Farewell Kiss for a Dead Spouse

Islam cares much for human feelings and its teachings accompany people in all occasions. As far as Islam is concerned, it is permissible for a wife to bid farewell to her husband by kissing him after his death. The same applies to a husband kissing his wife.

Dr. Husam Ad-Din `Afana, professor of Fiqh and its principles at the University of Al-Quds, Palestine, states that: “It is permissible for a wife to bid farewell to her dead husband by kissing him after his corpse has been washed and shrouded. The same applies to a husband who wants to bid farewell to his dead wife by kissing her. Claiming that this invalidates the wudu’ of the dead person is incorrect. Imam Ahmad narrated that `A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Should I have the chance to wash the body of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) again, none but the wives of the Prophet would have washed him.” In another hadith, `A’isha is reported to have said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) returned from a funeral procession and found me having a splitting headache and saying, “O, my head!” And he commented: “It is me who should complain of headache. You should not fear dying before me, for I will then put you in shrouds, offer the funeral prayer for you and bury you.”

Imam An-Nawawi said: “Ibn Al-Mundhir concluded that the majority of Muslim scholars agree that a woman can wash the dead body of her husband and vice versa.” Many other hadiths indicate that there is no harm in kissing the dead person. `A’isha and Ibn `Abbas reported that Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) kissed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) after his death.

Based on the above evidence, we conclude that it is permissible for a wife to give her husband a farewell kiss and vice versa.”

In the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia for Islamic Jurisprudence, we read: “It is permissible for the family and friends of the dead person to kiss him. This is based on the hadith of `A’isha in which she says: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kissed `Uthman ibn Maz`un while he was dead and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was shedding tears.” `A’isha also said: “Abu Bakr came and headed towards the dead body of the Prophet which was covered with a black cloak. He uncovered his face and kissed him and then shed tears and said: “May my father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah. Almighty Allah will never cause you to die twice.”