Umar Lee poses the question, Did the Earth Stop Spinning? Not exactly, but close! As Muslims, we know that this world, created by Allah, will also be brought to an end by Him.  The precise timing of the end of the world is known only to Allah; not even any of the prophets sent by Allah, nor any of the angels closest to Him, know when it is to occur. Although we do not know when exactly the world is going to end, Allah and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his Household and grant them peace)have told us of some of the signs which indicate that the Hour is approaching, drawing nearer. So, there are certain events and signs which will occur on the earth prior to it. The Prophet predicted that there would be an increase in tribulations and turmoil. I’m sure we can all pretty much bear witness to this. and more specifically to this:

“Among the signs of the Hour will be the disappearance of knowledge and the spread of ignorance. Adultery will be prevalent, and the drinking of wine will be common. The number of men will decrease and the number of women will increase until there will be 50 women to be looked after by one man.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

However, the prediction that helps me to put in perspective tragedies such as this weeks massacre at Virgina Tech, is the prediction that foretold that human blood will come to be taken lightly in the form of an increase in killing, so that the one who kills does not know why he killed, and the one killed does not know why he was killed.

“By He in Whose hand is my soul! The world shall not pass [away] before there comes upon people a day in which the murderer will not know why he has murdered, nor will the murdered one know why he has been killed.” [Muslim]

People are trying to make sense out of something that is senseless. I find comfort in knowing that the craziness that we just can’t explain actually has an explanation.

I was reading though several blogs that gave life to the people who were killed, such as Tariq Nelson’s The Virginia Tech Tragedy and Heart’s Cho Sueng-Hui and the Virginia Tech Massacre: These are the Sons America Has Raised,when my sister in law sent me an instant message. She said the following:

“…a good friend of mine at work lost her daughter in the shootings at VA Tech yesterday…

…her only child

…Erin Peterson

…is my friend’s daughter

…6’1″ black girl

…honor roll student

…4.0 all through HS

…my heart is broken

…and I can’t bring myself to call her

…read that

…it has a play by play of what her and her husband went through


…I talked to her yesterday at 4:00 p.m.

…she was 45 minutes away from Blacksburg

…and she still hadn’t heard from her daughter

…and girl I never say I love you to anyone but my family

…and I said “I love you”

…poor Myles is so sad for Celeste

…the kids know her

…she is going with us to see John Mayer in July

…we all bought matching tee shirts…

…I just don’t know how to talk to her

…what do you say to someone who loses their only child?

…they brought in grief counselors at work

…they are talking about starting a scholarship fund in Erin’s name

…I brought Erin’s senior photo home

…my dad is going to do a portrait of her

…and I’m going to frame it in Hokie colors for Celeste…”

The blogs I mentioned and this text message just about wiped me out. These were REAL people. These reports made the victims more than just media hype. Not to place more importance on the life of any of the victims, as they were all someones family member and loved one, some of their deaths just touched me a little deeper than others. Womensspace gave a great glimpse into the lives of the victims and even the very disturbed young man who carried out this crime on humanity. She speaks of Emily Hilscher and Ryan “Stack” Clark, the first to be murdered. Ryan had a twin brother, how he must feel!

Race and racism have been big discussions all over the blogosphere. It had got to the point that I, a black woman, no longer held much hope for my race. There would often be defenders saying how we were not a bunch of hopeless and unproductive leeches and I would think to myself, “Oh yeah, well where are all of the ‘good’ non stereotypical blacks.” Well here was one:

“Stack” Clark was a month away from receiving a bachelor’s degree in May and had pursued a triple major in English, Psychology and Biology with the goal, ultimately, of a graduate degree in psychology. He played in the school band, was friendly, charismatic, and was deeply respected by those who knew him.  He had a twin brother, Bryan, and a sister, Nadia,

Another one, was Erin the daughter of my sister in laws friend:

Erin Peterson was a vivacious young woman who “enriched everyone’s lives,”

“Erin had an insatiable desire to drink in life,” Deegan said. “She was one of those people that if there was an activity, she wanted to do it and do well.”

“She had a very promising future,” Koch said. “It was a horrible tragedy and a waste of this young person’s life.”

“She was just so generous of herself. The book is a work in progress and is something [the students] came up with themselves. My heart goes out for every parent and friend.”

Erin Peterson: High school basketball players, coach remember former athlete

My heart broke when reading about:

  • Engineering professor Liviu Librescu, 75, a Holocaust survivor who had emigrated from Israel and a 22-year veteran of Virginia Tech.  Librescu had confronted Cho when he tried to enter his solid mechanics classroom, attempting to hold the door shut to give students time to jump out the windows.

How heroic! This man sacrificed his life to save others. He survived the holocaust to die at the hands of a young mad man at a University that he taught in for 22 years! Verily, everything is the decree of Allah.

There really is not much one can say in these instances. Such is life. Such is the way of man. There is no power and no might except with Allah, The Most High, The Al-Mighty.

Update: Tribute to a Muslim Brother at VA Tech