Women visiting the graves is one of those issues where you have differences of opinion amongst the Madahib and all of them have their evidence because there are seemingly conflicting pieces of evidence. One of them is that the Prophetﷺ cursed the women that do Niyaha i.e those women that would follow the funeral procession and they would mourn loudly and they would slap their faces and, and slap dirt on themselves as a means of expressing their grief and their wailing. And it was something that was done as part of the ceremony when a person would pass away.
But then you have, someone like the Aisha رضی اللہ عنھا used to go and visit the graveyard. She prayed the Janazah of her brother, Abdurrahman. She went to visit him. And her explanation of that when she was confronted with this Hadith, by some of the companions or some of the Tab’een, she said that the Prophetﷺ used to forbid, everyone from, from visiting the graves, except for the burial.
When the Prophetﷺ said;
“I used to forbid you from visiting the graveyard.”
That was for actually the bulk of Islam because the Prophetﷺ did not want the people to engage in certain practices at the gravesite. So they would pray the Janazah and then they would, they would vary the person and move on. And there was no visiting the grave as a ritual for people in general, but the Prophetﷺ then opened it up.
“I [once] had forbidden you from visiting graves, [and I now enjoin] you to do so, so that the visit may serve as a beneficial reminder.”
The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) as saying: I forbade you to visit graves, but you may now visit them, for in visiting them there is a reminder (of death).
[Sunan Abi Dāwūd Book 21, Ḥadīth 147]
Prophetﷺ said that;
It reminds you of death so that you should visit because it reminds you of death and it softens the heart and prioritizes the hereafter for you.
So Aisha رضی اللہ عنھا has said that the prohibition that Prophetﷺ gave before was for everybody. And when the Prophetﷺ gave permission, it also was for everybody.
MINORITY OF THE SCHOLARS FORBADE WOMEN FROM VISITING THE GRAVES. HOWEVER, THE MAJORITY OF THE SCHOLARS INCLUDING ‘Ā’ISHAH (رضی اللہ عنھا) PERMITTED THE WOMEN TO VISIT THE GRAVES
It was narrated from ‘Ā’ishah رضی اللہ عنھا that the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) gave permission for visiting the graves.
[Sunan Ibn Mājah Vol. 1, Book 6, Ḥadīth 1570]
Now, how do we balance out these things? Well, Niyaha, which is wailing and mourning was forbidden for both men and women. And for women, when they go to the graveyard, You know, obviously, they should not engage in Niyaha, they should not do those things that Prophetﷺ forbade, just like the men should not do those things.
It seems from the evidence, as long as a person, avoids, those things or avoids the things that are prohibited that accompany some of those things that the Prophetﷺ mentioned then, Insha’Allah it is permissible. And it could even be rewardable. And a person should follow that example, not just of the Hukum, not just of the ruling, but of the way that these people carry themselves when they would go to the gravesites.
The last piece of evidence is one of the Prophetﷺ saw a woman that was a morning at the grave and the Prophetﷺ told her to be patient. And she responded in a very rough manner to the Prophetﷺ
“What do you know about my situation?”
And the Prophetﷺ moved on from her and someone informed her that she had said that to the Prophetﷺ and she didn’t realize that she was speaking to the messenger of Allahﷺ
The Prophetﷺ mentioned
“Patience is that the first strike.”
The point is that at no point did the Prophetﷺ reprimand her for actually being there.
Prophetﷺ saw her in a state of Niyaha in a state of wailing, which is impermissible but crying is permissible. It’s what the Sahaba would do.
But again, that idea of mourning and wailing was what was made prohibited in the situation for both men and women alone.
ETIQUETTES OF VISITING THE GRAVES
The conditions that are required for women before visiting the graveyard are;
- Du‘ā’ for entering Muslim graveyard:
- It is to be done quietly and respectfully
- Do not walk over the graves, do not sit over the grave
- It is not allowed to place wreaths, flowers, and garlands
- It is not allowed to place incense, call the adhān or the iqāmah. None of
these actions are from the sunnah
- Some of the companions would take off their shoes when entering the
- Specific for visiting the grave of the Prophet (ﷺ): » Since we know the actual graves of the Prophet and his 2 companions buried beside him, begin by first visiting the Prophet’s grave
» Say Assalāmu ‘Alayka Ya Rasūl’l-Allāh Wa Raḥmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
» The same is done for Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, in that order