Can a Spouse Look at Each Other’s Face After Death?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


If one of the spouses dies, and one is looking at or touching their dead bodies or looking at a photo of when they were alive, is it impermissible? What is their marriage status, and will they reunite as husband and wife in Jannah?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

A husband can look at his wife’s face and photo but not touch her body. The status and bond of the marriage have now ended. However, they will unite as husband and wife in Jannah if they don’t remarry.

Wife Permitted to See, Touch, and Bathe Husband

When a man passes away, his wife, in some respects, is considered to be still in his marriage until the completion of her waiting period (idda), which, in the event of death, is four months and ten days. Thus, she will be permitted to see her husband’s face, touch his body, and bathe him.

Husband Not Permitted to Touch and Bathe Wife in the Hanafi School

However, if the wife passes away, the marriage bond is considered terminated as soon as her soul leaves her body. As such, the husband will not be permitted to bathe his ex-wife.

A woman may bathe her husband, contrary to the man, for he will not bathe his wife as the marriage bond has ended. Ali (Allah be pleased with him) did not actively bathe Sayyida Fatima (Allah be pleased with her); instead, she was bathed by a female Companion, Umm Ayman, and was aided by Sayyiduna Ali in making the various arrangements.

[Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Tahtawi ’ala Maraqi ‘l-Falah; Ibn ’Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Other Schools of Fiqh

The three schools of fiqh permit the husband to bathe the wife, while the Hanafi School disagrees with the above explanation. However, it should be remembered that this is a matter of ijtihad that has been discussed, researched, and studied by the various Mujtahids of this Umma. We must respect the views of all of them and follow the opinion of one school.

A Woman Who Remarries After Husband Passing Away

one of the three positions the scholars have taken with regards to a lady whose husband passed on before her and she subsequently remarried says

  1. she can select which husband she wishes to be with Jannah. The other two positions say:
  2.  that she will be with a husband that had the most beautiful character and
  3.  she will be with her last husband – the third position being superior.

[Tabarani, Al-Mujam al-Kabir]

These are views supported by hadiths. The best thing to do is to leave the decision to Allah Most High. This is an issue of the unseen, which we are not obliged to delve into. Remember, a person in Jannah will not have any regrets or worries and will be in eternal happiness and bliss.

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction in sha Allah.


Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersAcademy (

I pray this helps answer your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.