Bed ridden for six long years, Khadeeja Beevi wished that when she passed away, her body should be buried at the Thattamala mosque – her place of worship for almost her entire life. But when the senior citizen passed away on February 10, at the age of 95, the Jama-ath committee at the mosque allegedly denied her wish.
According to Khadeeja Beevi’s daughters, the committee claimed that she hadn’t paid her membership fees, and refused to let the family conduct the burial at the mosque. The membership fee was Rs 175 per month – and the family says they have the receipt until last month.
Further, the committee told Khadeeja Beevi’s daughters to bury their mother along with her late husband – a man who had abandoned her several decades ago, and had passed away 60 years ago. The family has now approached the State Women’s Commission, demanding action against those who showed disrespect to their dead mother.
Khadeeja Beevi and her four daughters were members of the Thattamala Jama-ath in Kollam. According to 63-year-old Muthum Beevi, one of Khadeeja’s daughters, their father had abandoned them when the daughters were very young.
“We don’t even remember our father, nor do we know any of his relatives. Then how could we yield to the Jama-ath committee’s pressure to bury our mother at our father’s mosque?” she asks.
“Our mother struggled a lot to bring up the four daughters. When we were younger, we all used to stay with our relatives. Our mother was a devotee of this mosque, and despite our struggles, she never failed to make an offering at the mosque. She never failed to pay the membership fee,” Muthum Beevi says.
“Even after we got married, she insisted that we should pay the membership fee to the mosque as well. It was her greatest desire that she should be buried here,” she says.
So when Khadeeja Beevi passed away on February 10, her daughters made arrangements for her to be buried there. The burial was scheduled for 10 am on February 11. But even as friends and family gathered at the mosque, she couldn’t be buried there because of the objection from the committee members, who claimed that the membership fees was not paid.
“We showed them copies of three receipts with our mother’s name. Then the Secretary, Biju, asked how they could believe that the receipts were real since they were issued by former office bearers, who are no longer in the committee,” Muthum says.
By the same evening, Jama-ath members of Kilikollur in Kizhakkekara realised what was happening, and arranged for Khadeeja to be buried at the Kizhakkekara mosque.
“Our mother was bedridden for six years, she had bedsores,” Muthum says, as she questions the committee’s decision to not let them bury their mother’s body for hours. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else, and therefore we decided to approach the Commission,” she says.
Muthum Beevi and her sister Areefa have filed a complaint with the State Women’s Commission, and have demanded action against the Jama-ath committee members.
The Commission has asked Kollam City Police Commissioner A Srinivas to submit a report in 15 days on the incident. The Commission has also directed the RDO, and the Waqf Board Thiruvananthapuram Divisional Officer to examine the issue. The Commission office said that action will be decided based on the report.