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photo courtesy of “The Three Winners”

It was a bright sunny though chilly morning like many other ordinary mornings. I noticed a link had been texted to me by a friend. I opened it and a gale of memories, shock, and grief soaked me with their deluge.

Three young beautiful talented, educated, polite and happy individuals, a new bride and groom and a budding designer had been shot to death in their apartment by an overweight, pudgy, angry looking, white man with a glazed look in his eyes and a proclamation of being a new atheist on his Facebook who lived right next door to them.

By piecing the story, it seems that this atheist white man had approached this couple in their apartment several times while toting his gun. The young wife had expressed to her father who is a psychiatrist that this man was (not her words, but mine assessing what she said to her father) creepy and had an intimidating demeanor and had “hate” in his eyes for the way she looked and what she wore (covering, hijab etc.).

It also is apparent that this was a gorgeous couple to look at as well as in their manner and morals and was extremely well respected by the general student and faculty for their selfless humanitarian work.

While the man next door was heavy, with overindulgence of unhealthy food, angry at life, himself and others, had an entire cache of firearms in his apartment. He obviously did not work very hard for a living given his demeanor and body habitus. He was an unknown, lived with his wife, there is no exploration of data whether he intimidated or beat his wife, or what he did for a living other than the doctrine of hate mixed up with the new Atheism, was plastered all over his Facebook.

Chapel Hill is a sleepy little town, which wakes up in basketball season and then the streets, and cafes are sparsely populated after that. Chapel Hill is made up of small hills and apartments with no gated security and people walk around unarmed this is not a big city with crime paranoia. Most of the African Americans walking around are star basketball players and extremely revered by all who walk the streets as they bring nobility to the halls of the University.

Chapel Hill is a 15-minute or less drive from Durham where the snooty Duke University resides funded by tobacco money. The town of Durham despite Duke University lacks the beautiful intellectual and friendly ambience of Chapel Hill.

In this milieu two complete opposites were placed next to each other in a living arrangement of an apartment complex.

Stars in their eyes Deah and Yusor 6 weeks into their wedding could only think of beauty, love and how to serve people to bring them the love and beauty they were awash with.

While in the apartment next door Shaitaan was doing his work………Hate, anger and testosterone envy, was being fueled by the daily watching of FOX NEWS which was spouting out how moslems were taking over the world and were on their way to invade America with “Shariah law”.

Ignorance is the breeding ground for Shaitaan. He loves to sow hate in the unschooled mind. Thus while Doctors watch FOX NEWS in the Doctors Cafeteria and analyze some of the absurdities and laugh at it, the ignorant mind eats and swallows everything FOX NEWS says…lock stock and barrel.

Soon the walls of his apartment seemed hostile to him perhaps because Moslems were living next door and Moslems were taking over America, and these Moslems were getting married and having children………….etc.

Observing Deah from his window he would see a tall, lean, cleanly dressed young man, handsome he would admit and emanating a light that he could not understand, he would perhaps feel the pangs of envy in his heart whose vessels were lined with all the pork fat his wife was feeding him from the Deli at Wal-Mart?

He would perhaps observe Yusor from his window hidden behind the blinds, as she would be laughing face lifted to her husband totally in love and exuding happiness and joy. He could not see her hair, she wore that head covering that Moslems wore; it irked him that she did that.

The scene of joyful living by the couple would perhaps bother him and he would wait for them to park their car and if the wheel went over the white line dividing one space from another he would wear his pistol belt and show up at their apartment. His hyperteleoric beady eyes with the flat affect staring at them, while envy and hatred would be seeping out of every pore of his being as he would recall the words of the FOX NEWS anchor “kill them all…all those Moslems”

And one day he did……………. He did just what the anchor of FOX NEWS had told him to do. He had freed America of the Moslems, at least in his neighbor hood.

Who is to blame?

What did I learn from this terrible and sad happening in Chapel Hill……….?

I learned:

  1. What Allah has decreed comes to fruition no matter what we do to try and prevent it.
  2. I learned that there was no way that those lives could have been saved.
  3. I learned that the Qadaa wal Qadar of those three young hearts were written with exact dates of departure
  4. I learned that Shaitaan has an open playing field with ignorant unschooled minds
  5. I learned that envy of any type is pure poison and can destroy you forever.
  6. I learned that intuition is always right: Yusors intuition of this man hating her for her faith and the way she covered herself was dead right.
  7. I learned that none of us know how long we are going to live and that age is no barrier to the angel of death.
  8. I learned that what Deah and Yusor and Razan accomplished in their very brief life is far more in the accounts of Allah and the hasanaats they earned than some of us have not even done in five decades.
  9. I learned that one should live like Deah: study in the am, play in the afternoon and serve the poor in the evening keeping your niyyah for the service of Allah.
  10. I learned that one should live like Yusor, who on Hijab day reassured her hijabi sisters that some days might be tougher than others but to stick to the obedience of Allah.
  11. I learned from Razan that sometimes you have to accompany your sister all the way across the line that separates life and death, and do it with designers Grace.
  12. I learned from Suzanne the sister of Deah that Allah is our savior in all grief and we have to look to Him to help us endure the parting from our loved ones.
  13. I learned from Deahs father that it is okay to cry in grief, and it is okay to cry with your wife who was an equal partner in grief.
  14. I learned from Yusors father that he had a beautiful father daughter relationship that she felt comfortable confiding in him that her neighbor looked at her with “Hate” and was “creepy’ (my words).
  15. I learned form the young Muslims that no matter how laid back they are in the practice of their faith a light of integrity and emaan filled with compassion shines in their hearts
  16. I learned that the students of the University of NC at Chapel Hill truly respected and honored these three Muslims for who they were and what they did.
  17. I learned that the grief of a parent is the same the world over as I looked into the eyes of their parents I was looking at myself.
  18. I learned that the final act in this tragedy and mine is the act of Submission to Allah because He knows best and He will soon tell us if he hasn’t already how to lead our lives or what is left of it…
  19. I learned that a lot of beauty could be packed into the first two decades of life….
  20. I learned that the emaan of those parents is very high and I pray that Allah Subhanawataala keep it such because they are going to need the rope of Allah to hang on to in the dark moments of parting……

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