fiqh of burial

Can a Woman in Her Waiting Period (‘Idda) Attend Her Husband’s Funeral?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


What can a woman in her waiting period (idda) do or what is she not allowed to do? Can she travel to attend her Husband’s funeral if it is out of town?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
During the Waiting Period (‘idda), the most common rule is that a lady should not leave her home unless there’s a necessity (darura) or, at times, need (haja). Similarly, relocating to a different home to spend one’s ‘idda or attending her husband’s funeral is by default not allowed. However, if circumstances require it, it would be permitted. The Maliki School permits the attendance of her husband’s funeral with conditions, and Allah knows best.
The Shafi‘i View
Regarding a woman leaving her house to attend her husband’s funeral, Bujayrami mentioned that it is not permissible and said, “Meaning, like her going out for her husband or father’s funeral (for example), it is not permissible.” [Tuhfat al-Habib v. 4, p. 52]
Imam Nawawi related from Imam Malik that it is disliked for a woman to follow a funeral procession except when it is of her late son, father, or husband. [Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 5, p. 169] Furthermore, Sh. Ahmad al-Sawi al-Maliki mentioned,
“It is permissible for her to leave for her husband’s funeral taking into account that upon his passing, the rituals of mourning and the obligation to stay confined to her house bind her, besides for what’s explanation is forthcoming.” [Hashiyat al-Sawi ala al-Sharh al-Saghir v. 1, p. 566]
The Maliki View
The opinion in the Maliki School is given for a woman facing a great tragedy [musiba] through losing a loved one; thus, they allow a woman to leave so that she can attend her husband’s funeral proceedings. This permission is given to a woman, even if young, who would not cause trouble [fitnah]. (Ibid)
Thus, the Shafi’i School does not permit a woman in her waiting period after her husband’s passing to attend his funeral. And there is an opinion in the Maliki School, as expressed in Hashiyat al-Sawi, permitting it, and Allah knows best. []
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.