Why it is Mandatory to Take Bath after Touching Dead Body in Hindu and Muslim Religion? Read This!
The funeral is a ceremony which is held shortly after a person’s death. The customs of the funeral comprise of the cultural beliefs and practices to remember and respect the person who was dead. The funeral ceremony includes mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved. In addition to that, there are some religious aspects which intend to help the soul to reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.
The participation in a funeral procession and rituals is a virtuous deed. Attending a funeral is a good thing, which makes us realize that death is inevitable in everyone's life. There are certain rules to be followed after attending a funeral. These rules are inscribed in the holy scriptures.
Most of the Hindu families follow the ritual of bathing after the funeral. The person who goes to attend the ritual “Antayeshthi” [cremation], is considered as untouchable. The dead body is considered to be “asshuddha” [impure]. Being the company of “sutakas” [members of the family of the deceased], One should ideally discard the clothes which they have worn at the time of a funeral or those clothes should be washed thoroughly for the next use. Nowadays, people just sprinkle water and considered them purified to enter into their homes, by saying the mantra of purity. The ritual is considered to be done with half-heartedness if a person just sprinkles the water on their head. If an individual does the whole protocol, this means he fulfilled the ritual whole-heartedly.
A person returning from the cremation or burial grounds must proceed to take a bath immediately putting on the same clothes so that the spirit of the dead does not haunt the person.
TRADITION FOLLOWED BY MUSLIMS
In Islam, bathing is obligatory after touching a dead body of a child or even stillborn who has completed 4 months whose body has become cold. If it touches the outer part of the mother's body, the mother has to take bathe. It is not necessary to take a bath if a person touches a dead body after the completion of its 3 baths. The method of taking a bath for touching a dead body is similar to that of ceremonial uncleanness called “Ghusl Janabat”.
SCIENTIFIC FACTS BEHIND BATHE AFTER A FUNERAL
The religious customs which had been originated several centuries ago give rise to some scientific reasons behind the bathe after a funeral. The fundamental basis of these customs is sanitation and cleanliness practices. Once the person is dead, the body loses its ability to fight against bacteria and starts to decompose. The people attending the funeral are exposed to the microorganisms present in the dead body, which spread rapidly when they come into contact with others, thereby causing various diseases. This is the main reason behind the bathe immediately after the funeral before touching anything or anyone.
The fact that most of the part of India lies in the temperate zone which contributes to the expedition of the decomposition process. The environment surrounding the cremation ground usually consists of a river near the ground. This environment condition is a little more favourable for the growth of the bacteria. There will be scavengers around the cremation ground or graveyard which is the great carrier for bacteria. They feed on dead bodies of animals and birds which are in various stages of decomposition. They carry these bacteria to the cremation ground.
The final thing is that the people attending the funeral will be usually in great grief in the presence of the dead body. Nobody will think of the usual routine like bathing. Once the dead body is cremated or buried, the people attending the funeral have to start their routine life. The bathe after the funeral is a good way to move on from that death incident.