Janaiz (Islamic Funeral) Related Questions

12th November 2013

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Q: 1: Can you please provide the guidelines for viewing the face of a male deceased (pensioner 80+ yrs old). Do the laws of Mahram/Non-Mahram still appl?  Because the male is 80+yrs, is there any leniency for female (non-mahram) to view the face.  (and vice versa)

2: Also the male pensioner who is deceased, what are the guidelines for his former wife (who is of similar age) to view the face and vice versa.

3: Can you please provide guidelines on the size of a headstone?  Whether a boundary or border around the grave is permitted and its height.


الجواب حامداًَ و مصلياًَ

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


1: In reference to your query, generally the laws of Mahram and Non-Mahram relationship still apply even after death. According to the traditional Hanafi School it is permissible for a woman to view body parts of a Non-Mahram male between the navel and below the knees e.g. the legs, face, chest etc, with the condition that by viewing such parts does not stimulate lust or desires otherwise not permissible. Viewing the area between the navel and the knees of any man, Mahram or Non-Mahram is not permissible at all.[1]

Although women viewing the face of an 80 year old deceased Non-Mahram male does not generally stimulate lust or desire and nor a sin in itself, it is still preferable from a Taqwa point of view to refrain from looking at him. Moreover, making it a habitual practice for everyone to see the face causes unnecessary delay in the burial which is Makrooh (disliked).

With regards to the vice versa situation i.e. a male to view the face of a Non-Mahram woman old or young then still Makrooh regardless, but when lust is stimulated then not permissible.[2]

2: The case where the husband dies whilst his wife is still living or vice versa i.e. the wife dies whilst the husband is living, in both cases it is permissible to view each other’s faces as a necessity.

3: The headstone should be a simple one,[3] devoid of any decoration and inscription of Quranic verses, Hadeeth etc. Simply, the decease’s full name, date of birth and date of death would suffice for identification purpose.


[Allãh Knows Best]

Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department

[1] Fatāwa Hindiyyah, Book of Karahiyyat p.404 vol 5

نَظَرُ الْمَرْأَةِ إلَى الرَّجُلِ الْأَجْنَبِيِّ كَنَظَرِ الرَّجُلِ إلَى الرَّجُلِ تَنْظُرُ إلَى جَمِيعِ جَسَدِهِ إلَّا مَا بَيْنَ سُرَّتِهِ حَتَّى يُجَاوِزَ رُكْبَتَهُ، وَمَا ذَكَرْنَا مِنْ الْجَوَابِ فِيمَا إذَا كَانَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ تَعْلَمُ قَطْعًا وَيَقِينًا إنَّهَا لَوْ نَظَرَتْ إلَى بَعْضِ مَا ذَكَرْنَا مِنْ الرَّجُلِ لَا يَقَعُ فِي قَلْبِهَا شَهْوَةٌ، وَأَمَّا إذَا عَلِمَتْ أَنَّهُ تَقَعُ فِي قَلْبِهَا شَهْوَةٌ أَوْ شَكَّتْ وَمَعْنَى الشَّكِّ اسْتِوَاءُ الظَّنَّيْنِ فَأَحَبُّ إلَيَّ أَنْ تَغُضَّ بَصَرَهَا مِنْهُ،

[2] Fatāwa Hindiyyah, Book of Karahiyyat p,406, vol 5

وَأَمَّا النَّظَرُ إلَى الْأَجْنَبِيَّاتِ فَنَقُولُ: يَجُوزُ النَّظَرُ إلَى مَوَاضِعِ الزِّينَةِ الظَّاهِرَةِ مِنْهُنَّ وَذَلِكَ الْوَجْهُ وَالْكَفُّ فِي ظَاهِرِ الرِّوَايَةِ، كَذَا فِي الذَّخِيرَةِ. وَإِنْ غَلَبَ عَلَى ظَنِّهِ أَنَّهُ يَشْتَهِي فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ، كَذَا فِي الْيَنَابِيعِ. النَّظَرُ إلَى وَجْهِ الْأَجْنَبِيَّةِ إذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ عَنْ شَهْوَةٍ لَيْسَ بِحَرَامٍ لَكِنَّهُ مَكْرُوهٌ، كَذَا فِي السِّرَاجِيَّةِ

[3] See Kitabul Fatawa, Shaykh Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, p. 231, vol 3