11 September 2010

Project 2,996 - Mohammed Shajahan

Quran 5:2
Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression.

Quran 5:32:
If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind.

Proverbs 20:22
Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I can remember sitting open-mouthed, at the end of my bed, watching the events of September 11, 2001 unfold on my television screen. I was lucky. Damned lucky. I was safe, in my home, in Georgia. My husband was safe at work a few miles away. All of our loved ones were alive and well and none of us lost anyone that wretched day.

Since September 11, 2001, our country has gone through many changes and what I see out my window today saddens me. I see hatred and complete disregard of our fellow Americans... heck, forget that. Hatred of our fellow human beings. It makes me sick and desperate for aliens to drop out of the sky so that we will have some reason to finally unite as a planet, regardless of race, creed, or past wrongs.

What we forget is that people of all colors, beliefs, and nationalities died on that infamous day. And this is why I chose to remember Mohammed Shajahan on the ninth anniversary of his death.

Mohammed was a computer administrator at Marsh & McLennan Companies, an insurance brokerage firm. He lived in Spring Valley, NY and was a loving father to his son Yusuf, daughter Shirin, and other child(ren) (I couldn't find their names, but I know he had more than one daughter). Mohammed was just 43 on September 11, 2001.

Marsh & McLennan Companies occupied eight floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 100. When American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, those floors comprised the entire impact zone. No one at Marsh & McLennan survived that day. I can imagine Mohammed at his desk or visiting with a fellow employee, going over emails, or getting ready for the day. I can't think what his last thoughts were, but maybe they were of his family or "Why?" I don't know.

His son Yusuf and daughter Shirin wrote tributes to him on the Marsh & McLennan Memorial page:

He was a great dad to me and i will nver for get him from his son yusuf

i missed my dad and i will never ever 4get my dad. Love his little daughter Shirin Shajahan

Those make me cry, because this innocent man died for a senseless reason and now, nine years later, Americans are adding to the senselessness of his death with vitriolic hatred for a cause of which Mohammed had no part. Unfortunately, his grieving children are now lumped into this hatred because they follow a faith of which Osama bin Laden claims to be an adherent of but in no way follows. The mastermind, if you will, of September 11, 2001 isn't a man who worships Allah. He is a monster who worships hatred. I know Muslims and Osama bin Laden is no Muslim. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Sorry. I got off track. This day tends to do that to me. This is supposed to be a tribute, not a diatribe.

Others had this to say about Mohammed:

I am an ex-employee of Marsh. It is a great company to work for. I used to meet Mr Shahjahan quiet often. I always remember his words. He used offer prayers in his office. May god bless him.

Mohammed was a kind man, an excellent father, and a beloved brother. May Allah grant ease to his family and friends, and light in his grave, and justice to all those suffering from the repercussions of the tremendous loss of life on 9/11, and the events that followed.

He was a great uncle who loved his family.

I will never forget the gracious hospitality that Muhammad Shahjahan showed me on my many visits to the Jerrahi Mosque in the 80's. May Allah accept all of this and give him the pleasure of the Akhirah! Read Sura al-Fatiha for his soul.

From what I gather, Mohammed was a gentle family man who worked to provide a home, food, and life for his family. Did he come to America for a job? Was he a first-, second-, or farther generation American? Was he applying for citizenship? Did he enjoy his life here? I don't know. But what I do know is that Mohammed Shajahan should be alive today at the ripe old age of 52, watching his children enter adulthood, waiting for grandchildren, and enjoying his life. He shouldn't be walking the next world because of a senseless act.

Before this week, I didn't know you Mohammed. After today, I will remember you each year. Rest well.

Project 2,996 is a tribute to the 2,966 victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Began in 2006 with over 3,000 bloggers writing tributes to the victims, it is kept going each year.


Faiqa said...

Perfect. Love.

Miss Britt said...

Well done. xo

Anonymous said...

Thank you, coal miner's daughter, for selecting Shah to memoralize. I knew him, he used to manage a gas station while he was attending college. He was the nicest man, always smiling and so positive. He loved the USA and his family.

Patois42 said...

Good for you. This is excellent. Thank you for sharing him with me.

Kim - Mommycosm said...

Awesome, hon! Thank you for sharing him with us.

Project 2,996. Wow. I love this idea and have it on my radar now for next year.

Michael from dadcation.com said...

what a great project...i always forget to participate until after i read others' tributes. well done!

Hippest Snippets said...

Perfectly done and written. We love reading your blogs and posts. They make us think and react.

Barbara said...

Thank you, my dear niece.

Shelli said...

I know I'm late, but very well done!

halalamama said...

Simply beautiful. THANK YOU.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Faiqa - Thanks, hon.

Miss Britt - Thanks, darlin'.

Anonymous - Thank you SO much for reading and commenting about Mr. Shajahan. You've added to his story and that is most important.

Patois - You're welcome.

Kim - Can't wait to read it!

Muskrat - Yeah. I decided after last year that I would definitely write one this year.

Hippest Snippets - Thank you very much.

Aunt Barbara - You're welcome.

Shelli - Thanks.

HalalaMama - You're welcome.

Dave2 said...

A wonderful tribute. Thank you!