Hadith Database – Hadith on the Funeral of the Prophet Muhammad’s Daughter
Originally posted on the Quran and Bible Blog
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“Narrated Anas bin Malik: We were (in the funeral procession) of one of the daughters of the Prophet (ﷺ) and he was sitting by the side of the grave. I saw his eyes shedding tears. He said, “Is there anyone among you who did not have sexual relations with his wife last night?” Abu Talha replied in the affirmative. And so the Prophet told him to get down in the grave. And so he got down in her grave.”
Source: Sahih Bukhari, 23:46, https://sunnah.com/bukhari/23/46
Explanation: It seems this hadith has been making the rounds in the dark underworld of anti-Islamic polemics. Even though there is no hint or evidence of any nefarious meaning of this hadith, according to some ignorant Islamophobes who have overactive imaginations, this hadith is suggesting that necrophilia and sexual intercourse with a corpse is allowed in Islam. No, really…
Necrophilia is defined as sexual attraction to a dead body, and often involves actual intercourse with the body. Of course, such an action is forbidden in Islam and that does not require much discussion.
As for the hadith above, it is actually very easy to show that Abu Talha entered the grave of the Prophet’s daughter for the purpose of helping with the burial. This is conclusively shown in another hadith from the same chapter of Sahih Bukhari (emphasis ours):
“Narrated Anas: We were in the funeral procession of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was sitting near the grave and I saw his eyes full of tears. He said, “Is there anyone amongst you who did not have sexual relations with his wife last night?” Abu Talha replied in the affirmative. And so Allah’s Apostle told him to get down in her grave and he got down in her grave and buried her.”
This demolishes the vulgar lies of the sexually frustrated trolls who have tried to interpret hadith #46 as allowing sexual intercourse with a dead body, but let us demolish it further with the following points:
- As part of the funeral preparations, the dead body is washed and then covered in two shrouds. This was also done for the Prophet’s daughter, who after being washed, was shrouded in the Prophet’s own waist-sheet:
“Narrated Um ‘Atiyya al-Ansariya: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to us when his daughter died and said, “Wash her thrice or five times or more, if you see it necessary, with water and Sidr and then apply camphor or some camphor at the end; and when you finish, notify me.” So when we finished it, we informed him and he gave us his waist-sheet and told us to shroud the dead body in it.”
If sexual intercourse was allowed with a dead body, why would it be washed and then shrouded before the burial? Clearly, the perverted trolls who spread the necrophilia lie didn’t think this through.
Moreover, according to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, the dead body should be covered with an inner shroud and an outer shroud, along with a covering for the head. In the Hanafi manual Maraqi ‘l-Sa’adat (Ascent to Felicity) by Abu l-Ikhlas Al-Shurunbulali, it states:
“[b]oth the inner shroud and outer shrouds should cover the body from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.”
It also states:
“[f]or the minimally sufficient shroud (kafan al-kifaya) for a woman, the head covering is enough [in addition to the two main shrouds].”
- Hadith #98, which specifically states that Abu Talha entered the grave for the purpose of helping with the burial, is included in Sahih Bukhari under the chapter heading “Who may get down in the grave of a woman”. In other words, when a body is being buried, the one helping in the burial should be in a state of ritual purity, and a male can enter the grave of a female, even if she is not his wife, when helping with the burial. This makes sense since the person placing the body in the grave should say “In the name of Allah” (Bismillah) when doing so. Being in a state ritual purity would thus be a requirement.
- Imam An-Nawawi, a follower of the Shafii school, stated in his book Minhaj Et-Talibin that when the body is being washed, the one doing the washing should cover his/her hands with rags so as to not touch the body, even when the deceased and the washer were husband and wife and vice versa. Imam An-Nawawi stated:
“…but in all cases where the ablution is performed by a person of the other sex, the hands should be wrapped in rags so as to not touch the body.”
He also stated:
“[t]he person performing the funeral ablution should see no more of the body than is strictly necessary for the proper performing of his duty, and should never look at the shameful parts.”
