Jun 24 2014
By Tamara Abdulrazzaq
Azzaman, June 24, 2014
Iraqis who get killed in fighting militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) are not in need of a proper Muslim burial, senior Shiite clerics in Najaf have decreed.
It is obligatory on Muslims to wash and shroud the deceased before burial, but the clerics say the ritual was not necessary to be performed for those killed in fighting ISIS.
“There is no need to wash and shroud those who get killed when performing the duty of defending the country because they are considered first-degree martyrs,” a source speaking for a group representing high-ranking clerics in Najaf said.
The clerics, however, had decreed that prayers were still obligatory to be said over “the martyrs” before they were buried.
“Only prayers must be said over these martyrs and after saying the prayers they must be buried immediately,” the source added.
The clerics in Najaf, led by grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, have urged Iraqis to take up arms against ISIS militants who have overrun three provinces and large swathes of territory in northern and central Iraq.
At least 1,000 Iraqis are reported to have been killed since ISIS began its lightening advance 10 days ago