Questioner: If a woman dies while pregnant, how will she be buried?
Dr Sharof: If the woman dies while her baby is also dead, they will be buried together without attempting to separate them. This is because any attempt to separate them after it is certain that both of them are dead is reproachful, and this is forbidden. A believer must not be reproached whether he/she is alive or dead; it is forbidden. For this reason, they will be buried together.
However, after she is dead, if the baby shows a sign of being alive, and the midwife says if the baby is removed from her and kept in an incubator he/she will survive if Allaah wills, especially if the baby is up to about eight months; if this is declared, then we will ask them to operate her so as to rescue the child. This is the Sharee’ah of Allaah.
As for the belief which states that if a woman dies while pregnant she must not be buried with the baby so that it doesn’t result to ceaseless deaths in her family according to the belief of the disbelievers, we have no concern about that belief. Islaam says they should be buried together because any attempt to separate them is reproachful and Islaam prohibits reproaching a person who is dead.
If the pregnant woman is from the people of the book and her husband is a Muslim since it is permissible to marry them, and the child inside her is a Muslim since her husband is a Muslim (in addition to the fact that every child is born in a state of fitrah), both the mother and the child are dead, how are they to be buried? Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rohimohuLlaahu ta’ala) said that the woman will be buried at a space in between the graveyard of the Muslims and that of the people of the book. Since the mother is a Christian while the child is a Muslim, she will be buried in such a way that she backs the Qiblah, this is because if she backs the Qiblah then automatically the baby will be facing the Qiblah. So that is how they will be buried.
[Source: Question and Answer session of the tape tilted, ‘Idile Musulumi’]
Translated by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey