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The decision has been made to respect Muslim tradition in burying the body of the most wanted man on earth. A senior administration official tells ABC News, "We are ensuring it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner."
Islamic law dictates that the body be bathed three times in a specific, ritualistic manner, while covered by a cloth. The bathers are generally same-gender family members of the deceased, though this clearly will not be the case for the body in question.
After bathing, the body is wrapped in a kafan - generally a white cotton cloth, to protect the modesty of the deceased. Prayers are then said to request forgiveness for the dead.
A Martyr does not need to be Washed:
The body of a martyr, that is, a Muslim killed in a battle at the hands of disbelievers, may not be washed even though it is in a state of major ritual impurity. His body should be enshrouded in the clothes he wore when he died if they are good enough for the purpose. Otherwise some additional cloth may be used to enshroud his body according to the sunnah. The body of such a person should be buried in its blood-stained state. None of his blood should be washed off.
Ahmad reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Do not wash those who die as martyrs, for their every wound or drop of blood will exude a fragrance like musk on the Day of Judgement." The Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud to be buried in their bloodstained clothes. They were not washed, nor any funeral prayer offered for them.