Malaysiakini

Body-snatching - no end in sight

YOURSAY ‘The spiritual significance of any God-fearing person is not determined by how they are buried but by how they lived.'

Cremated woman was Muslim, says Abdul Malik

your sayYF: Does it really matter to God what kind of burial you receive? What if you died in the jungle and your body was eaten by wild boar? Go figure. There have been instances where Christians were buried using the rituals of other religions, does that bother God?

Jesus said clearly, "Let the dead bury the dead" (Matthew 8:22). In short, the spiritual significance of any God-fearing person is not determined by how they are buried but by how they lived. And people who make so much fuss about burials are themselves spiritually dead.

Lurker: I was just wondering whether God/Allah/Supreme Being is more concerned about the body of a dead person than the living and how we are living our lives now.

I think somewhere someone has distorted our priorities. Why don't they just let the family do what they think is best to the body as the soul or spirit is already somewhere else?

Fair Play: The only long-term solution for such incidences is for the Hindu community to educate their members. No amount of emotional display after the fact will solve anything.

Keturunan Malaysia: My grandmother, a Nyonya from Malacca, was a Buddhist all her life. When she died, the children who undertook to give her a proper burial and to take good faithful care of her grave, buried her as a Christian in a Christian cemetery. What's the problem? None.

If the family, repeat, if the family agreed to it, then that's that. Whether it is right or wrong or who should be blamed if it is wrong, is none of anybody's business except God, if it pleases Him. Some of these religious people really do not have anything better to do.

Mohd Sivakumar Abdullah Pillay: I have been hearing and reading about issues like this countless times. Let the family solve the issue with the ‘jabatan' (department).

Once dead, what religion you belong to doesn't matter. Only your good deeds matter.

P Dev Anand Pillai: Perhaps the Hindraf advisor N Ganesan has got it wrong. When Nagamah left her first marriage and entered into a second marriage with a Muslim and upon conversion to Islam as it is a must, her ties with her former Hindu family ceases.

All her children from her previous Hindu marriage will cease to have any rights over her remains although she may have never practiced Islam and may have returned to the first family in her final days.
The issue here is not her eldest Hindu son's rights, it is her conversion to Islam without her first Hindu family's knowledge.

The blame here lies with the deceased, she led two lives. Obviously here, once converted it is a one-way ticket. Even if Penang is under Gerakan-Umno, the result will be the same.

Hang Tuah PJ: Where were the nine Muslim children when the mother died? Where is the Muslim husband? Who was M Nagamah living with as the Hindu children are saying that she lived as and was a practising Hindu.

Why was there no mention of the nine Muslim children earlier. This needs a thorough investigation. Please do it quickly so that her soul can rest in peace.

Malaysia ABU: Why is the second Muslim family totally not in the picture, instead it is the first Hindu family versus the religious department? This case should be settled as a civil issue between two families.

When the state is involved, it will be seen as the authority bullying the ordinary people. As long as there are state Islamic departments and they continue to intervene in family matters where members of other religions are involved, this type of problems will never end.

All such cases should be settled in the civil court. Religious departments should take the hands-off approach.

Akutuan: I think we should let the person who take care of Nagamah's well-being all this years should have the last say, regardless she is a Muslim or Hindu. Let's use common sense.

Amused Malaysian: More facts, and these make sense. Nagamah had converted to Islam - that's all that matters and she has to be buried as a Muslim. End of story.

The son, a Hindu, has no rights insofar as his mother's religious choices are concerned. In fact, by cremating her, the family has wronged her.

By the way, I am a Hindu, and totally believe in religious rights and freedom, but I cannot tolerate manipulating the issue for political gain.

Progressive: I am a non-Muslim and am appalled, disturbed and disappointed with these latest turn of events. If the Hindu family of Nagamah, or Maria Abdullah, had cremated her knowing full well that their mother is a Muslim - it is a grave travesty of justice and an affront to her Islamic faith.

"The issue here is not whether she is a Muslim or not, but whether he has his rights as a Hindu and as a son," said Hindraf advisor Ganesan. The issue is about religion. Period.

People like Ganesan are trying to play up religious sentiments. How in the name of heavens could someone cremate a Muslim?

Ganesan and Maria Abdullah's Hindu family owe her Muslim family and Muslims in general a humble apology.

And Ganesan and Hindraf should watch their steps, or else they will engulf this beloved country of ours in religious conflicts.

Hindraf, please provide good and meaningful leadership to the Indian community in our beautiful country. You have done great things before, and we are indebted to you.

James1067: The person is dead and her soul now rest with God to decide. Nothing can change anything as to how the burial process must proceed since it will not change anything.

As humans, let's us sort it out in a civilised manner and put this episode to rest. We must, in future, have a mechanism in place where this is not repeated.

May God bless her soul and comfort her family in this time of grievance.

Geronimo: It is not whether the dead person is a Muslim or otherwise, but it is the way the whole matter was handled.

Can these Muslim officers from the religious department try to visualise this - you are about to bury one of your kin according to Muslim rites.

In the midst of it all, the entire family grieving due to the loss and out of the blue comes a group of Hindu religious people demanding that the body be handed over to them because the dead person was a converted Hindu.

How do you think the family will feel? Traumatised would be the word. So, can some of these religious nimcompoops come out with a system where a better approach be made with the grieving family to finally lay the body to rest?

Just snatching the body away while the entire family is in grief is insensitive, to say the least.

Swipenter: This is not the first case of body snatching and it won't be the last. All of these cases involves Muslim converts who were presumably not living as good Muslims when they were alive.

Only when they are dead do these body snatchers show up to claim their bodies for a Muslim burial causing a lot of distress and grief to the deceased non-Muslim family members who are likely for the first time to come to know of the deceased's conversion to Islam.

I always wonder how come these body snatchers come to know of their deaths without fail? Were the deceased being monitored when alive?

If that is the case, why did these religious police fail to send these non-practicing Muslim converts to "re-education camps" to make them good practicing Muslims when they were still alive and kicking? What's the point in giving a non-practicing Muslim convert a Muslim burial?

Hang Tuah PJ: I suspected as much - that the Hindu children were actually also Muslim children by name, but not by practice. God, this is now even more messy. Trust the authorities to muddy everything up in their over-zealousness to create more Muslims in the country.

If Nagamah did not go through the ‘nikah' ceremony, then the children are borne out of wedlock and in Islam, the father - in this case the Muslim - has no rights over them whatsoever. Their religion should then be Hindu.

Why did the religious authorities classify them as Muslims? This is mind boggling. I think I have had enough of this issue. See how authorities can tear families apart.


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