What is the ruling on women attending graveyards and funeral prayer in the Hanafi School?
In the Hanafi School, it is permissible for old women to visit graves provided no act which is contrary to the Shariah is practiced. If there is a fear of loud crying, wailing or the intermingling with men, then it will be impermissible.
As far as young women are concerned, if the above mentioned conditions are met with, then it is permissible, although disliked.
It is stated in one of the foremost references for Fatwa in the Hanafi School al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:
“The Scholars differed about women visiting graves. Imam al-Sarakhsi (Allah have mercy on him) said: The most correct opinion is that it is not wrong.” (al-al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, V.5, p. 350).
The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Radd al-Muhtar (Super commentary on al-Haskafi’s Durr al-Mukhtar, and one considered a fundamental source in the Hanafi School):
“The soundest opinion in the School is that, it is permissible for women to visit the graves. al-Ramali said: “If they visit graves to renew their sorrows, or to cry and wail, as is the customary practice of many, then it is not permissible. This is how the Prophetic Hadith “Allah has cursed women who visit graves” is understood. However, if they visit for contemplation, compassion and seeking Baraka, then it is not wrong if they are elderly. It is disliked if they are young.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 2.424)
From the foregoing we can conclude that there are two conditions for the permissibility of women visiting graves:
1) There should be no wailing and loud crying.
2) There is no fear of Fitna.
If the above two conditions are complied with, then it would be permissible for women to visit graves although disliked for young women. However, if there is fear of wailing / loud crying or more importantly Fitna (intermingling with the opposite sex), then it would be impermissible.
Therefore, if by women attending the funeral prayer or burial, there is fear of Fitna, then it will not be permissible for them to attend.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK