Islamic burial rites dictate that the deceased should be buried as quickly as possible — most often within 24 hours — so there is no need for embalming or preserving the body.
Yet it’s been three days since the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, and it’s unclear what happened to his body or whether he will have a Muslim funeral.
It’s a problem for American Muslims, writes Jaweed Kaleem at the Huffington Post.
Tsarnaev died Friday after a shootout with police and his body was “turned over to the law enforcement for forensic experts, medical examiners and investigators seeking more details about his death and his actions,” Kaleem writes. In recent years, the 26-year-old suspect reportedly had begun to get serious about Islamic prayers and other Muslim practices, praying five times a day and going to a mosque in a Boston suburb.
But area mosques are keeping their distance from the dead man, Kaleem writes, fearing retaliation.
“I would not be willing to do a funeral for him,” Imam Talal Eid, of the Islamic Institute of Boston, a community-services organization that frequently arranges funeral prayers and burials in the region, told Kaleem. “This is a person who deliberately killed people. There is no room for him as a Muslim. He already left the fold of Islam by doing that. In the Quran it says those who will kill innocent people, they will dwell in the hellfire.”
Tsarnaev’s younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, remains in a Boston hospital and was charged Monday with “conspiring to use weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in the U.S. resulting in death.”
Peggy Fletcher Stack