LUCKNOW: Fear of COVID-19 has gripped the public so much that locals are opposing the burial of victims in graveyards, while staff deployed to ferry the patients are also refusing to do their duty.
In Lucknow, there was chaos at Aishbagh graveyard as locals opposed the burial of a 64-year-old COVID-19 patient who died on Wednesday. Consequently, prominent Sunni cleric and chairman of Indian Islamic Centre Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali along with three other Maulanas issued a ‘fatwa’ to address the issue.
The fatwa, issued by Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal based Darul Ifta, has defined the guidelines for burial of Muslim victims of COVID-19. The fatwa clarifies that any Muslim dying of COVID-19 would be buried following rituals but strictly under the norms given by doctors and the protocol of the World Health Organsiation (WHO).
The fatwa undersigned by four clerics, including Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, Maulana Nasirullah, Maulana Naeem-ur-Rehman Siddiqui and Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq, seeks to clarify different rituals followed before the burial.
Explaining the ritual of ‘ghusal’ (bathing the body before burial), Maulana Firangi
Mahali said that it would be performed but without taking off the plastic cover in which the hospital authorities pack the body. "The body would be bathed while being in the seal by passing flowing water over it. The covering would not be removed,” he said.
Clarifying other rituals, he said there was no need of another shroud as the doctors handed over the body packed along with a plastic cover which could be considered a shroud. He also made it clear that Namaz-e-Janaza of the deceased would be offered before the burial.
The Maulana said that while burying the packed body, there should be no fear of the spread of the virus. He explained that as per the WHO protocol, the body once buried would not serve as a source of the virus anymore.
Meanwhile, in Sambhal, an ambulance driver and sweeper were booked for refusing to ferry the body of a deceased who died of COVID-19 to the crematorium. The victim belonged to Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.