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Friday, July 30, 2010

Islamic Society of Toronto (Masjid Dar Us Salaam): Muslim Cemetery Project

Islamic Society of Toronto

A Muslim Cemetery Project:

Allah states, “And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam”

(Surah 17: Verse 70 )

Islamically the above verse implies that human beings are sacred creatures whether they are alive or dead. In other words, this means that the human body must be treated with the utmost respect not only when it is full of life, but also when it is lifeless as it is in Trust. Funeral rites and practices must be carried out with care and in accordance with Qur’an and Sunnah. One of these main mandates is the proper & respectful burial of a deceased person.

There are now nearly half a million Muslims in Ontario. As per recent history, for over 40 years Muslims have been living in Canada and the Muslim population has dramatically increased in the last two decades. For decades, Muslims have been buying burial plots FOR ONLY BURIAL RIGHTS at inflated prices from private owned cemeteries that are run as businesses for the sole purpose of making a profit. Although various cemeteries have allocated plots to the Muslim community, we will soon witness these plots deplete as the Muslim population continues to grow and the population of senior Muslims increase. As the number of burial plots decrease, we have witness that prices have sky rocketed and will continue to steadily increase.

To alleviate this problem, embarking on a cemetery Project FULLY OWNED, Managed and operated by Muslims is the best sensible solution. Not only it would significantly increase the number of affordable burial plots available for Muslims today and for future, but it will provide us with much more flexibilities to practice Qur’an and Sunnah.

Since the said Muslim cemetery is intended to run as a not-for-profit purpose, as much as possible. As a result the cost of a burial plot would decrease tremendously, i.e. would be as low as 50% coupled with compliances of Islamic philosophy. For example, today the cost for a burial plot and services can be as high as $4000. So taking all expenses into account, a burial within Muslim owned cemetry would drop to as low as $1500 to $2000 approximately, in addition, the Muslim community would have sole ownership of the land and this would allow us access to the cemetery at any hour. Currently, cemeteries, like businesses, are open between certain hours and are not accessible, creating delays to the burial of the deceased. A Muslim cemetery would give us a lot more flexibility and thus satisfy Islamic codes and procedures including the burial of the deceased as soon as possible without unnecessary delay.

Due to current government laws in Ontario, such as the Oakridge Moraine Act and Green Belt Act, it is next to impossible to purchase land not zoned and then zone it for cemetery. Responsible authorities to zone it are unwilling to developing more cemeteries. If at all it is to be zoned, the time and cost associated with such process with high uncertainities, it is not viable for the Muslim community to undertake it. Based on these facts, the wise decision would be to purchase land already zoned for a cemetery which is very limited. As a result, Alhumdulliah, IST is very fortunate to have purchased a zoned property that is expected to be operational by the spring/summer of 2011.

The Muslim community should acquire a cemetery of their own for the many benefits that we can each attain from it. It would benefit us as we age, and would most importantly benefit our future generations of Muslims. As a spiritual benefit, the Prophet (SAW) has informed us of the benefit of visiting cemeteries: “I strongly recommend visiting them, for that makes the heart tender and the eye shed tears and it reminds us of the Hereafter.”

Grave Subscription Scheme

Islamic Society of Toronto has initiated a grave subscription scheme which will entitle the participate to ONE grave plot at the Muslim Cemetery. For the initial phase of the project the price is set at a very reasonably low-cost and will increase substantially thereafter.

Cost for one Grave Subscription: *$700 per plot

Initial Grave Subscription released : *3500 plots

Location : Leslie and Bethesda

*Note : The Price for each subscription will increase substantially after the initial release

complete the form to join.

Islamic Society of Toronto, Masjid Dar Us Salaam

4 Thorncliffe Park Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M4H 1H1
Phone: 416-467-0786
Fax: 416-467-0787

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