Our Beacon Forum

Mixed gender funeral
By:Aslam Abdullah, CA
Date: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 10:25 pm

Salam, Alaikum,

A human rights activist's funeral prayer in Pakistan was attended by a mixed group of men and women. This resulted in a heated on the subject of women's presence during the burial.

In several states in the US and in most part of the Muslim world, women's presence in funeral prayers and cemeteries during the burial causes a lot of commotion among the believers who have been taught for centuries that women visiting graves would incur divine wrath. Under this decree, ever the daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives were not allowed to participate in the last rites of their fathers, sons, brothers and husbands. How cruel that system could be where even the tears are divided on the basis of gender. This issue again became a public discourse when a human rights activist's funeral in Pakistan was attended by men and women. Heated arguments were exchanged and religious decrees were issued. But what is the reality. Does God not understand human emotions? Or did the Prophet fail to recognize the sensitivities in this matter. Did he really prohibit women from visiting the graves, if this was the case, why did his wife, mother of the believers, Ayesha, allowed not just her husband but her father and then the second Caliph to be buried in her house while she stayed there. Please have a look at this article if you have time before you jump to the conclusion on the basis of what we have been taught so far.

I published this piece on 2014. I am resubmitting it based on the discussion on the issue.


Aslam Abdullah