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Federation of Muslim Council supports 'special mortuaries' campaign promise

Fri, 25 Sep 2020 Source: Class FM

The Federation of Muslim Councils (FMC) has said that it is in support of any moves to establish mortuaries to cater to Muslim corpses in accordance to Islamic traditions must be embraced by all Muslims.

A statement signed by the Secretary-General of the group, Alhajj Muhammad Amir Kpakpo Addo, indicated that the non-partisan and apolitical umbrella Muslim organisation is in support of the campaign promise made by the National Democratic Congress to that effect.

Page 82 of the People’s Manifesto 2020 by the NDC clearly spells out that the next NDC government will “facilitate the establishment of mortuaries in accordance with Islamic customs and practices and collaborate with the Ministry of Health to set up focal teams responsible for procedures that are compliant with Islamic Customs and practices at all public mortuaries”.

According to the statement, the campaign promise “smacks of good thoughts for Muslims” and must be welcomed, adding: “It is, therefore, disingenuous of any Muslim to stand in the way of Islam by impugning on the promise to provide decent and dignifying last respect to the Muslim dead regardless who is making the promise.”

The statement explained why establishing mortuaries for Muslims is necessary.

“Islamic tradition also demands that men handle corpses of men and vice versa, without unnecessarily exposing the private parts of the Muslim corpse, except to the extent that is inevitably necessary.

“However, situations arise wherein the burial of corpses cannot be effected immediately as desired by Islam. For instance, incessant raining, or a corona's inquest in the matter of the death of a Muslim may hinder earlier disposal of the dead body.

“In any of such scenarios, it would be necessary to preserve the dead bodies while waiting for autopsy and or burial,” the statement read.

“Even during preservation at the morgue or wherever, before burial, Muslim dead bodies must be accorded decent and dignifying last respect. Often times Muslims blame hospital and mortuary staff for treating their dead loved ones in a manner not commiserate with Islamic practices.

“Sadly, too, male and female Muslim dead bodies are combined in the mortuaries in their nakedness, without observing the Islamic moral practice of women handling the corpses of women and vice versa,” the statement noted.

Read the full statement below:

FEDERATION OF MUSLIM COUNCILS (FMC) SUPPORTS SPECIAL MORTUARIES FOR MUSLIMS

The Federation of Muslim Councils (FMC) supports the establishment of mortuaries to cater for the Muslim dead in accordance with Islamic tradition.

The provision of mortuaries in line with Islamic practices and management of Muslims has been at the centre of a raging banter between the two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for some two weeks now- a development the FMC has been following with keen interest. Both parties have issued public statements in their banter.

As a non-partisan and apolitical umbrella Muslim organisation, what matters most to the FMC in the ongoing debate is only that which is in the best interest of Muslims in line with the tenets of the religion. Islamic tradition demands that Muslims are buried at the earliest possible time after being pronounced clinically dead. Islamic tradition also demands that men handle corpses of men and vice versa, without unnecessarily exposing the private parts of the Muslim corpse, except to the extent that is inevitably necessary. However, situations arise wherein the burial of corpses cannot be effected immediately as desired by Islam. For instance, incessant raining, or a corona's inquest in the matter of the death of a Muslim may hinder earlier disposal of the dead body. In any of such scenarios, it would be necessary to preserve the dead bodies while waiting for autopsy and or burial.

Even during preservation at the morgue or wherever, before burial, Muslim dead bodies must be accorded decent and dignifying last respect. Often times Muslims blame hospital and mortuary staffs for treating their dead loved ones in a manner not commiserate with Islamic practices. Sadly, too, male and female Muslim dead bodies are combined in the mortuaries in their nakedness, without observing the Islamic moral practice of women handling the corpses of women and vice versa. Any facility to address concerns should be welcomed.

It is therefore disingenuous of any Muslim to stand in the way of Islam by impugning on the promise to provide decent and dignifying last respect to the Muslim dead regardless who is making the promise.

Indeed, the FMC has taken cognisance of the NDC's manifesto pledge to facilitate the establishment of mortuaries in accordance with Islamic customs and practices and collaborate with the Ministry of Health to set up focal teams responsible for procedures that are compliant with Islamic Customs and practices at all public mortuaries (Page 82 of the Peoples Manifesto, 2020). This promise undoubtedly smacks of good thoughts for Muslims and must be embraced.

It is in the light of this, that the FMC supports the establishment of mortuaries in our hospitals or creation of special sections for Muslims in the public mortuaries in order to keep and handle the Muslim dead in accordance with Islam before burial.

Source: Class FM

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