April 14, 2020

What to do with the ashes of the cremated Muslims..?

- by  Aabeer -


I have asked this question with some experts in Islamic jurisprudence in Europe and the Middle East. I have done this in order to make some clarification and a final say on this matter. Because, some self-proclaimed scholars are making confusing and misleading statements on this issue. So, I thought it would be beneficial and useful for public to get a final say on this religious matter. I have asked this question some prominent members of the European fatwa commission and a prominent Islamic scholar in Egypt.  I just give you some translation of their statement on this matter. 

If the cremation is the only option, what do we do with the ashes of Muslim victims? When the Ebola infection spread in some African countries, Egyptian Fatwa council made an official religious verdict on this matter in 2015, Dr Sawki, Ala’m, the Egyptian Mufti, categorically stated that the cremation of human bodies is prohibited in Islamic law. But it is permitted to  cremate the bodies of Ebola victims if it is the only way to stop the spread of virus on people “but, the remains or the ashes of the cremated Muslim should be buried”  This matter to cremate the Muslim bodies of Ebola is  entirely left to medical experts/ doctors to decide. A team of reliable medical experts should decide on this matter not clerics. 

            But, the cremation of the human bodies without any reasonable requirement is not allowed in Islamic law at all. So, burying the human bodies is the fundamental Islamic practice and yet, if the greater public welfare demands that bodies should be cremated to stop the spread of virus among living people. then, it is permitted to cremate the human bodies. This is done to protect the greater interest of people. Protecting living ones gets priority over the dead ones in this case.  

            The general philosophy of Islamic law is instituted to protect some universal principles: namely to protect religion, life, human intellect, human progeny and wealth. So, protecting human life is one of the universal principles of Islamic law. Interestingly, some classical and modern Islamic scholars argue that protecting human life should get prominence among all other universal principles of Islamic law. ie. Protecting human life should be the first and foremost priority of Islamic law among all other higher objectives of Islamic law. This view is held by Imam Razi, Imam Qarafi, and Imam Bidhawi, So, protecting human lives from the spread of virus is number one priority of Islamic law. if the cremation is only option to protect human life, this cremation is permitted in Islamic law, but the remains of Muslim bodies must be buried.

           Another scholar says “We bury whatever is left from the deceased and these are the remains. It’s Haram to burn bodies and the government officials are the ones who committed that sin.  Muslims should try to prevent that burning through negotiations”. The Muslim community leaders and politicians have done their best in their negotiation with the Sri Lankan government to let them bury Muslim bodies of this virus and yet, the Sri Lankan government did not let them do that. Now, the entire two million Sri Lankan Muslims are not sinful on this matter. So, the Sri Lankan Muslim community do not need to worry over this issue. These Sri Lankan officials do not acknowledge or appreciate the religious sentiments of the Muslim community on this issue. A cultural difference between Buddhist and Islamic traditions may have influenced these officials to come to this decision to cremate Muslim corona victims.  For them it is not sinful act to cremate human bodies and yet, for the Muslim community it is a painful practice that hurts our feelings and sentiment. As a weak minority community, we have done all what we could do on this matter, we have exhausted all worldly means by asking the Sri Lankan government to let us bury the Muslim victims of this virus in a deep ground yet, they have not allowed us to do this. Now, we could only turn to the sky asking Almighty Allah to guide these people to respect human dignity on earth. 

            All what I want to say is the standpoint taken by ACJU is right one. What Rizwi Mufti said in his TV interview was right religious verdict on this issue. The human remains or the ashes of any human being must be buried according to Islamic law.  99% of Muslim scholars maintain this view as matter of respect for human dignity.  Only some radical literalists from some Salafi thought do not care if the ashes are buried or not. Yet, the majority of Muslim scholars say that the ashes of the human bodies must be buried. Ustaz PJ and his cohort are misleading people on this matter. So, the Sri Lankan Muslim community must be careful from this kind of self-proclaimed Islamic scholars. 

3 கருத்துரைகள்:

In UK Government advisory board who are top 10 scientists have not objected on burial for corona virus victims and burial system is followed in Europe, USA and all over the world in 182 countries. Why only in Sri Lanka insists to cremate ? Even UN has requsted to Sri Lanka to respect religious rites of minorities. We don't need to listen salafis on this matter because they never accept life after death of the pious.
Burying the ashes is a Hindu custom and this has not happened in the Islamic History.

ACJU power hungry President who is single handedly running the organisation for 20 odd years wanted to revive the Hindu culture into our system. He is totally misleading the community and acting as a saviour of our community. He will get the retribution sooner or later from Almighty .Hope and pray that, he won't make another fiasco like Halal issue by making a Fatwa.we have enough problems created by ACJU and don't want a fresh one ,indeed a pandora box !

Alhamdulillah Allah may accept ACJU's works

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