Mummifying a child's corpse for educational purposes
Praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessing be upon the last Prophet. To commence:The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' (Part No. 25; Page No. 98) has perused the question submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the School of Medicine, Dr. Osamah Shobokshy, to His Honor the General Chairman, which is referred by the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars no. 1557/ 2 on 29/7/1399 A.H. The text of the question is as follows:Mr.----, holder of ID no.--- issued on 27/11/1379 A.H.,
proposing to leave the corpse of his son, who was born on 14/5/1399 A.H. and died on 15/5/1399 A.H. due to several congenital deformities, to the anatomy department in the School of Medicine.We do not know whether officials of the School of Medicine have the right to dispose of the corpse of the baby by putting it in Formalin and keeping it in the department museum. Is this Islamically permissible, or must the corpse be buried?Would you kindly advise me in this regard?
It is worth mentioning that putting the corpse in the anatomy department
will be of great benefit to our medical students if this is permitted.
The Committee's answer was as follows:
It is a must that the corpse is washed, wrapped in coffin, the funeral prayer be performed for him and buried in the Muslim cemeteries. It is not permissible to keep him for this purpose, or for other purposes even if his Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage) permits that. (Part No. 25; Page No. 99) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.