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Saturday, March 02, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

What Islam says on exhumation

Prominent Islamic scholar Dr Khalid Zaheer lists conditions in which it is permissible
Prominent Islamic scholar Dr. Khalid Zaheer explains Islam’s take on exhumation

KARACHI: A court in Karachi has ordered the exhumation of the remains of televangelist and politician Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who died under mysterious cirucmstances earlier this month.

Following his death, the police wanted to conduct a post-mortem to establish the cause of death. However, the family was against the post-mortem out of ‘respect’ for the dead. It resulted in a standoff that delayed the burial, which took place without the post-mortem.

However, in light of the order by a judicial magistrate, the body is set to be exhumed on Thursday.

We asked prominent Islamic scholar Dr Khalid Zaheer about what Islam says on the issue of exhumation.

Prominent Islamic scholar Dr. Khalid Zaheer explains Islam’s take on exhumation

“According to the Islamic instructions, in the light of Sunnah, when people die, they should be given a bath, shrouded; their funeral prayers are to be offered and they should be buried with respect,” said Zaheer. “Other than this, there is no further instructions given in this context.”

Dr. Zaheer has a PhD from the University of Wales and he has taught courses on Islamic ethics, traditions and economics at various top national institutions, including the Aga Khan University and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

He said that if the situation is viewed in the general spirit of Islam, exhumation is not prohibited. It can be done for the human welfare in special conditions, he said.

He cited several situations where exhumation would be permissible:

  • if there are chances of getting any important evidence in a murder case
  • if body parts of the deceased are to be implanted to someone in need
  • if it ordered by the court or any other competent authority

Dr Zaheer pointed out that it should be done for extremely special cases and not in usual or unimportant conditions.

The exhumation of Dr Aamir Liaquat is scheduled for 9:30 am, Thursday. A six-member medical board has been formed for the autopsy.

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Aamir Liaquat Hussain

Abdullah Shah Ghazi


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