Muslim Burial Practices Blamed for Spread of Ebola Virus
Muslim burial practices are being blamed for the spread of Ebola.
Remains of Secretary General of The Nigeria Supreme General for Islamic Affairs and Seriki of Egbaland, Alhaji Lateeef Adegbite at his burial in 2012.
Islam requires family members to personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. This practise is putting more Africans at risk to catch the disease that is spread by body fluids.
Islam isn’t just at the heart of the terror threat posed by the Islamic State. The religion is also contributing to the other major crisis plaguing the globe: the spread of Ebola.
Washington and its media stenographers won’t tell you this, lest they look intolerant, but Islamic burial rituals are a key reason why health officials can’t contain the spread of the deadly disease in West Africa.
Many of the victims of Ebola in the three hot-spot nations there — Sierra Leone and Guinea, as well as neighboring Liberia — are Muslim. Roughly 73% of Sierra Leone’s and about 85% of Guinea’s people are Muslim. Islam, moreover, is practiced by more than 13% of Liberians.
When Muslims die, family members don’t turn to a funeral home or crematorium to take care of the body. In Islam, death is handled much differently.
Relatives personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. Often, several family members participate in this posthumous bathing ritual, known as Ghusl.
Before scrubbing the skin with soap and water, family members press down on the abdomen to excrete fluids still in the body. A mixture of camphor and water is used for a final washing. Then, family members dry off the body and shroud it in white linens.
Again, washing the bodies of the dead in this way is considered a collective duty for Muslims, especially in Muslim nations. Failure to do so is believed to leave the deceased “impure” and jeopardizes the faithful’s ascension into Paradise (unless he died in jihad; then no Ghusl is required).
Before the body is buried, Muslims attending the funeral typically pass a common bowl for use in ablution or washing of the face, feet and hands, compounding the risk of infection.