A private Legal Practitioner and a Muslim Cleric, Baba Jamal, has pointed out by the tenets of the religion, Muslims do not allow their dead to be kept even for a day before burial.
According to him, Prophet Mohammed in his teachings declared that Sallah, marriage, and burial rites should be performed immediately without delay.
“Prophet Mohammed said that there are three things that must be addressed immediately when they happened. The first thing which must not be delayed is the time for Sallah, marriage rites, and the third one is when someone dies the person must be buried immediately because he is not part of the living and that is why Muslims don’t keep the dead in morgues, but due to law and technology, it has become necessary that we will keep dead bodies at the morgue for doctors to conduct postmortems”, he narrated.
He was reacting to the controversy generated as a result of misleading online reports over the weekend that sought to create the impression former president John Dramani Mahama has “promised to construct more mortuaries for the Zongo communities.”
The Campaign Team described the claims as “mischievous, deliberately distorted and misleading”.
Speaking on Okay FM, Baba Jamal, who is a former Member of Parliament for Akwatia constituency, stresed that because death is an unavoidable consequence of life, Muslims believe it is important to know where their dead relatives are buried.
Defending the NDC manifesto on the need to establish mortuaries for some Zongo Communities, Hon. Baba Jamal said that former President Mahama’s decision to comply with the desire of Muslim leaders for morgues in Zongos, eventhough it is contrary to their own religious beliefs, is due to technology and law which requires postmortem of dead bodies.
“Due to technology, it has become relevant that if someone dies, postmortem must be carried out and this may be contrary to the religion of the Muslims but it is a matter of law that if someone dies, there must be examined to find the cause of death as it is done”.
“One thing which is clear is that our manifesto is based on the interaction with people in our society and so when we went to the Zongos, we had a discussion with the elders of the Zongo Communities and Imams and the citizens of Zongo and they said one of the most important thing they need is to have mortuaries in some areas like Nima and Ashaiman Communities”, he defended.
“That is what we asked the elders of the Muslim communities and they said that what will bring an end to this issue is that if we are to construct morgues, we should make same available in major Zongo communities like Nima, Ashaiman, and Koforidua Zongos. This is because, whether we like it or not muslims in the Zongo communities will die”, he added.
To Baba Jamal, there is nothing wrong if the next John Mahama administration grants Muslims their wish so long as it is in tandem with the laws of the country by establishing in every major Zongo Community a mortuary for a befitting preservation of their dead.
“There is freedom of worship in this country and everybody is free to pursue their religious beliefs and so if it is true that adherents of the Muslim faith are forbidden to keep their dead in morgues, then it is the responsibility of government to provide the environment for such category of people to abide by their religious tenets without any kind of state impediments,” he stated.