I am due to have my baby by ceaserean section on the 4th July, due to major complications in my last pregnancy. The after birth/placenta last time had to be examined for infection so unfortunately I was unable to request it from the hospital.
In the U.K as the placenta legally belongs to the mother no hospital can refuse to give it. My concern is the placenta has to be buried however, no memeber of my family has a garden where it can be buried. My son has been buried in the local cemetry but according to regulations the placenta has to be buried at least 1metre underground to prevent rodents from digging it up. So, his plot cannot be used.
If, i didnt request the afterbirth from the hospital as per procedure it would be incinerated, would I be sinful for allowing this to be done?
I would appreciate if you would take the time to answer my question according to the Hanafi madhaab.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Allah Ta'ala says in the Holy Quran:
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آَدَم................وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا
"And we bestowed dignity on the children of Adam……….and provided them with a variety of good things and made them much superior to many of those whom We have created" (17:70)
Allah Ta'ala has bestowed honor on the human beings over other creation. Therefore, the human body and its parts must be respected properly and not tampered with. Just as a dead body must be buried according to Shari'ah, any separated limb or organ from ones body must be buried as well. Cremation of a dead body or incineration of a separated limb or organ is prohibited, as burning is a sign of dishonor and disrespect.
The habitual practice of the Sahaba (RadiyAllahu Anhum) was to bury even their clipped hair and nails. Evidence of this act is found in a couple of Hadith:
حدثنا علان بن عبد الصمد الطيالسي ماغمة قال ثنا محمد بن الحسن الأسدي ثنا أبي ثنا قيس عن عبد الجبار بن وائل عن أبيه : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان يأمر بدفن الشعر و الأظفار
"Waail ibn Hajar (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ordered hair and nails to be buried." (Al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer)
عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ادفنوا الاظفار والشعر والدم
"Ibn Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu) says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: Bury nails, hair, and blood." (Sunan al-Kuba Al-Bayhaqee)
Therefore, if there is a recommendation for nails, hair, and blood to be buried, then one must surely endeavor in all efforts to bury separated organs, such as the placenta. This will preserve the honor and dignity of the human body. If no members of your family have any land or garden where the placenta can be buried, perhaps you can kindly ask family friends or any other Muslims in the community. You may even consult a local scholar to see if he knows of any land where it is possible for it to be buried.
May Allah make your pregnancy easy and keep you and the child healthy. Ameen.
فإذا قلم أطفاره أو جز شعره ينبغي أن يدفن ذلك الظفر والشعر المجزوز فإن رمى به فلا بأس وإن ألقاه في الكنيف أو في المغتسل يكره ذلك لأن ذلك يورث داء كذا في فتاوى قاضي خان .
يدفن أربعة الظفر والشعر وخرقة الحيض والدم كذا في الفتاوى العتابية .
(Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Vol. 5, P. 438, Darul Kutub Ilmiyya)
أن السن من الآدمي جزء منه فإذا انفصل استحق الدفن
(Badaai' al-Sanaai', Vol. 4, P. 316, Darul Kitab Deoband)
And Allah knows best
Ml. Asif Umar,
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah