Uganda: Muslim Clerics Call for Immediate Burial of Seya

Muslim clerics have called for immediate burial of the former Kampala Mayor Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala saying that following the will of the dead to delay burial arrangements contradicts the Islamic teaching.

Ssebaggala was pronounced dead at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) on Saturday morning, where he had been admitted for three weeks after having an accident in the bathroom. It was reportedly discovered that he (Ntege Ssebaggala) had got an intestinal obstruction.

The family later announced that according to the will the deceased, he asked to be buried after three days. This, however, is in contravention with the Islamic teaching, and can only be viable in certain situations, for instance where there is a war and people are not safe and running for their lives.

Speaking to the media at Kibuli Mosque on Wednesday, Supreme Mufti, Sheilkh Silimani Kasule Ndirangwa, said Muslims should stop being misled by their wealth because they all serve one God (Allah) whether rich or poor.

Sheikh Ndirangwa condemned the act of keeping the body for long and called for immediate burial arguing that what they are doing is totally unacceptable in the Islamic faith.

"People should seek for advice from the cleric so that they get to know what the religion teaches and how it is done instead of making mistakes which are contrary," he said.

"We should follow the religion because Hajji Ssebaggala is already dead, we should not wait for the children because we do not know how long it will take them to return and bury their father," he said.

The Deputy supreme Mufti of the Kibuli faction, Hajji Muhamood Kibaate said that according to the Islamic teaching when one has died, he or she is supposed to be buried immediately unless otherwise but taking more than eight days is very wrong.

"Let's follow the religion because the late was a Muslim and he did his will without any guidance from the sheikh that's why he made all these mistakes without knowing even three days were not allowed because he died like any other," he said.

Hajji Kibaate stated that according to Islam reason which can delay the burial include: when the person has died from a broad and when there is need of postmortem before burial by the family members or security body for investigation processes.

"Even though the family will insist on the will of the dead, we still want to be on record that what they are doing is wrong and against the Islamic teaching Sharia," he said.

Our efforts to reach the family of the late Ssebaggala were futile as the phone number for the Kawempe North MP and brother to the deceased, Mr Latif Ssebaggala, who speaks on behalf of the family was off.

Hajji Ssebaggala, is expected to be buried on Sunday this week according to family members in charge of the burial arrangements.

Speaking to the media last Sunday at their home in Kisaasi, a Kampala City suburb, Mr Muhammed Ssebaggala, the deceased's brother, said they decided to bury him one week after his demise because his children have to be present.

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