Women are Allowed to Visit the Grave

1 Mar

Assalamu alykum women are allowed to visit the grave.

Al-Albânî is of the opinion that women may visit the graves, and that is preferred for them to do so, but that they should not do so excessively. Evidence that women are encouraged to visit the graveyard He supported his opinion that women are encouraged – just like men – to visit the graves with the following evidence:

1. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I had prohibited you from visiting the graves, but now I encourage you to visit them.” [Sahîh Muslim (977)] In another narration it reads: “I had prohibited you from visiting the graves, but now I encourage you to visit them, because they are a reminder of the Hereafter.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (3235) and Musnad Ahmad (23005)] In Sunan al-Nasâ’î, it reads: “Indeed, I had prohibited you from three things: from visiting the graves, but now I encourage you to visit them, and may your visiting them increase you in goodness…” [Sunan al-Nasâ’î (4429 and 5653)] This encouragement includes women, because when the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been prohibiting his followers from visiting the graves, the prohibition had been meant equally for men and for women. Therefore, when he lifted the prohibition, he did so for both men and women.

2. Women are equal with men with respect to the purpose for visiting the graves: which is to be reminded of the Hereafter and to soften the hearts.

3. The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted women to visit the graves. `Abd Allah b. Abî Mulaykah relates: `Aishah came one day from the graveyard, so I said: “O Mother of Believers, from where have you come?” She said: “From the grave of `Abd al-Rahmân b. Abî Bakr.” I said: “Did not the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbid visiting the graves?” She said: “Yes, then he commanded us to visit them.” [Mustadrak al- Hâkim (1/376), Sunan al-Bayhaqî (4/78) and Tamhîd Ibn `Abd al-Barr (3/233)] In another narration, it reads at the end: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) permitted visiting the graves.” [Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1570)] Al-Albânî comments: “Al-Hâkim does not talk about it and Imam al-Dhahabî says: ‘It is an authentic hadîth.’ Al-Busayrî says: ‘Its line of transmission is authentic and its men are trustworthy.’ The ruling on this hadîth is as they have stated.”

4. The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a woman crying at a grave so he told her: ‘Fear Allah and be patient.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1252)] He did not forbid her from staying at the grave. Evidence that women are not to make frequent visits to the graveyard The proof that they should not be frequent visitors comes in the following hadîth:

1. Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the women who are frequent visitors of the graves.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (1056) and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1576)] This hadîth is at least good (hasan), and it is supported by other narrations to the level of being authentic (sahîh).

2. Hassân b. Thâbit relates: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) cursed the women who are frequent visitors of the graves. [Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1574)] Al-Albânî declares this hadîth to be acceptable (maqbûl) and sufficient for strengthening the hadîth of Abû Hurayrah to the level where it is authetic (sahîh). There is a hadîth related by Ibn `Abbâs, which reads in certain narrations: “Allah’s Messenger cursed the women who visit graves.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (320), Sunan Abî Dâwûd (3236), Sunan al-Nasâ’î (2034), and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1575)] The word here is zâ’irât (women who visit) instead of zawwârât (women who are frequent visitors).

However, this hadîth is weak because one of its narrators, Abû Sâlih, is weak. Also, even some narrations of this hadîth mention “frequent visitors” instead of “women who visit”. On this basis, al-Albânî concludes: “It therefore becomes clear regarding this hadîth that the properly preserved wording is “frequent visitors”, since this is what is agreed upon in the hadîth of Abû Hurayrah and the hadîth of Hassân, as well as the narration of the majority of narrators of the hadîth of Ibn `Abbâs.” He then says: “The word zawwârât indicates that the curse is directed only at women who visit the graves excessively and no one else. Therfore, this hadîth cannot be used to contradict the previously mentioned hadîth that indicate it is encouraged for women to visit the graveyard, because this hadîth is specific and those hadîth are general. Each hadîth, therefore, must be applied to its own context.” He explains the reason why women should not visit the graves excessively: “This could lead them to fall into something that is contrary to Islamic teachings, like wailing, making a public display of themselves, taking the graves as places or relaxation and holiday, or wasting time in idle conversation.

This is just like the situation that we see today in some Muslim countries. This is what is meant by the hadîth.”

[ al-Albânî, Ahkâm al-Janâ’iz wa Bada`uhâ (229-237)]

EDIT: Kathiri give the opinion which says its not allowed, which has clearly been debunked by Shaykh Albani. The very least we can say is that there is difference of opinion.




For a good understanding of the Sunnah, it is important to reconcile sahih (authentic) hadiths that appear contradictory in that, at first glance, their textual meanings are at variance. It is necessary to combine some of them with others, and place each in its correct place, so that they harmonize and do not differ, so that they complement and do not contradict. We do not do so for weakly supported texts except as a voluntary service or act where there is no requirement or duty to do that.

For example, the hadith of Abu Hurayrah: “God’s Messenger condemned women visitors to the graves”. Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Majah narrated it, also al-Tirmidhi who called in hasan and sahih, and Ibn Hibban narrated it in his Sahih. Supporting that is what has come in other hadiths prohibiting women following funeral processions, from the import of which is derived the prohibition of women visiting the graves.

In opposition to these hadiths, there are others from which one understands the permissibility for women, as for men, of visiting graves. Among them is his (peace be upon him) saying: “I had forbidden you to visit graves, but [now I say] visit them.” [Hakim]”Visit the graves, for indeed they remind of death.” [Muslim] Women are included in the general permission to visit graves, and in the need of everyone to be reminded of death. Also among these hadiths is what Muslim narrated (and al-Nasai and Ibn Hanbal) from Aishah. She asked: “How shall I address them? (she meant ‘when I visit the graves’). He said: ‘Say: Peace be upon the people of the homes of the believers and the Muslims; and God have mercy on the early-comers among us and the late-comers. And indeed we, if God wills, are catching up with you.'” Another example is what the two Shaikhs (Bukhari and Muslim) have narrated from Anas, that “the Prophet passed by a woman weeping at a grave. So he said: ‘Fear God and be patient.’…” Now, he forbade her anxiety, but he did not forbid her visiting the grave. Another example is narrated by al-Hakim from Fatimah, the daughter of God’s Messenger, that she used to visit the grave of her uncle, Hamzah, every Friday, and she prayed and wept near it.

Moreover, these hadiths demonstrating the permissibility of women visiting graves are more sahih and more common than the hadiths demonstrating the prohibition of it. So combining and reconciling them is possible, in this way: one can interpret the ‘condemnation’ mentioned in the hadith as warning against wailing, and the like which may apply to both men and women. If reconciling two (or more) hadiths contradictory in outward sense is not possible, then one may resort to preference between them.

Compiled From: Approaching the Sunnah
– Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 113-116 –


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