In reply to the following query following the post in which a brother
mentioned he had forbidden his wife from attending a funeral prayer /
There was nothing in this text ("Funerals Regulations &
Exhortations" by Muhammad al-Jibaly, publ. Al-Kitaab
as-Sunnah Publishing Co.) that indicated that women were not to
the salatul janaza. The recommendation was for women to not follow the
(which the writer indciates is diapproved, but not prohibited) and, of
course, to avoid wailing, loud crying, etc. which is haram. Please
me with daleel that indicate that women should not attend a janaza.
It is correct, as shown by Umm Hussain's mail, that (1) abstention of
following the bier is recommended as the best course for women generally
speaking; (2) following the bier for women is "makruh tanzihi" ("permitted
with dislike," "disapproved") according to the majority of the Ulema on
the basis of the Companion Umm `Atiyya's words, "We [women] were
prohibited [by the Prophet ] from following the Janaza but it was
not stressed upon us [by him]" in al-Bukhari and elsewhere; and (3)
following the bier is "haram" (prohibited) for women in all Four Schools
if there is fear of fitna.
Now, Umm Hussain specifically asked for a "daleel that indicate that women
should not attend a janaza" meaning the prayer *apart* from the funeral
procession, but the texts we have simply do not distinguish between the
Apart from the fact that "attending the janaza" and actually following the
janaza procession to the cemetary are undifferentiated in the texts that
deal with women, we find the following daleel:
The Prophet went out for a Janaza and saw some women sitting. He
asked them: "What are you sitting for?" They replied: "The Janaza." He
said: "Are you helping carry the bier?" They said no. "Are you going to
help bring it down [into the grave]?" They said no. "Are you helping dig
the pit?" They said no. He said: "Then go back home in shame and
unrewarded." Narrated from `Ali by Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaqi with a sound
chain according to Ibn al-Jawzi as stated in Fayd al-Qadir.
The apparent meaning of the above hadith - and Allah knows best - is that
there is no reward for women in attending the Janaza, period - although,
in the Sahih narrations, the general reward of attending the Janaza prayer
is defined as "one mountain" (qirat) of good deeds, and the reward for
following it to the final phase of burial is "a second mountain"!
In addition, the following narration - although it is a weak report -
confirms the evidence given by the above narration illustrating the
condemnation for women to follow a janaza:
`Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As said: "We buried someone on day in the
company of Rasulullah and when we finished,
the Prophet left and we left after him. When we caught up with him
and as we were half-way back, we saw a woman coming ahead. When she drew
nearer we recognized Fatima. The Prophet said to her: 'What brought
you out of your house, Fatima?' She said: 'O Messenger of Allah, I paid a
visit of mercy to the family of this person who just died.' The Prophet
said: 'Perhaps you reached with them to the cemetary?' She said: 'I
seek refuge in Allah! Not after hearing you mention what you mentioned!'
He said: 'If you had reached with them to the cemetary, you would not have
seen Paradise until your father's grandfather saw it!'" Narrated by
al-Nasa'i in his Sunan - he indicated weakness in its chain -, Abu Dawud,
Ahmad, al-Hakim, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (7:450), all their chains
containing Rabi`a ibn Sayf al-Maghafiri who is weak.
And Allah knows best.
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... Is is not fard khifayah for a Muslim to pray for a
Muslim? Why did you prevent your wife from attending the janazah? Will
not attend yours? According to the Bukhari hadith Umm Attiyah (Radiya
'Llahu 'anha) reported: "Allah's Messenger
(women) from following the janazahs, but did not enforce that on us."
Brother Abdussalam is correct and the hadith of Umm `Atiyya you brought up
(1) is the ijtihad of a woman Sahaba not known for her fiqh and (2) is
abrogated by marfu` (Prophetic) sahih evidence. Among the latter, the
saying of the Prophet to, I believe, his daughter Fatima (RAA) that
if she had followed a certain Janaza, such-and-such would have happened to
her i.e. a negative result. On the strength of this and other evidence,
the Four Schools consider it impermissible for a woman to follow the
Janaza, but not to visit the grave afterwards, wAllahu a`lam.
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