Helsinki: Hospitals don't facilitate Muslim burial
Muslims in the capital region must forgo their traditions for death as
some elements of the Muslim burial ceremony are not possible in
According to Muslim custom, the body must be washed immediately prior to
the funeral, and if not possible: on the night before. The body is
then wrapped in two clean pices of cloth and placed in a coffin. There
are currently no facilities for such a procedure in Helsinki hospitals,
and so often the family washes the body at home.
Marketta Kupiainen, Chief Administrative Nurse at the Helsinki Health Center, says that it's not impossible to find a place for Muslims, but that currently there are no places which could work well logistically, as it requires a place with running water, drainage and a separate door.
Pia Jardi, president of the Muslim Council, says that it's difficult to understand why there's no space available. "The washing of a dead body can be compared with the Christian blessing of the dead. It's important, not just for the well-being of the relatives, but for all of the Muslim community in Helsinki."