At the initial stage when the Health Authorities mandated compulsory cremation of the bodies of those of succumb of Covid-19, it is well known that ACJU and other prominent Muslim organizations made relevant efforts and submitted an appeal that the Janazas of Muslims should be permitted to be buried. As a result the relevant clause was amended and the option of burial was also included in the relevant Covid-19 Guidelines of MOH. However this amendment was reversed mandating only cremation and an official Government Circular was issued.
Since then the ACJU, professionals, civil organizations and political representatives have been continuously involved in making tireless efforts in order to retrieve the right of burying the Janazas of Covid-19 victims.
1. 24.03.2020 – A Letter was sent by ACJU to HE President, Hon. PM, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva - Head of the Corona Prevention Unit. In the letter it was requested as prescribed by other countries to permit burial of the dead bodies deceased by Corona Virus.
2. 31.03.2020 – A Letter was sent by ACJU to HE President, Hon. Prime Minister, Head of the Corona Prevention Unit – Lt. General Shavendra Silva, Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Dr. Anil Jasinghe regarding the burial of the Janaza of Muslim COVID-19 victims’.
3. 31.03.2020 – A delegation including members of ACJU, had a meeting with Commander of the SL Army - Lt. General Shavendra Silva, with regard to disposal of deceased bodies of COVID-19 victims, at the Army Headquarters.
4. 31.03.2020 – A delegation including the Members of the ACJU, had a meeting with the Hon. Minister of Health, Madam Pavithra Wanniararchchi, with regard to disposal of deceased bodies of COVID19 victims, at the Ministry of Health.
5. 01.04.2020 – Media Release - ACJU released a statement stating its disappointment over mandatory cremation and requested relevant authorities to consider a reversal of their decision.
6. 02.04.2020 – A special meeting was conducted by Mufti M.I.M. Rizwe, President of ACJU with the Muslim intellectuals on providing guidance to the Muslim community on the contemporary issues and matters related to Janaza of COVID-19 victims.
7. 22.04.2020 – Religious clarification with regard to cremating the body of a Muslim Covid-19 victim.
8. 07.05.2020 – A Letter was sent to Dr. Anil Jasinghe (Director Gen. of Health Services): Clarification on the ambiguity on burying the ashes of a Muslim who succumbed to COVID-19 and request to reverse the stance by permitting burial.
9. 10.05.2020 – A Letter was sent to Hon. Min. Pavithra Wanniarachchi (Minister of Health):
Regarding the issue of the cremation of a body of a Muslim woman due to erroneous diagnose as Covid-19, ground situation with regarding to the cremations taking place and request to reverse the stance by permitting burial.
10. 05.06.2020 – Statement - Opinion regarding disposal of COVID-19 affected human remains.
11. 10.11.2020 – A visit was made to Mannar along with the authorities to seek a suitable location to bury the Janazas of Covid-19 victims.
12. 24.11.2020 – A special meeting was conducted with Muslim Organizations to discuss matters related to the Janazas of Covid-19 victims.
13. 10.12.2020 – Mufti M.I.M. Rizwe - President of ACJU, made a special statement at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), that Islam does not permit cremation and appealed to permit the burial of Covid-19 victims.
It is significant to note that the ACJU with the collaboration of civil organizations, political representatives of the governing and opposition parties and several others, have been continuously making efforts to date in this regard. We firmly believe that Almighty Allah shall preserve and reward our efforts definitely, InshaAllah. In order to make these efforts successful, ACJU appeals everyone to continue to excise patience, engage in Duas, observe Sunnah fasts, offer Sadaqa (charity) and to engage in acts of worship.
May Almighty Allah shower His Mercy upon us and protect everyone from the dangerous disease, Aameen.
Ash Shaikh M.S.M. Thassim
(Acting) General Secretary
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama