Dear Community Members,

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuh.

The Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA) has prepared special protocols for the conduct of Janazah (funeral) services and prayers during the COVID19 crisis. These protocols ensure compliance with public health requirements and are intended to ensure the safety of all involved, while preserving the very important Islamic rituals of ghusl, kafan, Jazanah prayer and burial.

The protocols are guided by  the fatwa (religious opinion) of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), joint statement of the Canadian Council of Imams and the Muslim Medical Association of Canada, and the opinion of the local MIA Fiqh Committee.

General Janazah Arrangements (in effect until further notice) 

  1. To minimize movement and transportation, the Janazah prayer will preferably be held at the Cemetery or Cropo Funeral home, per City of Winnipeg guidelines – limiting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, including MIA, Cropo funeral home and cemetery staff, and maintaining physical distancing.
  2. Immediate family only will be able to be at the grave side when the body is being lowered in the grave.
  3. Once hand fill has been done the burial attendees must move away from the graveside to allow the graveyard employees to cover the grave.
  4. The deceased will be buried in a wooden coffin. Coffins will not be reused. No one will be allowed inside the grave.
  5. Anyone in quarantine, returned from travel outside Manitoba, had contact with someone who returned from travel, has tested positive for COVID19 or is exhibiting any symptoms of illness must not attend the funeral.

Funerals without risk of infection 

  1. Deceased will be picked up from the hospital, home or nursing home, per MIA arrangements.
  2. Ghusl will take place at the facility per MIA guidelines (Cropo Funeral home or the MIA Facility when it opens).
  3. The number of people including any family members present at a ghusl will be restricted to a maximum of four.
  4. The Janazah prayer and burial will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people, including MIA staff and volunteers, and will be performed with strict adherence to physical distancing measures.
  5. Families wishing to announce the death can do so through MIA’s channels after the burial.

Funerals with risk of infection or known cases of COVID19 

Burial arrangements for any patient who has passed away due to COVID19, will be in accordance with guidelines from health authorities.  These guidelines are evolving and will be monitored.

It is agreed upon that washing, shrouding and performing the Janazah prayer is required and must be carried out by the community. However, if there is concern of viral infection from the deceased body, or if the health authorities restrict the performance of these rituals, then the following are allowed:

  1. Modify the washing by pouring water on the deceased body without any rubbing, even if they are in hospital gowns that are not waterproof.
  2. Performing tayamum on the deceased’s face and hands.
  3. These obligations are lifted if the ghusl or tayamum cannot be performed due to the risk of infection or the decision of health authorities. In this case, we proceed to perform the Janazah prayer and burial directly.

We understand that these are difficult times and these measures may pose an inconvenience. Your co-operation and understanding are appreciated. We will keep the community informed as the situation evolves. These are rapidly changing times and guideline will evolve as we go through this pandemic.

We ask Allah (swt) to shower us with His Mercy and Love. We ask Him to lift this crisis and to enable us to serve our community, the living and the deceased, in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (S). Ameen.

MIA mosques are closed to the public until further notice. Please follow our virtual programming on Youtube and Facebook.

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