In which graveyards should we bury a pregnant Christian woman whose husband is a Muslim?
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 ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
The Companions differed concerning the ruling of burying a Christian or Jewish woman who is married to a Muslim and then she died while pregnant on some opinions including:
- She is to be buried in the disbelievers’ graveyards for she belongs to them.
- She is to be buried in the Muslims’ graveyards for the fetus in her womb is a Muslim.
- She is to be buried in a separate grave. The vast majority of scholars adopt this view. Imaam Ahmad adopted this opinion and said: “The disbelieving woman is not to be buried in the graveyards of the Muslims so that they do not suffer because of her torment. As well, she is not to be buried in the disbelievers’ graveyards for her Muslim fetus will suffer.”
- In his book Al-Muqni', Ibn Qudaamah, the Hanbali scholar, said: “If a non-Muslim subject living in a Muslim community died while she was pregnant from her Muslim husband, she is to be buried in a separate grave whilst her back is directed to the Muslims’ Qiblah”. He explained his opinion saying: “She is a disbeliever so she cannot be buried in the Muslims’ graveyards. However, her fetus is a Muslim so he must not be buried among the disbelievers”. This is the most preponderant opinion.
Allaah Knows best.
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