The bodies of women who passed away may only be washed by women; not by men. A man is not thus allowed to wash the body of his mother who passed away. Only husbands are allowed to wash the bodies of their wives who passed away for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his wife
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her):
If you die before me, I will wash and shroud you.
Another proof of this is that
`Aly (may Allah be pleased with him) washed the body of his wife
Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she passed away. On the other hand, when a man dies, his body is to be washed only by men. Women, including one's mother, are not permitted to wash the bodies of men who passed away. Only a wife is permitted to wash the body of her husband who passed away. Proof of this is that Asma' bint `Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) washed the body of her husband when he passed away;
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) as he had enjoined her to do so. Finally, both men and women may help their sick parents wash provided that the `Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered in public) is covered and not touched directly but with a barrier (i.e. A glove) and from behind a screen.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.