Today at work a co-worker asked me if cremation was haram, Itold her yes, and she asked why but Iwasn't able to tell her why.
If you can let me know why cremation is haram in Islam. Also, this is regarding the pledge of allegiance, why is it not allowed in Islam and please explain so I can explain it to a non-Muslim.

Two reasons why we Muslims do not burn the dead:

1] Allah has given us clear guidelines on how to bury our dead; what we do not do, what we have to do, and what is permitted to do. And the teachings of Islam includes treating the dead with respect in a way that will fit the dead person. We wash him, cleanse him, and put a white shroud around him, then we offer a funeral prayer (janazah) and pray forgiveness for him. Allah does not include cremation as a part of it. Thus we do not do this nor are we permitted to do so.

2] Allah says:
"And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam" [17:70]
Cremation is deemed as an act of dishonor to the dead. We derive at this by what we call Qiyas alawla, elevated analogy. Meaning, if we are not permitted to trample on the dead body, or sit on the actual grave itself, then more so with burning the body to ashes!

Pledge of Allegiance:
The pledge of allegiance is an oath one takes to be loyal to one's country. But in Islam we believe that we are loyal only to the worship Allah alone as indicated in the following verses from the Qur'an:

"And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone)." [51:56]
Allah (azza wajal) says: "And verily, We have sent among every community a Messenger [proclaiming]: "Worship Allah [Alone] and avoid the Taaghoot ." [16:36]

Taghoot means anything that is worshipped besides Allah (azza wajal) (ie. leaders, sorcerers, a sheikh, communism, capitalism, etc.)

On the other hand, nationality entails that the way of life and belief of a person is in accordance to that person's nation. Allegiance according to family, tribe, nation, race and color are from the days of ignorance that the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took us out of. In Islam we are united under one loyalty- the loyalty of worshipping Allah alone, and unity based on these categories above is based on a low spiritual status.

For instance, when the Jews claimed to be the chosen people of God, on the basis of their race, Allah, the Most High, rejected their claim and declared that in every period of human civilization, every race and every nationality there is only one standard for truth which is our faith:

"And they (Jews & Christians) say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided." Say (to them, O Muhammad), "Nay, (We follow) only the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham), Hanifa [i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone)], and he was not of those who worshipped others along with Allah."
Say (O Muslims), "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Jacob], and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)."

So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
Our religion is the Religion of Allah (Islam) and which religion can be better than Allah's? And we are His worshippers. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir.]" 2:135-138

In the last sermon of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) he said: "You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. You are all equal. Nobody has superiority over the other except by piety and good action."

Islam freed all humanity from the fleeting ties of this life, and freed them from the chains of blood relationships or race relationships.

The nation of the Muslim, in which he lives and which he defends, is not a piece of land. It is not the nationality determined by a government; the family of the Muslim, is not blood relationships; the flag of the Muslim, which he honors and under which he is martyred, and it is not the flag of a country and it is not a military victory. It is what Allah has described: "When Allah's help and victory comes, and thou seest people entering into Allah's religion in multitudes, then celebrate the praises of thy Lord and ask His forgiveness. Indeed. He is the Acceptor of Repentance." (110:1-3) In Islam our homeland is that place where the Islamic faith, the Islamic way of life and the Shari`ah (Law) of Allah is dominant. Only then is it worthy of man's dignity to pledge his allegiance.




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