In An-Nawawi’s view, it was also recommended that the body of a woman be carried by men only in a coffin “so as to be concealed from the public gaze…”
Since such measures are taken in avoiding touching or looking at the body of a member of the opposite sex, even when the spouse is washing the body, how is it possible that sexual intercourse would be allowed? Again, it does not seem as if the trolls have pondered on this matter objectively.
- Why would the Prophet have allowed anyone to have intercourse with his dead daughter? Again, the trolls should have thought about this.
- Sexual intercourse requires the consent of both parties. Obviously, a dead person cannot give consent. A hadith in Sahih Muslim states:
“Abu Huraira (Allah he pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may, peace be upon him) as saying: When a man invites his wife to his bed and she does not come, and he (the husband) spends the night being angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.”
Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari states:
“…the hadith describes the husband ‘spending the night being upset with her’ indicating that he must hold back and not force himself over her should she refuse–even if she does so without a valid excuse. Had force been permitted, the Messenger of Allah would have surely advised it. If her refusal is not due to a genuine reason, then her sin is with Allah in the next life, but it does not legitimise forced sex in this life.”
Since consent is necessary for sexual intercourse with one’s wife, and since it is impossible to obtain such consent from a dead spouse, it follows that sexual intercourse is not permitted with the dead spouse. This is one reason why necrophilia is regarded as a “coercive paraphilia” by scientists (since consent cannot be given).
We have seen that the sick accusations made by some Islamophobes that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) permitted necrophilia and intercourse with corpses has no merit. It is just another twisted lie invented by people with too much times on their hands and who are probably struggling with personal sexual issues themselves. In closing, I leave with the following hadith as a warning to these trolls:
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.”
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
This source, evidently written by the dumbest people in the world (who have no business commenting on Islamic teachings), admits that the hadith does not specifically state that Abu Talha entered the grave to have intercourse with the Prophet’s dead daughter. The brilliant conclusion was “it’s not clear”. Well actually, it is. If the pseudoscholars had done some more thorough research, they would have seen another hadith which makes the whole matter “clear” as day.
 Abu’l-Iklhas Al-Shurunbulali, Ascent to Felicity: A Manual on Islamic Creed and Hanafi Jurisprudence, trans. Faraz A. Khan (London: White Thread Press, 2010), p. 120.
 Ibid., p. 121.
 Pseudoscholarly websites like “WikiIslam” claim that Imam Shafii and Imam Ibn Hanbal permitted sexual intercourse with a corpse (https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Necrophilia_in_Islam#Views_of_Islamic_scholars). They claim this based on poorly translated passages from the respective works of these famous scholars. Regardless, even these poor translations do not prove that necrophilia is permitted in Islam. Rather, the scholars were simply mentioning if washing was necessary in the event of sexual intercourse with a corpse. In that case, the corpse need not be washed, whereas the person committing the lewd act must perform ghusl. As for whether there was any punishment for such an act, Ibn Hanbal stated in his Kitab Al-Kafi (the same source WikiIslam attempted to quote):
“If a man had intercourse with a dead woman, there are two views. The first is that there is a hadd because it is entering a prohibited vagina, which cannot be a mistake, and it is like doing it with the living. The second view: no hadd, because it is unintentional, so there is no need to warn about it” (translated by brother Farid Al-Bahraini; private correspondence).
So there are 2 points to make. First, there is indeed a hadd punishment for sexual intercourse with a corpse. Thus, such an act is prohibited by the Sharia. Second, if the act was unintentional, then there was no punishment. For example, if a person was engaged in intercourse with his/her spouse, and the spouse passed away during the intercourse, it would technically qualify as sex with a corpse. However, in that situation, it would be completely unintentional.
 Mahiudin Abu Zakariya Yahya Ibn Sharif An-Nawawi, Minjah Et Talibin: A Manual of Muhammadan Law According to the School of Shafii, trans. E.C. Howard (London: W. Thacker & Co., 1914), p. 71.
 Ibid., pp. 76-77.
 Ibid., p. 77.
 Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari, Al-Arbain: Elucidation of the Forty Hadiths on Marriage (London: Turath Publishing, 2013), p. 107.
 William L. Yarber and Barbara W. Sayad, Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America, 9th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2016), p. 299.