A week ago I found out that a high school classmate of mine died after nearly 3 weeks of his death. I feel guilty I didn’t find out earlier, didn’t attend his janaza, and his burial. How can I not find out a classmate of mine’s death when we live in the same damn city? Even more disappointing: He died on the same road that I take to school every day. I took that road on July 3rd and July 5th. Firas Shaikh died on the night of July 4th after his older brother lost the control of the car they were driving due to speeding. I do not know why he (Firas was a passenger and I don’t know if he was/wasn’t wearing seatbelt but one of them was wearing seatbelt) had to speed on this godforsaken road. I know this because I have been using it for the past 4-5 months as my primary route to school. It is very narrow, hilly, with lots of trees/bushes on both sides of the road. The speed limit is 45mph. On July 5th I went to school as usual. I didn’t notice any thing different.
Firas was pronounced dead on the scene. He was only 17. His older brother who was driving the car was appearantly thrown out of the car and survived, albeit with many broken bones and a lifetime guilty feeling of causing his little brother’s death. Firas was a sweet and kind kid. I don’t remember him fighting or even arguing with anyone ever.We used to have lunches together and afterward horseplay in front of the library. We attended MSA meetings together.We sometimes teased him since he was the youngest but he always smiled and enjoyed our company. He sometimes asked me about Islam and I tired to tell him what I knew. I didn’t know him intimately but I knew he was a sweet and kind kid and considered him to be a good friend. The last time I saw him he was working at his parents’ store – the same store that my mom shops all the time. My mom sent me there to buy her a phone card to call overseas. We talked for awhile, asked him about school and everything. I just didn’t know at the time that was going to be our last meeting. I was looking forward to have him and the rest of the gang at college. But Allah had a different plan and I ask Allah to have mercy on his soul. Amin.
Firas please forgive me for not coming to your janazah and funeral. I’m sure you understand.