Women Visiting The Graveyard

Question

My mother insists on going to the graveyard to visit the graves of our relatives.

Kindly confirm whether it is allowed for women to visit the graveyard if they are observing full hijab and will not make a commotion?

Answer

There are two narrations of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam that have been quoted in regards to women visiting the
graveyard.

لعن الله زوّارات القبور (مشكوة)

Allah curses those women who visit the graves.

كنت نهيتكم عن زيارة القبور الا فزوروها فانها تذكر الموت (بدائع الصنائع)

I used to prohibit you from visiting the graves, Behold! Visit the graves for verily it reminds (us) of death.

Due to the above two narrations, there are two  different views in this  particular Mas’ala. Some scholars are of the opinion that the abrogation (which is mentioned in the second narration) is only for men, and the prohibition of visiting the graveyard for women still remains. This is the view of the mainstream Ulama; that the prohibition still remains for women; hence they shouldn’t visit the graveyards.

Other scholars have considered the abrogation to be for women as well, hence based on their view, women are permitted to visit the graveyard. However, if women do visit the graveyard then there are a number of other corrupt and evil practices that they could get involved in, such as non observance of proper Purdah, crying and shouting at the graves of their near and dear ones, striking and hitting their bosoms, prostrating at the graves of the pious, asking of the deceased for their needs, getting involved in acts of Shirk, etc. Such acts are rife at many graveyards in our very own country and many countries abroad. It is for this reason that the scholars have prohibited women from visiting the graveyards. A Mustahab practice cannot be carried out at the expense of engaging in impermissible acts.

The prohibition applicable to women is also applicable to those men that are similar to women in their behaviour at the graveyard.
[Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah Pg.327/328 Vol.13]

Now, if women do observe proper Purdah and refrain from making a commotion (which is generally farfetched when it comes to extremely close family members) then too there exists the fear of getting involved in Fitnah. The graveyard is generally frequented with men who come to recite and make Dua for their dear and near ones; municipal workers are always on site fulfilling their duties, etc. hence one will inevitably cross their path at some time or the other. Intermingling with them or just being polite and courteous with the opposite party (at some stage or the other) could easily become a means of Fitnah which was uncalled for.

Also, the Quraan Sharif categorically prohibits women from leaving their homes unless there is a genuine necessity for them to do so. There is no need to visit the graveyard as Esaale-Thawaab can be carried out from anywhere. However, this prohibition (of remaining indoors) hasn’t been mentioned for men. They are free to leave the home as they are breadwinners, they got to perform Salaah in congregation, go out in the path of Allah, etc. Hence men are free to visit the graveyard at any given point and time.

With regard to taking heed at the graveyard, we do agree that by visiting the graveyard one is reminded of death and the hereafter. However, our Mashaa’ikh used to contemplate death daily before sleeping and this meditation is referred to as Muraqabah-e-Mauth. The mere thought of death suffices one that intends taking heed. So, yes going to the graveyard is beneficial in the sense that it reminds one of death, but the same consequence can be acquired from the home by mediating of death daily. Unfortunately, we are living in an era where people visit the graveyard time and again but take no heed, rather many are engaged in worldly discussions in the graveyards either with others or on the mobile. So, there is really no guarantee that every person will take heed at the graveyard although this was one of the objectives of visiting the graveyard on a regular basis.

Lastly, the era of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was the best of era, and the mere presence of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam would suffice the Sahaaba Radiallahu Anhum and protect them from getting involved in Fitnah. We have no such guarantee and protection in our times hence we will exercise cautionat every step. In that era, women used to even attend the congregational prayer. But the after demise of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, Hadrat Aisha Radiallahu Anha stated that if Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was alive, then he too would have prohibited women from attending the congregational prayer. When this was the statement of Aisha Radiallahu Anha in her era (which was considered as the best of eras) then what can be said in this era as we draw closer to Qiyaamah.

In conclusion, we at the Darul Ifta strongly discourage the presence of women at our graveyards at any given time and point.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

فتاوى خليلية ج ١ ص ٣٣٥ طبع سهارنبور

Fataawa Mahmoodiyya pg.473 vol.27

 اسلام اور جدید معاشی مسائل ج ۳ ص ۳۱۰

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