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Hybrid burial questioned

Popular TV personality Suhaib Ilyasi may have been let off by the police in the case of his wife Anju’s ‘suicide’ but the Muslim community has strongly objected to the hybrid nature of her last rites and the burial place. Anju, daughter-in-law of the capital’s prominent sarkari maulavi, Jameel Ilyasi, president of the controversial All-India Organization of Imams, was accorded both the Hindu and Muslim burial rites. Said to have converted to Islam at the time of marrying Ilyasi, namaz-e janaza (Islamic prayer after death) was performed for her before her cremation according to Hindu rites. Later half her ashes were buried in a Muslim graveyard and half was taken for immersion in the Ganges.

The Muslim point of view is that either she was a Hindu or a Muslim. She cannot be both at the same time. Therefore, she must have been buried according to one religion alone. This hybrid burial creates a new precedent which some may try to follow or force on others in future. Moreover, it is not imaginable or acceptable that a non-Muslim may be buried in a waqf qabristan.

The Milli Gazette asked Maulawi Jameel Ilyasi for his point of view in this controversy. He refused to say anything except that ‘If they (police) had given the dead body of my daughter -in-law to me, I would have buried it. Instead of calling me or giving me the dead body, the police handed it over to her parents and they burnt it. Whatever happened was predestined. No one can go against Allah’s order,’ he said.

Expressing his views over the issue, Mr Shafiq Alam Nadwi of the Jama’at-e Islami Hind fatwa department told The Milli Gazette that whatever was done was un-Islamic. Anju did not embrace Islam, hence she remained non-Muslim and the namaze janaza of a non-Muslim is not allowed in Islam. Mufti In’amul Haque of Jamiat-e Ulema-e Hind said that whatever happened is against Islamic decrees. An official of Ahl-e Hadith, who did not want to be named, told this newspaper: ‘The namaze janaza is not allowed because the girl was not a Muslim as she never embraced Islam.’ Maulana Muhammad Sajid Rasheedi, president of the All-India Tanzim-e A’imma strongly condemned this hybrid burial and asked Suhaib Ilyasi to renew his faith. Naved Hamid, of the Movement for Empowerment of Indian Muslims, regarded it as an insult to Islam and a bad precedent. 

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