“Dear Nabra…” | Letters to the Ummah

“Dear Nabra…” | Letters to the Ummah June 26, 2017

Illustration by Julie Larah


Dear Nabra,

It has been a little over a week since you were killed. By now, some of the shock has worn off and the grief is settling in. Your name isn’t showing up on social media and news outlets as much as it was last week… But I want you to know that I, along with the rest of the American Muslim community and many around the world, have not forgotten for one second what was done to you.

If you were still alive right now, you would probably be celebrating Eid with your family and friends. You would have a nice outfit on and be snacking on your favorite foods all day, as a much-deserved reward after a month of fasting. From everything that I’ve heard about your personality, I’m sure your laughter and liveliness would have been putting a smile on the face of everyone in your company.

You are a source of inspiration to me and countless Muslims around the world. My sweet younger sister-in-Islam, when I was your age, I wasn’t going to taraweeh prayers with my friends, let alone wearing a hijab on my head. I admire you for every moment that you proudly displayed your religious identity, especially in this political climate. I am inspired by your dedication to your faith at such a young and vulnerable age. Just know that none of that was in vain; your reward is with Allah.

It pains me to tell you this Nabra, but you murder is being written off as an incident of “road rage” rather than a hate crime. Our community is outraged. We know what was really done to you, just like we knew what was done to Our Three Winners when their killing was said to be due to a “parking dispute.” We will continue to fight for justice. InshaAllah, I hope the truth will come to light soon.

There is a campaign raising funds for your parents, but I know that no amount of money will bring their precious daughter back to them. No amount of money will fill that void in their lives, or stop their hearts from crying. So I’m praying for them, and I will continue to do so. I pray that your family, as well as anyone else who has lost a family member due to violence and hatred, will be able to make it through this trial and find true peace in the Afterlife.

Your life was stolen from you and your family unjustly, and the One in charge will make sure that this suffering is accounted for, inshaAllah (God-willing). And although I pray that the individual who killed you will pay for what he did, I realize that real justice can only be executed in the next life. That Day will come soon.

Nabra Hassanen… May Allah grant you the highest place in Jannatul Firdaus and reunite you with your loved ones there. And in the meantime, may your grave be filled with the beautiful sights and smells of Paradise. Ameen.


“Gardens of perpetual residence: they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their forefathers, their spouses, and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying,] “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.”[Qur’an 13:23-24]

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