Fundraiser launched for missing man, 19, found dead in Pickering

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Published April 26, 2024 at 1:27 pm

A fundraiser has been launched in honour of Nabeel Shahzad, 19 or Pickering, who was found dead after disappearing a few weeks ago.

Shahzad, a muslim, vanished on April 4, the 23rd night of the holy month of Ramadan. He was last seen near Major Oaks and Brock Roads, a residential neighbourhood just north of the Masjid Usman Pickering Islamic Centre.

The mosque hosted several events to observe Ramadan, which commentorates the Prophet Mohammed’s first reveleation from Allah. However, it’s unclear if Shahzad attended them.

At the time of his dissappearance, Shahzad was a second year life sciences student at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson). He dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Two search parties searched for Shahzad in the following days but did not find him. His remains were discovered near a creek close to the nearby Valley Farm days later on April 16. Durham Police did not confirm the cause of death but foul play was not suspected.

On April 25, Shahzad’s family launched a GoFundMe in his honour to build community wells in Pakistan. Each well costs about $1,500 and the family set a goal of $5,000. As of this writing, the fundraiser collected nearly $3,800 from 100 donations in 15 hours.

“As Muslims, we hope to leave behind our children and spouses as a means of sadaqah jariah that will continue to benefit us in our graves. Nabeel did not get a chance to get married or have any kids,” wrote Shahzad’s sister Warda Fatima.

She cited Hadith 3664 which reads “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, my mother has died; shall I give in charity on her behalf?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘What kind of charity is best?’ He said: ‘Providing drinking water.'”

(Hadiths are reports on the life of Mohammed which share his thoughts and lessons via various narrators. Together they make up Sunnah, traditions Muslims are meant to follow.)

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