Osama bin Laden
A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden making statements from an unknown location. REUTERS

Osama bin Laden was hurriedly buried at sea in accordance with Muslim rituals and practice, say U.S. officials, a claim opposed by Islamic scholars worldwide.

bin Laden's body was buried at sea and not land because U.S. officials were concerned that if his body was buried in land, the burial site of the 'patron of terrorists' would become a shrine for terrorist organizations and could become a rallying point for terrorist organizations.

Moreover, if the body could not be flown away to United States, as according to Muslim customs, a body should be buried within 24 hours.

Hence, the only alternative left open to the U.S. forces that killed bin Laden was to quickly transport away his body from Pakistan and bury him quickly at sea. However, before disposing of his body, the U.S. forces took at sample of his DNA and matched it 99.9 percent with a sample DNA taken from the brain of one of his sisters who died in Boston.

While U.S. President Barack Obama said the remains had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, a senior U.S. official said the burial decision was made after they realized it would have been difficult to find a country willing to accept bin Laden's body.

However, the burial at sea has angered Muslim scholars worldwide, who claim that the action was a humiliating disregard for their customs and practice.

According to the scholars, sea burials are allowed BUT only in special cases eg. when the death has occurred in sea. bin Laden did not die in sea and hence, they claim, he should have been buried in land by placing the body in a grave with the head pointed toward the holy city of Mecca. Moreover, Muslim prayers have to be recited and the body need to be ritually washed, as is usually required by Islamic law. And, even if the body is buried at sea, it needs to be wrapped in a shroud and buried only after a brief ISlamic service is held.

The Americans want to humiliate Muslims through this burial, and I don't think this is in the interest of the U.S. administration, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) quoted Omar Bakri Mohammed, a radical cleric in Lebanon, as saying.

It is not acceptable and it is almost a crime to throw the body of a Muslim man into the sea. The body of bin Laden should have been handed over to his family to look for a country or land to bury him, another Islamic scholar from Iraq, Abdul-Sattar al-Janabi, who preaches at Baghdad's famous Abu Hanifa mosque, said.

They can say they buried him at sea, but they cannot say they did it according to Islam, Mohammed al-Qubaisi, Dubai's grand mufti, said about bin Laden's burial. Sea burials are permissible for Muslims in extraordinary circumstances. This is not one of them.

Another Muslim scholar also said a simple solution would have been to hand over bin Laden's body to his family or bury him in an unmarked grave.

What the Americans have done is forbidden by Islam and could alienate Muslims further and anger them. It could trigger a retaliation,

Meanwhile, some Americans are also wondering whether bin Laden is really dead or this is a false media propaganda started by the government.

I am happy to hear the news that bin Laden is dead. But I think I will see some concrete evidence – DNA or photographic. I don't want to hear again later that bin Laden was spotted riding the Tora Bora mountains or releasing another 'anti-American' video, said Nick Schwartz, who was out celebrating the news of bin Laden's death in Time Square, New York.

Another person said it could be a election gimmick to help Obama boost his ratings.