Bathing the corpse is one of the main steps of Islamic funerals.
The ruling, announced today, April 25, aims to preserve the health of morgue workers and curb the spread of the pandemic.
Bathing the corpse is one of the main steps of Islamic funeral rites. Mourners usually do it within hours of the death using hot water.
The only circumstance when bathing the body is not necessary in the Islamic law is if the deceased died as a martyr while suffering from trauma or mutilation.
Islamic laws are not rigid and the Supreme Scientific Council, as the highest religious authority in the country, has the right to issue fatwas, or rulings, to update the Islamic laws depending on current circumstances.
The new ruling aims to protect the health of individuals and society, the council explained in a statement.
In the Maliki school, the school of Islamic jurisprudence Morocco follows, people can bury the dead without bathing if they underwent “horrible” trauma, said the statement.
“People dying from COVID-19 are considered martyrs,” the document continued.
The fatwa is the latest in a series of funeral-related measures Morocco implemented to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Morocco entered into a state of health emergency on March 20, Moroccan authorities limited the number of relatives allowed to attend the burial ceremony to seven.
The Moroccan government has also banned the transportation of dead corpses from one city to another, requiring the burial of the deceased in the same city where they died.
The regulations will remain active at least until the end of the state of emergency, scheduled on May 20.
As of 10 a.m. this morning, Morocco has recorded 3,889 COVID-19 cases, including 498 recoveries and 159 deaths.