SHAH ALAM, March 27 — The next-of-kin and acquaintances of Muslims who have died due to Covid-19 can perform funeral prayers or ‘solat jenazah’ in absence of the body, says Selangor Deputy Mufti Datuk Dr Anhar Opir.
He said the funeral prayers in absentia was a way for family members and friends to pay their last respects to the deceased whom they are not able to see.
“Scholars have not set a specific time period for prayers to be performed. It can be done after a day, two days or a week. What’s important is that we (perform the prayer when we) have received news of the death.
“But we need to ensure, in the event that a death has just occurred, the prayer should only be held after the body has been buried,” he told reporters after a Covid-19 Victims’ Burial Management briefing session here yesterday.
He said in accordance with the movement control order (MCO) effective until April 14, solat jenazah can be performed either alone or in a congregation at home.
Recently, the funeral management and burial of several Covid-19 patients have only been allowed to be carried out by hospital personnel who are fully equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent a new cluster of the outbreak.
No next-of-kin are allowed to attend the funeral and burial process in such cases.
Meanwhile, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) has set up a special team to manage the burial process of Covid-19 patients in the state to help the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the public in preventing the spread of the disease.
JAIS director Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad said the special team comprising 35 individuals including four women was set up in the wake of the rising rate of infection.
He said although MOH was still able to manage the bodies of Covid-19 victims at the hospital, the special team would be coordinated by JAIS in cooperation with the police if they received a report of a death at home.
“In the event of a death at home, this special team will gather information because the deceased could be infected with Covid-19.
“We do not want a case where the body of the person who had been infected is handled in the wrong manner as it can create a new cluster of infections,” he told reporters here yesterday.