Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Elayhi Rajeoun. From Allah we came and to Him we shall return.
The students, Theeb Alyami, 27, and Jaser Alrakah, 25, were cousins studying at a local college in Massachusetts and were getting ready to graduate next month.
The bodies of the Saudi students were recovered after extensive search.
The children were playing in the water and were caught in the current, according to reports. Several adults tried to help the children, but failed, the report on Gulf News said.
The brother of one of the Saudi victims told the Saudi newspaper Sabaq.
“On Friday my brother and his cousin were on a picnic next to the river when they saw a mother in distress trying to save her children, who now because of my brother and cousin are alive and have already been discharged from the hospital,
The American media are referring to them as heroes.”
A State Police dive team and air wing helped in the search of the Saudi students. One of the victims was recovered on Friday.
The search for the second victim stopped at sunset Friday, and resumed Saturday to no avail. On Monday morning, authorities found the body of the second victim.
Alrakah was an engineering student at Western New England University. Alyami was enrolled at the University of Hartford in a civil engineering program.
The two universities issued statements in which they expressed their condolences to the Yami and Al Rakah families.
The two universities affirmed that they appreciated the heroic stand of the two students who died while helping others and expressed their full solidarity with the families of the deceased.
Fox 61 reports that the president of the University of Hartford issued the following statement to students mourning the loss of Theeb Alyami.
Dear Members of the UHart Community,
It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write to tell you of a tragic loss. University of Hartford student Theeb Alyami passed away in an accidental drowning in Massachusetts on Friday.
Theeb, an international student from Saudi Arabia, was a senior studying civil engineering. A contributing member of our vibrant community, he was attending UHart after earning sponsorship of his educational experience by the Cultural Mission of Saudi Arabia.
We will mourn this terrible loss together. In the days ahead, we will work with Theeb’s family to determine the most appropriate way to honor his memory. For now, I ask that you keep his family and friends, as well as our CETA colleagues, in your thoughts and prayers as they begin to cope with this tragedy. If you are in need of support or grief counseling resources, please reach out to the dean of students office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saving a life like such is highly virtuous in the sight of Allah as He says in Quran 5:32 –
“…And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely…”
And to die due to being drowned can lead one to being given the noble status of a martyr as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The martyrs are five: the one who dies of plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed by a falling wall, and the one who is martyred for the sake of Allaah.”
[Bukhari, 2829; Muslim, 1915]
May Allah accept them as martyrs and give patience to the loved ones.