to leave for her husband’s funeral taking into account that upon his passing the rituals of mourning and the obligation to stay confined to her house bind her, besides for what’s explanation is forthcoming.” (Hashiyat al-Sawi ala al-Sharh al-Saghir v. 1, p. 566)

The opinion in the Maliki School is given for a woman who is facing a great tragedy [musibah] through losing a loved one; thus, they allow a woman to leave in order that she attends her husband’s funeral proceedings. This permission is given to a woman, even if young, who would not cause trouble [fitnah]. (Ibid)

Thus, the Shafi’i School does not permit a woman in her waiting period after her husband’s passing to attend his funeral. And there is an opinion in the Maliki School, as expressed in Hashiyat al-Sawi, permitting it.

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.

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