Is Husband’s nikah broken on wife’s death?


Salaam Shaykh

I pray you’re well, at the time of a women’s death is the Husband’s Nikah broken? If so what are the do’s and don’t at this stage according to Ahlul sunnah wal jama’ah and Hanafi scholars?


Alaykum Salam,

The husband washes his wife and vice versa according to the vast majority (including Hammad b. Abi Sulayman, Abu Hanifa’s teacher) and the practice of the early Imams; as Ibn `Abbas said: “The man is most entitled to wash his deceased wife and pray over her” (`Abd al-Razzaq 3:410; Ibn Abi Shayba 1:143, 153; al-Muhalla 5:174; al-Mughni 2:483; Kash al-Ghumma 1:163) while Abu Hanifa says she may wash him but not vice versa. However, if no woman is found to wash her then he may apply tayammum to her according to Hanafis.

Yes, their rationale is that the nikah is broken at that time; however, it was pointed out that Allah said {wa lakum nisfu ma taraka azwajukum} “And you [men] have half of what your spouses leave behind” (al-Nisa’ 4:12) so Allah named her a wife even after her death. Sources: Maraqi al-Falah, section on ghusl; al-Muntasir al-Kattani, Mu`jam Fiqh al-Salaf pp. 258-259; Qal`aji, Mawsu`at Fiqh `Abd Allah b. `Abbas p. 640.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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