Funeral Prayers during Covid-19
Our Health authorities recognized early on that there is low risk when giving ghusl (ritual bath) to the dead body. With certain precautions the rights of the dead are being fulfilled and that needs to continue.
For the actual ghusl (process many fatawa bodies around the world have issued standard protocol and procedures to follow.
The default Islamic rules and recommendations are lifted due to extraordinary circumstances. Preservation of an existing life and protecting it against Coronavirus infection takes precedent over communal rites of passage such as janazah and burial. Funeral Prayer can be done by one person. The recommendation of having forty or hundred participants in janazah is not practical at this stage. Consequently, janazah can be performed by a small number of people either at a funeral home, parking lot or cemetery.
That the body is allowed to be washed with standard precautions such as double gloves, full gowns and face shields, placed in a standard coffin and permitted a routine burial then a few people can gather at any convenient place such as the funeral home, cemetery chapel/hall or graveyard and perform the janazah. Each state has specific guidelines for religious gatherings in addition to guidelines for general gatherings. Such guidelines may allow congregation of more than 10 people for funerals and burials. Those guidelines must be followed.
To know more about the rulings of Funeral Prayers during Covid-19, watch this interesting talk with Sheikh Abu Eesa.