A husband washing his deceased wife...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

A husband washing his deceased wife


Is it permissible for me as a husband to wash my wife after her death?


The principle is that only men are to wash deceased men and only women are to wash deceased women. This is because it is easier for a person to look at another of the same gender. However, it is permissible for a husband to wash his deceased wife according to the opinion of the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis who based their opinion on the words of the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] to ‘Aisha [may Allah be pleased with her], “What harm would it be to you (i.e. it would be better for you) if you die before me? I will then wash and enshroud you, and pray over you and bury you.”[1]  
However, it is disliked for a husband to wash his deceased wife when there are women who could undertake this duty. The reason for this is to avoid juristic controversy, since the Hanafis deem it prohibited. Ibn Abideen said in his commentary on Al-Durr Al-Mukhtar: “[(His opinion that it is impermissible for a husband to wash his deceased wife…) points to what is written in Al-Bahr that one of the conditions for the person who washes a deceased, is the permissibility of looking at him or her. A man cannot therefore wash a [deceased] woman and vice-versa].
And God the Almighty knows best.









































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































[1] Included by Ibn Majah in his sunan as an authentic narration


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