Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam: Refusal of burying COVID-19 victims far cry from morality, humanity, religion

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Sun, 12 Apr 2020 - 11:50 GMT

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib - File Photo

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib - File Photo

CAIRO - 12 April 2020: “The repeated scene of the refusal to bury the doctor who died from the coronavirus is a far cry from ethics, humanity, and religion,” said Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb on Saturday.

“It is dangerous that humanity could lose and selfishness prevails,” he added in a post on his official Facebook page, calling for honoring the dead by burying them in a timely manner.



A controversy broke out in Egypt after locals of Shubra al-Bahw village, in Dakahlia protested the burial of a female doctor who died of coronavirus, as they feared being infected with the virus if she was buried at the village cemeteries.

However, the security forces dispersed their protest by tear gas bombs to bury the 64-year-old doctor, arresting 22 of the protesters.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, General Attorney Hamada al-Sawy ordered to launch an investigation into the incident.

Religiously, Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi Allam issued a fatwa (Islamic decision) prohibiting this act. “It is impermissible for anyone to deprive any human of the divine right of burial,” the fatwa says, adding that bullying of the COVID-19 patients is religiously forbidden.

"The fatwa also prohibited the gatherings that could be staged by the relatives of the deceased people," Allam said.

“The demagogic objection to the burial of coronavirus martyrs is religiously rejected,” Allam said, adding that those who died from the coronavirus are considered martyrs. He called for accelerating the burial of the victims because it is their right.

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