Muslims at the Windsor Mosque are mourning the loss of one of their members.
Raed Alhammadi was only 43 years old, the youngest person in Windsor and Essex County to die from COVID-19 so far.
According to the Imam, his wife said he had no medical history but he was a heavy smoker.
In addition to his wife, Alhammadi leaves behind five children ages one through 16.
“They are actually in shock,” said Imam Mohamed Al-Gammali. “As a community, as I was talking to her we are going to do our best to support them.”
Alhammadi was a Syrian refugee. He died just 20 days after testing positive.
“He was a newcomer,” said Al-Gammali.
The members couldn’t hold prayers at the mosque due to the COVID-19 restrictions, so they just held prayers at the cemetery. Usually prayers like this bring about 100 people to the mosque. Ten people were at the grave site.
The service was recorded and put online where 15,000 people watched it.
“This is the will of God. He chose him,” said Al-Gammali. “Its a difficult time. But we have to cope. We have to find alternative. We have to support each other.”
Al-Gammali said this death underlines that “maximum precautions” have to be taken by all in order to “save our lives and the lives of others.”
“Without patience and without wisdom this [pandemic] will continue. What happened to Raed could happen to anyone of us.”