After two difficult years of helping families of COVID-19 victims, a Blackburn Muslim burial society has been announced the winner of the Leader’s Award at the One Voice Blackburn’s 1V Awards for 2021.
“We’re delighted to be recognized in this way. It means that we are doing something right which is ultimately of the utmost importance,” Blackburn Muslim Burial Society leader Imran Patel said, Lancashire Telegraph reported.
Representatives of the volunteer group will pick up their accolade at the One Voice’s annual dinner at King George’s Hall on Saturday.
Volunteering to bury the dead is a highly rewardable act in Islam as Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead.
A Muslim’s dead body should be immediately taken to a mortuary for washing and preparation.
Founded five years ago, volunteers from the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society have been offering funeral arrangement services to the community.
This includes dealings with all transportation, washing and shrouding, burial and prayers and paperwork.
Working with funerals and dead bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge over the past months.
“The Blackburn Muslim Burial Society are worthy winners of this year’s award,” Cllr Mohammed Khan, leader of the borough council, said.
“The past 18 months have been especially tough for the volunteers with the challenges of Covid-19 but they been completely committed to their work to help make things easier for those who are sadly bereaved. They treat each burial as if it were a member of their own family.”
Chairman of One Voice Abrar Hussain, said: “Blackburn Muslim Burial Society’s work in the community over the last 18 months in particular has been both selfless and inspirational. They have truly supported families in their hour of need.”
The British Muslim community has shown great efforts during the past two years.
Efforts varied from launching a £250,000 collaboration to sew and make protective gear for frontline workers, a food parcel drive that fed thousands, mental health and domestic violence support projects, the opening of online mosques and classes, and a mass vaccination push.
During the worst of the first wave of the pandemic, mosque car parks were given over to temporary mortuaries to cope with rising deaths.
The remarkable efforts have been summarized in a booklet ‘Faith in Action – West Midlands Muslim organizations’ Covid-19 Response’ that was officially launched at a gathering in August 2021.