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  • Writer's pictureAkasha Usmani

"It is important for Muslims regardless of gender, to pray for their deceased loved ones"

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

The topic of women visiting graveyards in Islam is a complex and sensitive issue which requires a nuanced understanding of Islamic teachings. While some may argue that women are not allowed in graveyards in Islam, the reality is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.

When I lost my father, a question that came constantly in my mind was “Why will God allow this?” To not able to visit their father’s grave is emotionally and mentally challenging, particularly if societal norms restrict women's access to graveyards.

I remember asking my sister about it, about fighting and going to court and she said “What will happen? Nothing. It is a social fight, we have to fight this socially..”

I happen not to accept the fact that some random guy in the graveyard is not allowing me to meet and visit my own father. It has happened so many times that a random uncle would come up to me and say “Apko pata nahi hai aap allowed nahi hai yahan” (You don’t know that you’re not allowed here, “Aap bahar jaake yaad karein” (Go outside and pray for him). The real question I would want to ask is - Why are you allowed? Is it because you are a man that God has given you some special power to be close to your loved ones in the grave and only women are not allowed?

The reality remains that only a few things are not allowed in graveyards. One of them is wailing. Islam restricts wailing. It is prohibited for both men and women to wail. Wailing is prohibited because it causes harm to the dead.

Aisha (ra) said that, “He (the Prophet ﷺ) used to prohibit us, then he commanded us to visit them”. This applied to both men and women, as long as the women abstained from being known as those who would frequent the graveyard, wail excessively in the graveyard or did not observe modesty at the graveyard.

This hadeeth is reported by Bukhāree no. 1283 as narrated by Anas Bin Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) The Prophet (ﷺ) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He told her to fear Allah and be patient. She said to him, "Go away, for you have not been afflicted with a calamity like mine." And she did not recognize him. Then she was informed that he was the Prophet (ﷺ) . So she went to the house of the Prophet (ﷺ) and there she did not find any guard. Then she said to him, "I did not recognize you." He said, "Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity."

So here the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not forbid her from visiting the grave. The scholars also prove that it is allowed for women to visit the graves because ‛Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) visited the grave of her brother.

Another thing which is not allowed during visitation is having and doing superstitious things on the grave. Visitation is allowed when one visits in accordance with the Sunnah.

In Islam, visiting the graves of deceased loved ones is considered an important act of remembrance, reflection, and prayer. Muslims are encouraged to visit graves to reflect on the transience of life, to remember the deceased, and to pray for them. It is important for Muslims regardless of gender, to remember and pray for their deceased loved ones.

I fail to accept the fact that Allah pak, who loves us immensely will not allow us to visit their own family members. I want to be in a world where I can calmly visit my father, pray for him and feel at peace.


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