A day after a section of Muslims denied burial to the first casualty in Lucknow's Aishbagh cemetery, Darul Uloom Firangi Mahali issued a fatwa on April 16 stating those dying of the coronavirus deserve a burial as per Islamic rituals. It also stated that the body should not be treated as untouchable.

Amid deaths caused due to coronavirus, several questions were raised regarding the ritual bath given before burial, Janaza-e-namaaz (prayer gathering for the departed) and burial in the public graveyard.

Coronavirus masks
A man wearing a mask prays for the victims of coronavirus.Reuters

'Bodies should not be treated as untouchables'

The fatwa was given collectively by Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, Maulana Nasrullah, Maulana Naimur Rahman Siddiqui and Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq which stated, those dying of the coronavirus deserve decent burial as per rituals and their bodies should not be treated as untouchable.

According to the Islamic Centre of India statement, Sayed Ejaz Ahmad, a resident of Lucknow had sought a fatwa on the last rites of a coronavirus victim.

On Wednesday, a 64-year old man had died in the King George Medical University hospital. His burial was stopped by a section of Muslims and the police had to bury him elsewhere in the wee hours of Thursday. The fatwa also condemned the boycott of the burial and said that it was not only against Shariat but also against social courtesy and human behaviour.

What does the Fatwa for last rites state? 

  • Departed should be given the ritual last bath but keeping in mind the coronavirus social distancing. 
  • 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.
  • The last prayers should be held keeping the Covid-19 protocol of social distancing in mind.
  • The body can be buried in a public graveyard.

(To be further updated)