teacher and student


Janaza (2)

In reply to the following query following the post in which a brother mentioned he had forbidden his wife from attending a funeral prayer / procession:

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 attend the salatul janaza. The recommendation was for women to not follow the bier (which the writer indciates is diapproved, but not prohibited) and, of course, to avoid wailing, loud crying, etc. which is haram. Please provide 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 two.

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.

Hajj Gibril

GF Haddad ©


Janaza (1)


... Is is not fard khifayah for a Muslim to pray for a dead Muslim? Why did you prevent your wife from attending the janazah? Will she not attend yours? According to the Bukhari hadith Umm Attiyah (Radiya 'Llahu 'anha) reported: "Allah's Messenger prohibited us (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.

GF Haddad ©




latest update: Thu, 12 Feb 2009
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