Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.
On January 9th, 2022 the Bronx witnessed one of the deadliest apartment fires in recent memory. This carnage took place in the Tremont neighborhood, a thriving West African & Muslim community.
This fire claimed seventeen lives, many of whom were children and/or Muslim. And without a doubt, those taken by this fire possessed a bright future.
This tragedy, created by a space heater, was the
result of issues regarding lack of hot water & heat consistently overlooked.
A common occurrence seen in communities of color, dominated by immigrant families, rent is still collected monthly in these buildings despite numerous complaints from tenants going unanswered.
The dangers of a space heater are well known. However, if it’s colder in your apartment than it is outdoors, is there really a better choice?
It’s a shame that these families were forced to use space heaters while living in the bitter New York cold. And as we can see, none of this mattered until it was too late.
For those struggling to wrap their heads around these unfortunate events, just know the victims & their families shared a strong Islamic faith & that Allah SWT messenger said, “Martyrdom is seven things besides being killed for the sake of Allah. The one who dies of the plague is a martyr, the one who drowns is a martyr, the one who dies of pleurisy is a martyr, the one who dies of stomach disease is a martyr, the one who is burned to death is a martyr, the one who dies beneath a collapsed building is a martyr, and the woman who dies in pregnancy is a martyr.”
Those who died in this fire should not be regarded as victims because those who burn are regarded as martyrs for the sake of Allah SWT.
These beautiful souls were more than just victims. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends & more. May those who lost someone know that there are people willing to help you in your time of mourning.
Among the deceased are:
Fatoumata Drammeh, 50, Foutmala Drammeh, 21, Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19, Muhammed Drammeh, 12, Haji Dukaray, 49, Haja Dukureh, 37, Mustapha Dukureh, 12, Miriam Dukureh, 11, Fatoumata Dukureh 5, Fatoumata Tunkara, 43 , Omar Jambang, 5, Seydou Toure, 12 , Haouwa Mahamadou Toure, 5 , Sera Janneh, 27, Hagi Jawara, 47 , Isatou Jabbie, 31, Ousmane Konteh, 2.
In regards to donations, please be cautious with where your donations are going. In the midst of tragedy, there are still people willing to do anything for personal gain.
Community-based organization Gambian Youth Organization (GYO) & mosques including Masjid-Ar Rahama, Masjid Sidiki, Masjid Ebun Abass & the Futa Islamic Center have set up sites where you can donate clothing, food, and more to help those affected by the fire.