Cremating Muslims who die of Coronavirus

Mufti Menk


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Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Rasool Allah, Allah, Allah, he was happy He adjumani my brothers and sisters, there is a very, very serious discussion that is happening among the scholars of Islam and even the public regarding the way of bailing enshrouding and burying a patient who has passed away with the Coronavirus COVID-19. I want to highlight something very interesting. Let's not talk about COVID for a moment, ordinarily, when a Muslim is to pass away, it is the duty of those who remain to bathe the body to then enshroud it with white pieces of cloth, and then to pray something known as Salatu

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janaza, and thereafter to bury the body in the closest Muslim cemetery. So those are in a nutshell, the rights that we owe the deceased from amongst us. Islam does teach us that if a person were to be killed, or if a person were to die having been shot or wounded by someone in a specific way, and I'm not going to go into the details of the conditions, but under certain circumstances and conditions,

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the bathing is waived, and the shrouding is waived. They would just be the prayer and the burial. So that person is considered Shaheed or a martyr, that is when someone is killed, or when someone was murdered, etc. And like I said, with certain circumstances and conditions, let's talk about COVID-19. Now, it depends how much we know about the contamination that can be caused by the deceased. Remember, this is something evolving, even the medical experts are not absolutely certain as to what happens and whether or not it can contaminate those who are alive and to what degree it can contaminate them. So

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number one is cremation in Islam is considered totally prohibited. It is considered blasphemous, it is wrong, it is disrespectful, and it is something that must be avoided at any and every cost. That is the issue of cremation. So, as Muslims we believe we're not allowed to cremate. It is against the honor of humankind. We believe humankind was created from the soil or dust and should be returned into the soil or dust. In the grave. There is a portion that is left, blank or open, just filled with oxygen in order to help the decomposition of that particular body back into the soil. The Koran speaks about it in Surah Taha minha, Allah Kanaka Morphe Hana a token woman, Hannah, hurry, Jochem,

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Tara and okra, we have created you from the soil, we have actually, we will return you into it and we will resurrect you from it once again. So, cremation should be avoided as far as possible, then what we need to know is sometimes some of those experts are saying that it is highly contagious even when a person has passed away. So if it really is very contagious, in that particular case, there is permissibility to waive the bathing and the enshrouding. So rather, we would be disinfecting the body within the hospital or the medical experts can do that. And they can place it in a body bag or two or three and hand it over to the Muslims to bury or supervise the burial with strict conditions,

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if it is proven that that is highly infectious, if it is proven that it is not as infectious as they are claiming, which a lot of people are saying now and I am not an expert. I'm not claiming to know that but it depends on how much is proven. So if it is proven, that it is not as infectious as they are saying it is or that it can be handled with protective clothing, then people should wear the protective clothing to the best of their abilities and try to fulfill the maximum number of rights that need to be fulfilled as a Muslim for this particular deceased person of COVID-19 or Coronavirus. So let's remember this, we should try to do whatever we can do the maximum without

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causing harm to

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Others are putting others lives in danger. So if it is proven that lives are in danger, and it is highly infectious to the degree that it would not be recommended at all, to enshroud, or to bathe, then we can waive the bathing and the enshrouding. But we will continue with the prayer and the burial. But like I said, if it is proven that it is not as infectious, or that if we were to wear the protective clothing, and then continue with whatever we have to, then we should do that. May Allah make it easy for us. So like I'm saying, there is not meaning there is no specific ruling because this is a matter that is still evolving. We're still learning more about it. But I really

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believe that we should avoid cremation as far as possible. Like I said, it is totally disrespectful in Islam to cremate someone. Secondly, we must make sure that we do whatever we can, taking every precaution and only if it is proven, or if it is said to be highly infectious and contagious, even after death, to the degree that it is not recommended that all to do the bathing and the enshrouding. In that particular case, we will suffice with the prayer and we will suffice with the burial. May Allah Subhana Allah to Allah grant us or ease. People are also asking how do we fulfill Salah to janaza. Salah to janessa is the prayer that is done for the deceased. Now, as we do know,

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some schools of thought allow a prayer in absentia. So the person may not be there and they are praying. Other schools do not allow that. So under these circumstances, if you really cannot go to pray for the person because they've limited the numbers, you have one of two options. Either you pray in absentia, which could be permissible, although you're practicing upon the school of thought of another because obviously it is also derived from the Hadith of the prophets, Allah sanlam. And on an occasion like this, or circumstances of this nature, it would be permissible to practice upon that. But if someone feels that they do not agree with that school of thought, then at least pray

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for them because one of the biggest gifts you can ever give a person who's passed away when it comes to Muslims and Islam is to simply pray for their forgiveness. May Allah Subhana Allah to Allah grant us all forgiveness. I thought this was a very short but very, very important

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piece of information that I would have that I wanted to actually convey to all of you. May Allah protect us all grant us cure, and May Allah help us to be able to reach out to one another and help us to fulfill the rights of one another even after one has passed away to the best of our ability aku kolyada or sallallahu wasallam ala nabina Muhammad