The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) has written to the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe seeking clarification on the ambiguity on burying the ashes of a Muslim who succumbed to COVID-19.
In the letter, the ACJU states that the Muslim community stand on this matter has always been that, a Muslim deceased due to COVID-19, should have the option of being buried, in line with the WHO guidelines and as implemented in more than 180 countries, since it is an integral part of our faith and a religious obligation of the community towards the deceased.
The ACJU noted that from the inception, they had addressed the matter in a professional and ethical manner.
“We, the ACJU as a responsible organization, have always guided our community to obey the law of the land at all times. In this context, responding to a query on what would be guidance in the given circumstances, that is, only cremation being allowed, it was stated the ashes of the deceased has to be buried, if given. It is our moral and ethical duty to abide by the law of the country and to guide people towards it. But it does not imply that we endorse nor consent to this ruling as it is against our religious principles. Nevertheless, we shall continue to make ethical endeavors to make representations to the authorities on this matter,” the ACJU added.
The ACJU noted that in line with the World Health Organization guidelines and as adopted by as many as 180 countries, they would like to re-appeal once again to reconsider the decision taken to dispose of the dead bodies of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID 19 and provide the option of the burial of bodies, while complying with all mandatory precautions and with the supervision of police and PHI.
The ACJU notes that due to the sensitive nature of the matter they would like to re-appeal for this provision, and wish to emphasize that they will comply with all the required standards such as preparing the grave with the depth of 8 feet and if required to cement the grave with concrete or any other related measures shall be abided as required. (Colombo Gazette)