Specifying graveyards for Muslims in non-Muslim countries and the impermissibility of burying Muslims with Kafirs

Fatwa no. 8011 All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has examined the question submitted to His Eminence, the President, by the Prime Minister, no. 2620/8, dated 22/12/1404 A.H., that states:“We are sending you a copy of the letter of the Honorable Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, no. 235/WS, dated 11/8/1404 A.H., and its attachments, related to a problem that is facing the Municipality of Riyadh, over the burial of non-Muslims of different nationalities. The matter is related to burying them or some of their body parts that are removed during surgery, and also to what His Excellency once explained, that the General Secretariat had previously buried a body far outside the boundaries of Riyadh. We would like you to issue a Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) about designating graveyards for non-Muslims. We feel that this matter needs further clarification, because burying body parts is a simple matter; they can be buried anywhere; but as for bodies, they can be sent back to their countries and this would resolve the problem. (Part No. 9; Page No. 8) Maybe this could be the solution for this problem. We would like you to study this issue and provide us with your opinion on it.”

After the committee had studied what the Honorable Prime Minister had said, it issued the following Fatwa: It is not permissible to bury Kafirs (disbelievers) of any religion in Muslim graveyards or to bury their removed body parts there, and it is not permissible to designate special graveyards for them in the Arabian Peninsula, due to the religious and worldly corruption that would ensue from burying their dead or their removed body parts there. Their bodies should be delivered to their relatives and their removed body parts should be delivered to their owners or relatives to transport them to any place they want outside the Peninsula. If the relative of the deceased refuses to take the body, or the relative or owner refuses to take the removed body part and it is not possible to bury them outside the Peninsula, it is permissible to bury them in unmarked land that is not owned by anybody, to fulfill the obligation of hiding their dead bodies beneath the dust and to secure safety from the harmful risks of their dead bodies. It is also not permissible to assign Bayt-ul-Mal (the Muslim Treasury) with the responsibility of transferring these body parts outside the Peninsula, due to the lack of evidence for this.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.