Is it permissible for women to visit the cemetery?
Yes (it is permissible) as long as they do not use offensive speech, behave inappropriately or unlawfully.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked The Messenger of Allah ﷺ:
What does a person say when they go to (visit) the cemetery. He taught her that he/she gives salaam to the believers that are in their graves, makes dua for them as well as his/her ownself and informs them that they have proceeded and we will join them. (Narrated by Aisha in Muslim)
He ﷺ taught Aisha this dua which indicates it is permissible for women to visit cemeteries if they need to. The Prophet ﷺ (also) saw a woman crying at the grave of her son and he ﷺ advised her (to fear Allah and be patient) and she said ‘Away from me! For verily, you have not been afflicted with my affliction’. She did not know he ﷺ was the Messenger of Allah ﷺ so she said this statement based upon the fact that she did not know who was addressing her. Upon the realization (of who he ﷺ was) she went to his place where she found no doorkeeper. She sought permission to enter and he ﷺ said to her:
‘Patience is only at the first stroke of grief’
(Narrated by Anas in Bukhari and Muslim)
He ﷺ did not say to her: ‘Why do you come to the cemetery, this is not appropriate for you’. Rather, he only told her (to be) patient. It is as if he indicated that this visit is permissible. However, this action that you are doing is not appropriate. Therefore whoever resembles her from amongst the women, it is not appropriate for them to go to the cemetery, cry and introduce that which is not permitted. (However) whoever is strong and able to go with some of her mahaaram, is secure from fitnah and does not use offensive speech, there is nothing to stop her from visiting the cemetery.
As for the hadeeth, ‘Allah curses the female visitors of the cemetery’ (Narrated by Ibn Abbas in Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaaii and Ahmad) it is not authentic.
More authentic than this, is the hadith: ‘Allah curses the females who visit the cemetery excessively’. (Narrated by Abu Huraira in At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)
Taking into consideration the (authentic) proofs. The prohibition (of women from visiting the cemetery) applies to excessive visitors with inappropriate conduct and the permissibility applies to occasional visitors that are free of fitnah.
Answered by: Abu Bilaal Al hadhramy – may Allah preserve him
Answered on: 28th, Muharram 1441H – 27th, September 2019
Translated by: Abu Sufian Saami Al-Ghaani