Bad Weather, Murder, and Death of a Young Muslim Brother

It has been very busy since last night driving in the snow. The roads were in terrible condition this morning and add to that the fact that the cab has some cheap worn-out tires and I was slipping and sliding all day. Alhamdudilah, I made it through the day safe and sound. Driving in this kind of weather is a drain though and people often call a cab when they cant get out of their street or driveway thinking my car has some miraculous power theirs does not.

The day was not so good for everyone. Around 7:45 this morning I picked up a passenger in the trendy Central West End neighborhood to take them to the airport. I cut over Union, though the “hood” of North St. Louis, to get to Highway 70. As we approached the highway there was pure chaos on the street as police cars were driving fast and fire trucks and ambulances blocked off Bircher ( a service road to the highway).

I had been listening to 101.1 ESPN sports talk-radio; but changed the channel to KMOX News and found out that a man had went to his job,  ABB, and went on a shooting spree. Eight were shot and at least three were killed. Unbeknown to me at the time was the fact that the shooter was in a standoff at the time when I drove by and hours later would be found dead.

Those who mound the dead will say they went too young or it was not their time to go. But, as a Muslim, I know that any day could be my last day and that whatever happens it is the Qadr of Allah.

This was painfully reminded to me yesterday as I talked to a Muslim family and found out that their teenage son, Amir Muhammad, a young kid I had known since he was little, was shot and killed in a robbery. The murder occurred last year; but I had been out of contact with the family and just found out.

The news saddens me and it reminds me that for many grassroots urban Muslims we have issues of survival that are just as real as those of many in the Muslim World and that we must deal with these realities in our masjids or no one else is going to do it. I have a photo of this young brother that if I had with me I would put online. He is about ten years old wearing a leather Kango I had turned backwards with a big smile on his face- and that is how I shall remember him.

Inna ilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon