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WATCH: Ghusl facility launched at Mowbray Cemetery

Published Mar 4, 2022

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Cape Town – The Mowbray Cemetery has officially launched its on-site ghusl facility for washing and preparation for deceased persons.

Chairman of the Moslem Cemetery Board, Faizal Sayed with members of the board and the presidency of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and other invited guests were part of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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The custom-designed facility is fully equipped for undertakers and members of the public to prepare a body for burial.

PRESIDENT of the MJC Sheikh Irafaan Abrahams and head of cemetery management in the City of Cape Town Susan Brice at Mowbray Muslim Cemetery. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The preparations for burial include the washing and wrapping of the body in the burial shroud (kaffan).

A designated prayer room has also been established at the facility.

Sayed said this facility is much needed as some people may not have these facilities at home and said this facility will make the process of burial easier on relatives burying a loved one.

MOWBRAY Muslim Cemetery unveiled its Ghusl Khana, a first for the country where the deceased is washed in a ritual ceremony, before burial. This has traditionally been done in homes, but now it is offered at the Mowbray Cemetery to all people who don't have facilities at home. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Sayed told IOL that the Covid-19 pandemic has left many with lessons and one of those was the assessment of how prepared a community is to respond to a catastrophic situation.

He said when Covid-19 hit, challenges arose during burials, Muslim families were not allowed to take the bodies of their relatives who tested positive for Covid-19 home.

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MOWBRAY Muslim Cemetery unveiled its Ghusl Khana, a first for the country where the deceased is washed in a ritual ceremony, before burial. This has traditionally been done in homes, but now it is offered at the Mowbray Cemetery to all people who don't have facilities at home. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Sayed said the facility is available immediately to those who wish to make use of it.

“The facility has the same charge as all the others. Approximately R350 which covers maintenance, water, electricity etc.

“However, when there is a pauper funeral, such costs will be waived.

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“Bookings are not done in advance noting washing In Islamic culture is done as soon as the body is ready. Hence the undertaker can simply inform the cemetery.

“If there is another body in preparation, it takes about an hour and from there the next person can use the facility,” Sayed said.

The construction of the facility took place in December last year.

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