CAIRO - Ending years of a dilemma to bury their dead according to Islamic teachings, Muslims in Canada's largest metropolitan area were finally given the green light to build their first cemetery, CBC News reported.
It's an emotional thing, Sabi Ahsan, chairman of Toronto Muslim Cemetery Corporation (TMCC), said.
Some people really want the comfort of knowing they will be buried in a Muslim cemetery.
Authorities in the Greater Toronto Area have given permission to the TMCC to build the first Muslim cemetery in Richmond Hill.
The Muslim cemetery, the first in the province, will hold services according to Islamic teachings.
It will have 40,000 graves aligned toward the holy city of Makkah and will allow Muslims to bury their beloved on the day they die.
The cemetery is expected to be opened in June to serve the needs of the 300,000 Muslims in the province.
The permission came after years of struggle by Muslims to have a cemetery to bury their beloved according to Islamic teachings.
Muslims in the province have used non-denominational cemeteries, often compromising on certain religious requirements at the time of death, such as speedy burial.
According to Islamic teachings, a Muslim's dead body should be immediately taken to a mortuary for washing and preparation.
Two or three adult Muslims should wash the body and then put on the shroud (kafan). Before the burial, the funeral prayer should be done.
The burial should be done as soon as possible. It is makruh (reprehensible) to delay the burial of the dead.
The project is the fruit of cooperation between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the province.
The cemetery is a landmark cooperation" between Muslims of all denominations and will bring the entire community closer together, said Ahsan.
The land for the cemetery was bought for $6.8 million from a Jewish company, which provided the TMCC with an interest-free mortgage.
A Muslim cemetery to meet the needs of residents in Ottawa and Gatineau, Quebec, is expected to open in June.
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country.
A recent report from the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life said that Muslims are expected to make up 6.6% of Canada's total population in 2030.A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.