Volunteering to bury the dead is a highly rewardable act in Islam. But for one man to volunteer for more than 1000 hours without being paid for a single minute is a story of a role model.
Aftab Iqbal, also known as award-winning DJ Bally, worked long hours over the past year to help Muslim burials at Scholemoor Cemetery in Bradford, Telegraph & Argus reported.
At the time of COVID-19 pandemic, the work pace has been huge.
“I’ve done it as a thank-you gesture,” said Iqbal. “It’s been a tough one for people through the pandemic.”
Adil Shaan, head of bereavement services at Janaza Announcements, believes the work Iqbal has done in helping and assisting with services and burials at Scholemoor Cemetery is outstanding.
“Aftab is one of a kind,” said Shaan. “He’s one of the hidden gems of Bradford.”
“He’s volunteered over 1,000 hours free at the graveyard and he’s not got paid for a single minute of it.
“Aftab has done this because of the current situation,” said Shaan. “He wants to give something back to the community. If only everyone dedicated just of a few hours of their time.”
“Aftab does a fantastic job. No-one does this for a hobby and not many people would give this amount of their time. He does us and has done Bradford proud.”
Working with funerals and dead bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge over the past months.
“It’s bit challenging because sometimes he’s been handling seven to eight burials a day. Some days Aftab will start in the morning and he will be there until 8pm or 9pm in the evening,” Shaan said.
“His duties include assisting families and guiding them step by step through a death in a family.
“He’s very sensitive with families, well spoken, composed and knows how to handle the situation. He leads them through the process. This has been been particularly tough for families.
“Prior to the pandemic, Janaza Announcements used to get 360 deaths a year from the Muslim community in Bradford. But March 2020 to March 2021, we had 700 deaths and more were related to Covid rather than non-Covid.”
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.
Two or three adult Muslims should wash the body and then put on the shroud (kafan). Before the burial, Muslims should perform a funeral prayer.
The burial should be done as soon as possible. It is makruh (reprehensible) to delay the burial of the dead.