Suzanne Olsson 
'Jesus in Kashmir The Lost Tomb'
edition-10 March 2017 pp 271,272

AL DAFFAN  (Islamic Burial Rules-)

‘It is of great importance that a special cemetery be devoted exclusively for the use of Muslims. Muslims may not be buried in the cemeteries of non-Muslims, nor can non-Muslims be buried in a Muslim cemetery.’

‘The deceased should be buried in the locality in which he lived. It is undesirable to take the body to the person’s own country or to another city.’

‘Performing autopsy on a dead Muslim is totally prohibited, unless it is requested by court order or for medical or legal reasons.’

The Fiqh Academy of the Muslim World League :(Makkah)
These are Islamic rulings on obtaining genetics and DNA-

“The genetic print is the distinct genetic structure that points to, and is unique to, the identity of each human being. Genetic prints are found in the nucleus inside each of the human body cells. The human body comprises trillions of cells, each one containing a nucleus that controls and determines the cell’s life and function. Each nucleus contains the genetic material—from the characteristics common to human beings as a whole, to those shared among related ethnicities, to the characteristics peculiar to the individual. The material root of the genetic print is found in the form of amino acids (DNA) known as chromosomes or nucleic acid. Half of a human being’s chromosomes come from the father, and half from the mother.

     It is by the will and grace of Allah that humans are able to detect the principles governing genetics, to arrange and classify their elements, both universal and particular, and to know how to benefit from these principles. Allah says: ‘And they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills ‘(Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:254).

The following are the areas in which DNA genetic printing may be utilized [in agreement with the current opinion of most fuqahâ’]:

1.       Paternity: (a) Sorting out inadvertently misidentified newborns in hospitals; (b) determining the identity of a missing child; (c) deciding actual paternity of a child attributed to someone when another comes forward with clear proof of a paternity claim, or (d) the rare case of a woman impregnated by two men (through concurrent fertilization of two different ova), as in cases of gang rape.

2.       Identity: (a) Establishing the identities of prisoners of war—or others, like abducted children—who have been gone for an excessively protracted period of time; (b) identifying corpses deformed beyond recognition; (c) verifying the identity of claimants of blood affiliation with a certain ethnic group or person (such as the descendants of the American founding father Thomas Jefferson through his slave-concubine).

3.       Culpability: Establishing criminal guilt from the DNA traces left by criminals (i.e., a body cell, semen, saliva, hair, cigarette butt, blood) as in the cases of rape, fornication, murder, theft, child kidnapping, etc.

4.       Contemporary fuqahâ’ maintain that, as a whole, genetic fingerprinting is a legally valid way to establish genealogical affinities.

(This is the ruling that allows DNA to be obtained from Yuz Asaf).

  In contrast to the process in the Roman Catholic Church, recognition of someone as a saint in Islam does not require formal decisions by a central institution. Instead, sainthood is a quality recognized informally by the Muslim community, and rarely agreed upon by all. It can be decided any time, any place, by anyone. Although Islam lacks a single authority such as a pope, Islamic scholars provide explanations of the concept. The mystical Sufi branch of Islam has a wide array of traditions regarding the divine qualities of the ‘friends of God,’ and in Shiite Islam the religious leaders known as imams commonly occupy the role of saints or ‘friends of God.’

     For Muslims who believe the veneration of saints is shirk, or idolatry, relics and artifacts are forbidden, and often destroyed. However, artifacts believed to have survived from the Prophet's household have been carefully preserved and are treated as sacred objects in the Topkapi Museum in Turkey, along with some very interesting relics of other faiths, religious pieces sent to the Ottoman Sultans between the 16th and late 19th century. The ‘Destimal Chamber is the room in which Abraham’s Pot, Joseph’s Turban, Moses’s Staff, David’s Sword, scrolls belonging to John, and Muhammad’s footprint are on display.

Imagine entering the tomb of any great man, Cyrus, or Alexander, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi (if he had a grave), or even Muhammad or Imam Ali, and placing the body of your friend's brother, or son, or pious mother in the same tomb! Imagine burying a Catholic saint next to Muhammad. It is a ludicrous idea, and yet Roza Bal is proof that this happened.

The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) 
 Islamic Scholars have guidelines regarding DNA. Opening the grave, even relocating the deceased or obtaining DNA, is permissible in Islam under quite a few broad circumstances—

     [1] When the dead body has been buried in usurped land and the owner of the land is not willing to let it remain there.

     [2] When the Kafan (shroud) of the dead body or any other thing buried with it had been usurped and the owner of the thing in question is not willing to let it remain in the grave. [Author's note: This would apply to burying a Muslim in the non-Muslim grave, where it does not belong. A tomb built 2,000 years ago cannot be an Islamic tomb, nor can anyone be converted posthumously.]

     [3] When digging up the grave does not amount to disrespect of the dead person, and it appears that he was buried without Ghusl (washing) or Kafan, or the Ghusl was performed in an improper way, or he was not given Kafan according to religious rules, or was not laid out in a grave facing the Qibla (direction of the Kabbah).

[4] When it is necessary to inspect the body of the dead person to establish a right that is more important than exhumation (the claims of the families, the requests for DNA, the determination of the actual historical person of Yuz Asaf are all rights of the claimants).

     [5] When the dead body of a Muslim has been buried at a place that is against sanctity, as in the graveyard of a non-Muslim or at a place of garbage.

     [6] When the grave is dug up for a legal purpose that is more important than exhumation. For example, when it is proposed to take out a living child from the womb of a buried woman, or to prove the paternity of a child for legal inheritance. This also applies to determine ancestry.

     [7] When it is feared that a wild beast will would tear up the corpse or it will be carried away by flood or exhumed by the enemy.

     [8] When the deceased has willed that his body be transferred to sacred places before burial, and it was intentionally or forgetfully buried elsewhere, then the body can be exhumed, providing that doing so does not result in any disrespect to the deceased.                                                   HOME