Removing a dead person's finger to determine the cause of death

Fatwa no. 13725 All praise be to Allah, Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ read the letter sent to His Eminence the President from His Highness the Deputy Governor of Riyadh, no. 1/1/16368 dated 6/3/1411, which was forwarded to the committee from the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars, no. 1019 on 10/3/1411 A.H. His Highness asks a question in his letter, whose text is as follows:Attached is a letter from the Chief of Police of Riyadh for the Industrial and Housing Section, (no. 598 st. 32), dated 15/2/1411 A.H. Regarding (Part No. 25; Page No. 97) the dead body of an unknown person that the police found inside a villa on the Al-Kharj Road. The medical examiner has declared that the death occurred a long time ago. However, the Emirate has issued an approval for an autopsy to investigate the cause of death, because one of the procedures used to identify a body is by checking the fingerprints, but this is impossible in this case as the death occurred such a long time ago. The police have said that it is necessary to remove the fingers and immerse them in a special chemical solution for a while. In this way, it will be possible to get the fingerprints. We hope that Your Eminence will submit this matter to the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ for them to issue a Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) on this and to establish a rule to be followed in the future. As-salamu ‘alaykum (May Allah’s Peace be upon you)!

A: There is no objection to this, as it serves a public interest.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.