SEREMBAN: Never in his life or his entire career at the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jheains ), had Mohd Z Affendi Zakaria imagined that he would one day recite “takbir raya” on the eve of Aidiladha at a cemetery while waiting to help bury another victim of Covid-19.
Without a doubt, it was an unforgettable moment for the 35-year-old man and 18 others involved including those from the Seremban district health office.
“It was about 8 pm and we were at the cemetery waiting for the arrival of five other victims to be buried, and because it was Aidiladha eve, we spontaneously started reciting “takbir raya” led by Jheains assistant officers Mohd Kah’har Che Kasim, 34, and Shahizad Shahmir, 38.
“The recital of the “takbir raya” at the cemetery took only 10 minutes. It was our first time doing that while having to wear the PPE (personal protection equipment). In my head, all I can think about is my family at home,” he told Bernama here today.
He said what broke his heart the most was seeing the family members of the victims shedding tears while watching the funeral of their loved ones from outside the fence of the Maqbarah Salimah Ainsdale Muslim cemetery.
The entire experience, which Mohd Z Affendi shared on his ‘zackaffendi’ page on Tiktok, also captured netizens’ attention and had been deluged with positive comments and wishes for the frontliners to stay strong in discharging their duties.
Reiterating the experience of managing the funeral of Covid-19 victims while having to wear the PPE, Mohd Z Affendi admitted it was really challenging especially when the entire process had to be carried out on a rainy night.
“There were times that one of us would fall into the grave or even a nearby drain as our face shield fogged up and made it difficult for us to clearly see our surroundings. The PPE also made it hard for us to breathe,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said they never took the task as a burden, but instead a responsibility as fellow Muslims.
As of last Monday, he said they had buried 150 Covid-19 victims at the cemetery, that is eight to 12 victims per day.
“This is definitely a reminder for us to be more careful. There is no need to play the blame game. What’s important is just to adhere to all the standard operating procedures,” he added. –Bernama