Can Muslim COVID-19 Victims Be Buried in Concrete Rooms?

02 June, 2020
Q During the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the Islamic rule regarding burying deceased Muslims in multi-stories concrete rooms built on the ground? How many deceased Muslims could be buried in each room?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, and in the case of urgency and exceptional cases e.g. large number of deaths and shortage of graves and unavailability of alternatives, more than one body could be buried in a grave even if put one above another provided that they are handled with respect.


In responding to this question, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), states:

The rule and the Sunnah practice observed by Muslims from the dawn of Islam until now are burying deceased Muslims under the ground in Muslim cemeteries. The rule is that the grave should be deep enough to cover the deceased, prevent smell and protect against exhumation, wild animals and destruction caused by rain. Allah says: “From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will bring you back again.” (Taha 20:55)

Ibn Ashur states: ‘and into it We will return you’ indicates that the right way to handle the deceased is burying them either in a grave or a hole inside a grave, as both ways represent returning to the ground.”

Al-Ramli says: “The term ‘hole’ indicates that it is not enough to lay the corpses on the ground and protect them in a room against smell and wild animals” (Nihayat Al-Muhtaj, vol. 8, p. 251)

Ibn Abdeen explains: “It is not permissible to lay them in a room built on the ground.” (Al-Hashiyah, vol. 2, p. 233)

During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the case of urgency and exceptional cases e.g. large number of deaths and shortage of graves and unavailability of alternatives, more than one body could be buried in a grave even if put one above another provided that they are handled with respect.

📚 Read Also: COVID-19: Can We Offer Funeral Prayer in the Presence of Deceased’s Ashes?

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: https://www.e-cfr.org/