Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. Three people have died in the last four days in our community. One I didn’t know at all until we went to the funeral home to prepare her body, one I kinda of knew, and one I knew really well.
Their deaths have been a near constant reminder that I carry with me in my mind, in my heart, in my salaah (it gives meaning to the phrase “pray as if it were you last prayer”), in listening to and reading the Quran, while working, and while driving. As I was leaving work today, I had a strange feeling that just made me want to avoid my usual route home and the beltway.
I took a different path and as I approached the side street close to my street I looked back in my rearview mirror and then in my peripheral vision I saw something small scurrying none too fast across the street. And then I felt something and heard a sickening noise under my car and perhaps under my tires. I felt terrible praying that the animal was something small like a squirrel and not dead.
I turned around and drove slowly back in the direction of the incident and was beginning to feel relieved that I didn’t see anything but then I saw it. A cat lying dead on its side. Maybe it was a stray but I have a feeling someone will be missing their cat in the morning.
I hate to see animals lying dead in the street and always feel mercy for the seemingly ignominious manner of their death, wondering about my own death. When I see animals I usually give them my salaam and if they are dead I say inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon and make dua for them. They are the creation of Allah just as I am a creation.
I called the county government’s animal service line and pressed 4 as instructed for “carcass removal”. It was after 11pm but a nice sounding woman answered.
Muslim Apple: Umm, as I was driving home I hit a cat.
Muslim Apple: As I was driving home this evening, I hit a cat…with my car. And I drove back to see if it was ok but it was dead.
Pregnant Silence. Muslim Apple already feeling bad feeling even worse like the woman is judging me, what kind of person hits a cat with their car and then very calmly looks up the proper number online and relates the story in a dispassionate matter of fact tone to a complete stranger with the calmness of a killer?
Woman: Ok, what is the address?
I didn’t have the exact address so I gave her the street name, city, and a landmark. She asked me for my name, address, and phone number making me a bit like a criminal and left wondering if the police are going to show up at my door. It was accident. “Suspicious Recent Convert Islamic Driver Kills Cat”. The woman said they would put it on schedule for pick-up.
I’m really sorry for the cat if I caused it any pain, I didn’t intend to kill it, it was qadr (destiny), for its owners, for the people that will see it lying there dead, and for killing such a noble creation (even though I’m allergic to them) of my Lord.
From Allah we came and to Him we will all return.