COVID19 Burial Advice - Guidance for Ghusl, Shrouding, Janazah and Burial

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم - In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Alhamdulillah, we have a group of volunteers under the management of Maulana A. Muhit, specifically for Covid-19 deaths. Ready to manage all from the moment of body collection at hospital. Should the need arise, and any masaajid/organisation or person(s) require to use this service please make initial contact with Maulana Abdul Muhit Mob. 07907 671956. See also COVID Janazah Services for more info.

Normal circumstances, dictate for the deceased to be given a full ritual Ghusl (bath), Kafn (shroud), Janazah Salah (prayer) to be offered and burial. Thus, certain mandatory rites are afforded to the deceased Muslim. But, in such circumstances, the Divine Law permits certain relaxations of these rites:

  • ‘So fear Allah as much as you are able’ (64:16)
  • ‘Allah does not burden a soul except within its capacity’ (2:286)
  • ‘There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm’ (Ibn Majah)
  • Further, the concept of washing the deceased is a ‘ritual’. The main objective is not to necessarily ‘clean’ the deceased – rather, to continue the ritual done by the Prophet (saw) in ritually washing the body, when possible.

    The deceased’s body is not considered ‘impure’, whereby it has to be scrubbed and cleaned to remove impurity, rather, it is similar to the concept of wudhu – a ritual cleansing.

    Therefore, taking into consideration that of which is mentioned by Allah and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), recommendations from local authorities and many masaajid/organisations, we have come to a decision in implementation of the following process for deceased of St Albans, London Colney (and nearby surrounding areas) who die from the Covid 19 virus: (subject to change at short notice)

    The body will be retrieved from the hospital, taken directly to the cemetery. The body bag will NOT be opened at any time, reducing risks, in line with recommendations stated above.

    In the cemetery, only a maximum of 5 family members allowed access (those who have not been in contact with the deceased for at least 7 days). PPE must be worn for those in close contact with the body.

    The body bag will be wiped over once, with wet hands (wearing gloves) either at the hospital or within the transporting vehicle. This does not need to be done, as circumstances exempt us from washing the deceased at all, but in order to fulfil at least something similar to rituals laid out for us by our Prophet Muhammad (saw). After wiping over the body bag, gloves MUST be changed.

    NOTE: Tayammum will NOT be done, as it would involve opening the body-bag.

    Kafn (shroud) is laid out on the board beside the grave (which normally the body is placed on, prior to burial). The body will be placed on to the board and kafn wrapped around the body (body bag). If there is no kafn available, the body bag will suffice as kafn. Maintain minimal contact with the body bag.

    Janazah salah will be performed. Attendees should maintain distancing from each other and not stand shoulder to shoulder. It is encouraged to have an odd number of lines.

    The body will be lowered into the grave. SADC have kindly allowed the body to not be in a coffin, as long as the body is adequately sealed / wrapped, but this may change.

    Attendees may be allowed to put in a few handfuls of soil. They will need to distance themselves at least 10 metres away thereafter. The grave will then be filled by the Cemetery staff.

    After the grave is filled, attendees may be allowed to go near the grave for final moments and duaa (maximum of 5 minutes)

    Important Please Note:

    Due to current circumstance and limited supply of PPE we cannot provide family members attending burial with this equipment and they should look to source their own, face mask, gloves and full body covering suit.

    Our Team of volunteers are fully aware of the risks associated with providing this service to our community, but nevertheless are 100% committed to the cause.

    At the same time we hope you can understand, we take NO LIABILITY for those attending the burial. ALL those attending, do so at their own risk.

    Due to the costs involved with this being a voluntary service, we are restricted in our capacity with a requirement to sustain this service for the longer term and should anyone wish to donate to this cause.

    Islam In St Albans Metro Bank Sort Code: 23-05-80 Account: 16257729 Ref: Janazah

    Please forward on as appropriate so to notify others of this service.

    For more information on janazah services for local community, visit janazah services page

    Humbly request your duas Allah swt accept all our efforts for the greater good of our community.