Q: Muslims are buried wrapped in a simple shroud and then dust is scattered over them. Therefore, how can a Muslim be buried in North
) where there is no dust, but only frozen layers of ice which is as solid as stone. Moreover, if the body is buried there it will not disintegrate or decompose. After decades, or perhaps centuries, the body will still be in the same condition as that at the time of the burial. Weather conditions such as erosion and the melting of ice sometimes cause the corpse to surface above the ice after a few years. This actually happens and wild hungry animals scavenge the bodies for food. Is it permissible for Muslims in these lands to wash the dead, wrap it in a shroud and then cremating it in a coffin so that it turns to ashes? Your Eminence, I tried to explain the problem to you, and I hope you will tell us your opinion on the matter. Our situation is peculiar and does not resemble that of others living in the Middle East where the soil is suitable for burial and where it is possible to cover the body with dust. In Northern Canada there is no soil in the ground, even if were to dig tens of meters deep.
It is impermissible
to cremate the body of a Muslim who dies in the Arctic regions such as the Eskimo area.
Those in charge of disposing of the affairs of a Muslim must do their best to (Part No. 7; Page No. 344) move the body to a non-frozen area where it will be possible to bury him. Alternatively, they must dig a grave in the frozen layers of ice and bury him like others in that area. This is due to the general meaning of the evidences that facilitate matters upon Muslims such as the Words of Allah:
So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can
Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.
May Allah grant you success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.