CAIRO (AFP) - Islam is opposed to burials at sea, a spokesman for Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority, said on Monday after US officials said Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been given a watery grave. If it is true that the body was thrown into the sea, then Islam is totally against that, Mahmud Azab, an adviser to the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, told AFP. Any corpse, if it belongs to someone murdered or someone who died of natural causes, must be respected. The bodies of believers and non-believers, Muslim or Christian, must be respected, he added. When a Muslim dies his body must be washed in a special ritual carried out by Muslims and buried in the ground as soon as possible, usually in the 24 hours following the death. The corpse is usually wrapped in a white shroud and placed directly in the grave, without a coffin.