Lucknow, April 17 (IANS) A fatwa issued by the Darul Uloom Firangi Mahali has said that those dying of the coronavirus deserve decent burial as per rituals and their bodies should not be treated as untouchable.
The fatwa was issued on Thursday night, a day after a section of Muslims denied burial to the first casualty in Lucknow in the Aishbagh cemetery.
The 64-year old man had died in the King George Medical University hospital on Wednesday. His burial was stopped by a section of Muslims and the police had to bury him elsewhere in the wee hours of Thursday.
Additional DCP (West) Vikas Chandra Tripathi said, “There is opposition to the burial of his body as people believe it could spread the virus. The management of the burial ground also feels that it could lead to chaos as well as panic among the people.”
According to the Islamic Centre of India statement, a Lucknow resident Sayed Ejaz Ahmad had sought a fatwa on the last rites of a coronavirus victim.
He had sought answers about the ritual bath before burial, shroud, janaza-e-namaaz (last collective prayer for the departed) and the burial in public graveyards.
The fatwa said that the departed should be given the ritual last bath but the manner should be different. Water should be poured on the body bag in which the body is placed. There is no need to open the body bag or for a separate shroud. The body bag should be treated as a shroud, the fatwa said.
Similarly, the last prayers should be held keeping the Covid-19 protocol of social distancing in mind. The body can be buried in public graveyard.
The fatwa also condemned the boycott of the burial on Wednesday and said that it was not only against Shariat but also against social courtesy and human behavior.
The fatwa was given collectively by Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, Maulana Nasrullah, Maulana Naimur Rahman Siddiqui and Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq.
Speaking to reporters through a video message, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali said that WHO, in its March 24 guidelines, had clearly mentioned that a coronavirus body is not untouchable and should be given a decent burial with full respect.