Published: May 2, 2011
Islamic Rituals: Osama Bin Laden "Respectfully" Buried At Sea?
by Jack Ryan
On the morning of May 2nd, 2011, the world was informed by United States President Barack Obama that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, has been killed. In that same announcement, America was told that Osama was buried at sea immediately following his death - and that the victory of his death was in no way a victory against Islam.
Osama Bin Laden's death comes as great news to America, but some skeptics are holding out celebration until the US government provides proof of the most-wanted terrorist's death. While celebrations and conspiracy theories circulate this morning, there is one question that demands an answer - why was Osama's body buried at sea so quickly? Upon further investigation into the reason for Osama's hasty burial, one comes to the burial rituals that normally take place in Islam.
According to Wikipedia, in Islam, a body should be buried as soon as possible after death. The burial rituals are as follows:
1. Bathing the dead body, except in extraordinary circumstances as in battle of Uhud.
2. Enshrouding dead body in a white cotton or linen cloth.
3. Funeral prayer.
4. Burial of the dead body in a grave.
5. Positioning the deceased so that the head is faced towards Mecca (Makkah Al-Mukarramah).
Osama Bin Laden's rushed burial at sea, followed by statements made by Barack Obama in an attempt to appease and calm the Muslim community, are troubling. While the burial at sea is against normal Islamic customs -- they believe a body should be buried on land "so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out" -- the idea that officials would want to give Osama any type of "respectful" Islamic burial is disturbing - especially since "true" Muslims claim Osama is an abuser of the Koran who perverted the texts to justify his disgusting acts.
According to Wikipedia, Osama's body was buried at sea "with Islamic traditions". So was his body prayed over, washed, and faced towards Mecca? Why haven't US officials given us more details about his burial?
One additional detail is that the United States government offered Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden's homeland, his body for burial - yet they buried him at sea to avoid the development of a shrine. Why then, offer his body to his homeland? Perhaps dumping the body onto a Muslim nation would wash the hands of the Obama administration for burying Bin Laden with "prayer," however the Saudi government rejected the offer.
Photographs of Osama's dead body have not been released. Obama's statements regarding Islam immediately following the death of Osama are below.
"We must also reaffirm that the United States is not -- and never will be -- at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."