Message No : 2Sr.No : 92/722
Question By : Nilofer kabir

Janab Mufti Sahab,
Could you kindly let me know that when the Muslim ladies are given bath after death, should their hair after washing should be combed and made into 3 plaits, two made from the sides and put in front of chest and one made from the forehead and put at the back? what is correct? Because in Bukhari Haedeeth it is written so, but the Tabligh jamaat say not to comb or make plaits, just wash, wipe and fold it &wrap in the scarf and put in front of chest. I wish to know the right as i too help in giving bath to the dead relatives and friends.


Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful
Assalamo Alaikum
Dear Sister in Islam
The answer of your question is as follows:

There are four schools of thoughts in Ahle Haque, Ahle Sunna Waljamat:
1. Ahnaaf
2. Shawafe
3. Malikiah
4. Hanabala
It is the unanimous decision of all Ulama to follow any of these four school of thoughts is Wajib.
It is prohibited to comb the hair of dead person only for beauty according to Ahnaaf. The hair of woman will be divided into two parts and put in front of her chest on the Qamees (shirt). (Shami V: 1 P: 633, Aalamghiri V: 1 P: 161)

It is Mustahab to comb the hair of woman and make it into three parts, two from the sides and one from the forehead and put them between the shoulders according to Shawafe.

The Hadith you refered in the question is reported in diffiren ways. It goes like this, ¡°Hafsa Binte Sireen rarrated that Umme Atiyya said that they had entwined the hair of the daughter of Allah¡¯s Apostle (SA) in three portions. They undid her hair, washed and then entwined it in three braids.¡± (Bhukari V: 1 P: 169) The word, ¡°We combed and entwined her hair in three braids¡± is mentioned in some reports too.

There is another Hadith reported from Aaisha (RA). It goes like this, ¡°When Hazrat Aaisha (RA) was asked about the combing hair of dead woman, she said, ¡°Why do you comb the hair of your dead?¡± (Elaussunan V: 8 P: 220) The Hadith indicates that Hazrat Aaish (RA) is of the opinion that combing hair of Maiyeet is not permissible in Shariah.

Both of above discrived Hadith are authentic and they seem controdacting each other. Therefore, Ahnaf say that the first Hadith (Hadith narrated by Umme Atiyya) is related to a particular condition that if the head of Maiyeet (dead) is dirty and impossible to divide the hair into two parts without combing. In such condition the combing is allowed. This interpretation is supported by another Hadith mentioned in Nasaai where Umme Atiyyia(RA) admitted that she and the women were with her to give bath to the daughter of Prophet, Zainab (RA) divided her hair into three parts and did not say that they combed her hair. So it may be that the word ¡°We combed her hair¡± mentioned in some Ahadith is from the addition of Ravi (reporter). And the second Hadith (Hadith narrated by Aaisha RA) is related to the general condition that the hair of Maiyeet is not combed. For, combing hair is the cause of beauty and Maiyeet does not need beauty.

As far as the putting hair in front of chest (as Ahnaaf say) or between the shoulders (as Shawafe say) is concerned, not mentioned in the Hadith. Whatever is mentioned in the Hadith of Umme Atiyyah related to this matter is their own deed. The Prophet (SA) neither asked them to do so nor was aware of it. Therfore, this Masala is Ijtahadi (dependent on the interpretation of such Ulama who have deep knowledge of Qur¡¯aan and Hadith and the principle of Fiqh, interpretation). So Ahnaf say that the hair will be divided into two parts and put in front of her chest over the Qamis. For, putting hair between the back is cause of beauty and Maiyeet needs not the beauty. And Shawafe follow the practice of Umme Atiyyah. (Elaussunan V: 8 P: 219-222)

Allah know

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