MALAYSIA: In the realm of pet ownership, the desire to provide the utmost for one’s cherished companion is undeniable.
This sentiment persists both in life and even beyond.
Traditionally, when a beloved pet passes away, options like burial or cremation are considered by pet owners.
While certain religious practices, such as Islam, may not have specific funeral customs for animals, a peculiar scenario arises when a service provider uses the label of “Islamic burial” to endorse its offerings.
A recent Facebook post (dated 5 August) by a user named Sheda Aida has drawn attention to a pricing catalog offered by Avatar Angels, a provider of pet burial services.
These services, however, come at a significant cost, with the comprehensive package clocking in at RM 3800 (approximately $830).
What captures attention is the utilization of the term “Islamic Burial” within the package nomenclature.
Perplexity arises as one inquires, “Why employ the term ‘Islamic Burial’ for advertisement?”
In Islamic tradition, no formal rites or commemorations exist for deceased pets.
Furthermore, it is notable that the pet owner who availed these services was not of the Islamic faith.
This paves the way for contemplation regarding the rationale behind this marketing approach, especially considering that Avatar Angels caters to a wide range of pets, including dogs.
In a light-hearted tone, Ms Aida jests about whether Avatar Angels extends their offerings to include a tahlil for her own eventual funeral, given their inclusion of a service prayer for those opting for their premium package.
Apology from the shop
Subsequently, in response to the growing concern, Avatar Angels took to their Facebook page to issue an unequivocal apology.
Expressing their remorse, they promptly retracted the product and promotional materials, rectifying the oversight.
Their statement sought to redress any impact caused by their actions and assured that such an occurrence would not be repeated in the future.
Netizens voice criticism
Notwithstanding the apology, a wave of commentary continues to surge. A substantial portion of comments, largely comprising the Muslim community, perceive Avatar Angels as leveraging religious sentiment for commercial gain.
Critics raise their voices, proclaiming, “Capitalizing on religion for profit is hardly congruent with true Islamic principles.”
While another laments, “After four decades of caring for feline companions, I have never witnessed a feline interment quite like this. Would you mind sharing the prayer recited during these proceedings?”
Plea for thoughtfulness emerges
Amidst the dialogue, a call for prudence is sounded, urging the establishment to consult with religious authorities prior to intertwining religious affiliations with commercial promotions.
A sentiment of optimism pervades, coupled with gratitude for the swift response in addressing the prevailing concerns.