Q9: Is it permissible for women to participate with the men in the Funeral Prayer?

A: The basic principle regarding the acts of ‘Ibadah (worship) that are prescribed by Allah in His Book or that were explained by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in his Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), is that they are general for both men and women, unless there is evidence that makes them specific to either men or women. The Funeral Prayer is one of the acts of ‘Ibadah that was prescribed by Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) in general, therefore both men and women may perform it, except that it is usually men that attend, as the women usually stay in their homes.So if it happens that there is a funeral and there are only women present, they should perform the Salah (Prayer) for the deceased and fulfill their obligation towards her.

It is authentically reported that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) ordered that Sa‘d ibn Abu Waqqas should be brought to her so she could perform the Funeral Prayer for him and we do not know of any Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) who disapproved of this. This constitutes evidence that women can participate with the men in the Funeral Prayer and that they may also perform it alone in situations where this is called for, as men may also. If women attend a Funeral Prayer with men or any other Salah, their rows should be located behind those of the men. It is also confirmed that women performed the Funeral Prayer for the Prophet (peace be upon him) as the men did. However, it is not permissible for them to escort the funeral procession to the burial, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited this.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

The ninth question of Fatwa no. 1752