CARDIFF - Seeking to accommodate the religious needs of its Muslim community, Wales' largest city of Cardiff is mulling a proposal to change rules to allow a same-day burial, the BBC reported on Wednesday, January 18.
"Just like the Jewish community, Muslims also need to bury their dead as soon as possible or within 24 hours, Saleem Kidwai, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales, said.
Cardiff, home to 25,000 Muslims, has rules since 2004 that allow people to bury their dead the following day.
But Cardiff council is now considering a proposal to change the rules to allow a same-day burial.
Under the proposal, to be discussed Thursday, people can bury their dead the same day.
People will also be allowed to report a death at weekends or bank holidays.
The move follows demands from Muslim leaders for a same-day burial of their dead.
"It was clear from all of the service users and faith group leaders that a same-day burial service would better meet the religious needs of both the Muslim and Jewish communities, says a report to the Cardiff city members.
If approved, the same-day burial service will be effective from April.
According to Islamic teachings, the highest honor to be bestowed on the dead is giving the deceased a swift burial, preferably in the same day.
Muslim leaders hope that the proposal of the same-day burial service will be approved by Cardiff councilors.
"If these changes go ahead, I hope it would be a beacon for other local authorities to follow," said Kidwai.
The Muslim leader noted that the next-day burial service was stressful for many families.
He said that under the next-day burial service, someone who died in hospital in Cardiff on Friday evening, for example, might not be buried until Tuesday due to the bureaucracy involved.
"It is spiritually quite stressful for their family."
The report to the Cardiff council recognizes that the same-day burial would satisfy the religious needs of minorities in the city.
"Most local authorities with large ethnic groups recognise the need to provide services such as this to meet the religious and cultural needs of its population, the report says.
"Cardiff has a very good understanding of such processes and procedures through its own staff's knowledge and experience but has also sought views from other authorities in the UK."Britain is home to a Muslim minority of nearly 2.3 million.