Upon hearing about the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I turned to poetry to express my grief. May Allah grant Our Three Winners the highest level of Jannah. Rest in power. 

On Tuesday night,
Gunshots tore through the veil of cozy silence in Chapel Hill And for those few moments, the world stood still

On Wednesday morning,
The sun rise seemed a little less exhilarating
Because three illuminated souls will no longer reflect it’s light

Although I am separated from them by hundreds of miles I can still feel the warmth of their radiant smiles
While I have never spoken to them for a day in my life The news of their passing still brings me incredible strife

You see, the example of our community is that of a body
When a single member aches, the entire body radiates with pain
And believe me when I say that the news of these murders Makes us feel as if our own siblings have been slain

While Deah, Yusor, and Razan’s bodies have been to the Earth returned
They’ve left hundreds of lessons that have yet to be learned
The smiles that Deah and Yusor repaired
The artistic designs that Razan shared

The volunteerism to which they were all devoted
The piety and faith in God that they all promoted

Deah dreamt of a structured community
Of a society devoid of religious disunity
Yusor declared that America was her home
While Razan advocated for the rights of the homeless

They’ve etched their signatures into the book of this nation
And even as the pages turn, we will continue to see that deep indentation That effect simply won’t go away
But you know what they say,
I guess the good really do die young.

The question remains, what will we do to keep their legacy alive? Will we take advantage of our 5 before 5?
Our youth before old age
Our health before sickness

Our wealth before we are poverty stricken
Our free time before pre-occupation
And our life before our expiration?

So my brothers and sisters, do not let our three winners’ stories go in vain
Let their memory motivate you every single day
Time and time again we are reminded that life is short
Kullu nafsin dha-iqatul mawt

Every soul shall taste death
But what impact will you have left on this world by the time you breathe your last breath? 

Written by Verdah Ahmad

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