Local Muslims question sea-burial

Secretary of the Anjuman Sunnal-ul-Jamaat Association (ASJA) Jama Masjid in San Fernando, Imran Khan yesterday said Muslim do not dispose of their dead by burning or burial at sea, doubting whether the billions spent and the lives lost were worth hunting down bin Laden, the man behind the terror attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 in which more than 3,000 people, including 14 Trinidadians, died.

US reports indicate bin Laden was buried at sea after a Muslim ritual to prevent any grave of his from becoming a shrine to extremists.

Khan said the body is prepared with a special bath and shrouded in cotton for burial. A special prayer, Janaaza, is the last rites for the dead and only persons who are Muslims can conduct such a prayer.

Khan said no Muslim or non-Muslim would sanction the expenditure of billions of dollars and the killing of innocent persons to capture “a frail man whom the world had been told was ill”. “Then, you expect the world to believe that you have indeed captured him when, without ceremony, you get rid of his body immediately,” Khan said.

Sheikh Siddiq Nassir, who is head of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah Institute in San Fernando, shared similar views, saying the town of Abbotabad where bin Laden was killed, is landlocked and the sea is approximately 1,000 miles away. “Why kill someone, then take their body across mountains 1,000 miles to dump it at sea?” he asked.

Nassir said there has always been skepticism about whether bin Laden was still alive.

“Books have been written and even US government officials have disputed that muslims were responsible for that attack. We heard that bin Laden died a long time ago, possibly from ill health after repeated bombardment of Muslim countries,” Nassir said.

Whether bin Laden is dead or not was of little significance to the Muslim community. “What matters is whether the war on so-called terrorism is reaping rewards and bringing peace in the world, or if there is more destruction taking place,” Nassir said.


"Local Muslims question sea-burial"

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