ST. JONES - After quarter a century, the Muslim community in the northeastern Canadian city of St. Jones is preparing to establish their first cemetery, concluding years of preparation and fundraising.
"We have people moving here from the United States, from across Canada and from all over the world," Syed Pirzada, president of the local Muslim association, told CBC News.Coming to St. Jones 30 years ago, the first Muslim families could not find a suitable place to bury their dead.
At this time, Muslims were given 50 lots on the southwest corner of the General Protestant Cemetery in the city's west end.
Pirzada said today there are more than 200 families living in St. Jones.
However, they are only three to four plots.
Muslim minorities in the West have been facing difficulties in burying their dead because of lack of enough burial grounds.
Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead
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.
With a growing community, Muslims were asking for new services such as a proper mosque and a cemetery.
Major questions asked are 'is there a proper community centre, a proper Mosque, restaurants, and is there a cemetery?' Pirzada said.
So I think having all this will make it easier for them to make a decision.
Located in Torbay, work on the new cemetery is expected to start this spring.
One hundred lots will be developed in the first phase of the project.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the north American country.A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.