Only those assisting ghaasil should attend ghusl of dead body
Fatwa No: 325240

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. If a husband wants to wash and shroud his wife's body, can his daughter help him wash and shroud it? Also, is it ok if a husband refuses to wash his wife if she requested that he does so in her will?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

First of all, we clarify that it is permissible for both the husband and the wife that one of them washes the body of the other after his death. Scholars held different opinions in this regard; and we mentioned is the preponderant view adopted in Islamweb. Please refer to fataawa 84142 and 88126.

If the woman stated in her will that her husband should wash her, then the husband is not obliged to execute her will because this is not a duty on him in Islamic law.

It is disliked that someone other than the ghaasil (person washing the dead body) attends the ghusl (ritual bath of the dead), as was stated by Muslim jurists. However, if the ghaasil needed some assistance, then there is no harm in having someone assist him carry out the ghusl. Ad-Dardeer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “It is disliked for anyone who is not helping in the washing of the deceased person's body to attend it...” [Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer]

The Hanbali scholar Ibn Muflih  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “Only the person helping in the washing (of the deceased person's body) attends the ghusl, because something may take place that is unfavorable for a living person to witness. Moreover, something that seems to be unpleasant may appear during the ghusl, and that person would speak of it to others, causing a scandal, and there is no need for him to attend the ghusl to begin with, unlike the case with the one who is assisting the ghaasil with pouring water for him or the like.” [Al-Mubdi’]

Allaah knows best.

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