CAIRO – With no graveyards in the city, Indian Muslims in Chakarnagar village in Uttar Pradesh district are being forced to bury their dead at homes or on the road, breaching one of the Muslims' most sensitive beliefs of honoring the dead.
“My mother, a brother and grandfather are buried there,” Sullah Ahmed, a resident of Takia village who has two graves beneath his room doorstep, told The Indian Express on Monday, October 28.
Getting an increasing Muslim population, Chakarnagar's need for more burial space has appeared over the past years.
Earlier, Chakarnagar village, nearly 35 km from Etawah, used to be a home for six Muslims houses.
"There was open space, but now there are nearly 250 people living here," Mukhtiyar Ali, a Chakarnagar resident, noted.
Though Muslims have been calling for a land to end their suffering, their requests had been ignored and they haven't granted the land yet.
"We told our problem during elections to political leaders. They promised us land for graveyard, but nothing has materialized," said Alam Khan.
Residents also met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to solve their problem, but to get a quick solution they depended on their own by constructing ‘temporary’ graves.
Etawah officials confirmed they were aware of the crisis, saying that they tried earlier to offer a land for graveyards, but it wasn't approved by Chakarnagar's Muslim community.
"We have identified land in Chandai village which is 2 km away. But they are not accepting it," argued P Guru Prasad, Etawah district magistrate.
Struggling for several years to get land for a graveyard, Muslims were forced to bury their beloved ones inside their homes, bedrooms courtyards, and even in 'toilets'.
"My children sometimes start crying at night because they know they are sleeping on their mother's grave," complained Alam Khan, Takia village resident who has buried his wife inside his home.
Taking cautious movements, elderly Muslims in Takia village avert walking on their deceased family members' graves as a sign of respect.
Children, however, may forget and play on them.
Indian Muslims in Takia village expressed their grief over inability offer a proper burial for their deceased relatives.
"I cannot give her decent life even after death," said Ahmed Staed, who was forced to bury his wife on the road outside, after his home was crowded with buried corpses of family members.
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead.
Allah says in the Qur’an, (We have honored sons of Adam…) (Al-Israa’ 17: 70)
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, the funeral prayer should be done.
The burial should be done as soon as possible. It is makruh (reprehensible) to delay the burial of the dead.
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