Muslim scholars have now proclaimed that bodies of faithful will be buried without performing the traditional rite of washing in the wake of the contagious COVID-19.
They issued new guidelines on the funeral rite, known as Ghusl, which now makes it permissible to bury a body without washing it with water and shrouding it or performing the alternative ritual of Tayammum, where purified sand or dust is used instead.
In both cases, the rites are performed within hours of death unless circumstances do not allow.
Speaking from Mombasa yesterday, the leaders who comprise of religious scholars, elders (sheikhs), imams and Muslim medical practitioners, said the new proclamation was in compliance with government directives on burials.
“We have been in consultation with the Ministry of Health and reached an agreement that due to the seriousness of the disease and how contagious it is, we cannot wash our dead, shroud or perform Tayammum where we apply soil or sand in the absence of water…”
They added washing of the dead poses a health risk to those performing the Ghusl or Tayammum.
“Our religion provides us with an avenue where certain rights and obligatory objectives cannot be performed when they pose an imminent danger…”
The leaders said they have already begun training locals and youths on how they will handle and bury bodies of COVID-19 causalities, adding they require additional funds to buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for people who will be burying COVID-19 casualties.