On Saturday, the Muslim Society of Guelph came together to mourn the loss of Mohammad “Mishkat” Islam, a 19-year old man who died in hospital Friday, one week after being hit by a car while crossing the street in Waterloo.
Islam was a second-year engineering student at University of Waterloo, said Muhammed Sayyed, president of the Muslim Society of Guelph.
“He was a brilliant student with a promising future,” said Sayyed. “Almost 500 people came out for the funeral. It was one of the largest at our centre because of his young age.”
Islam was mature at a young age, said Sayyed.
“Usually when kids come to a mosque or a church they are running around or looking for a way to have fun and play, he was always sitting in a chair and reading the Koran or asking how he can help someone,” said Sayyed. “Everyone remembers him like that. He was a real gentleman.”
Sayyed recalls Islam’s helpful spirit and said the Muslim community could count on his volunteerism, even after he began university after graduating from Centennial CVI.
“He was still coming on the weekends and during Ramadan as a volunteer,” said Sayyed.
“I remember the first day when we purchased this new location on Water Street, he was I think 12 years old back then,” said Sayyed. “He walked in with his dad picking up the bricks because we were expanding the main prayer hall. He has been a volunteer at our new centre from day one.”
Islam was struck by a car just before 11 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 in the area of University Avenue West and Sunview Street in Waterloo.
Sayyed said Islam was in an induced coma for a week. He died the following Friday, on Feb. 1.
On Friday, the University of Waterloo posted a bereavement notice about the death of Islam and provided links and phone numbers to support services by people who may have been affected by the loss.
A service was held at the Muslim Society of Guelph on Saturday.
The death of a man at such a young age has touched all in the local Muslim community, said Sayyed.
“This has been a difficult week for us because we watched him growing up in front of us,” said Sayyed. “It’s was really, really heartbreaking for everyone.”
Sayyed said Islam’s family is drawing on their faith to help get them through a challenging time.
“This is one of the most difficult things — to bury your own child,” said Sayyed. “They found some peace in their religion knowing that the Koran and Allah has promised a better life in the next life.”