Truly Allah tests those who He loves. A 29-year-old father was shot and killed during a jewelry store robbery in Richmond, Virginia. Just a headline for some, but for this particular family the sole breadwinner was brutally murdered.
Shortly before Asr on Monday May 5, 2014, police were called to Victoria Jewelers on the south side of the 300 block of East Broad Street, according to NBC 12.
With photos of his wife and 18-month-old toddler in his wallet, Hafidh Muhammad Haroon Baig lay on the floor where a couple found him and notified the police. He was someone who had memorized the entire Qur’an and he worked as the store manager for Victoria Jewelers for seven years in downtown Richmond.
A community member says that Baig’s father, Muhammad Ayub Baig, is a jeweler by craft, but does not own the jewelry store where Baig worked. Nazir Kamran is the owner of the store and was distraught at the news of his young employee. He was like a son to me, Kamran said to ABC News.
The homicide scared the neighbors in the area including a Muslim woman who owns a hair-braiding salon nearby. This is the worst crime that she has ever seen even in this block of town where the crime rate is extremely high, she said in an interview with NBC12.
With another baby expected at any time, the widow of Muhammad H. Baig, who is also a hafidha, held on to her Quran, trying to absorb what had just happened to her family, according to family friends.
Within a day of his death, the Baig family was blessed with a new baby girl, on Tuesday May 6, 2014, when his wife went into labor a week before her due date.
A younger brother and parents lived with the couple in the Henrico area of Richmond. They had migrated to the United States from Pakistan.
‘They are a really pious family,” says Anjum Smith, a longtime resident of the Richmond area who is in touch with the family. “They didn’t know that their son was murdered until 7:00 p.m. Monday night.”
He was nicknamed Sunny and had a smiling, humble personality say the storeowners in the area. The family is known as good people, who were willing to do anything for anyone. As of this report, police have not caught the perpetrator of the crime.
The funeral prayer for Hafidh Muhammad Haroon Baig, was held on Wednesday May 7, 2014 at the Islamic Center of Virginia 1241 Buford Rd Richmond VA 23235. He was buried at the Al Barzakh Cemetery.
This latest murder of a Muslim businessman in Richmond comes while the murders of two other store owners in Richmond is still on people's minds.
On November 24th, 2012, Br. Muhammad Tayyab was shot in broad daylight at his Food Mart on Erich Road in Northern Richmond in a robbery, and on January 28, 2013, Farooq Bhimdi was shot 3 times in his store, the Express Way convenience store along Mechanicsville Turnpike in Eastern Henrico. In late January of this year, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Muslim community member Abdul Ghaffar, was murdered with a boxcutter style knife while working his shift at 7-11. Tayyab's killer remains at large, while arrests were made in the other two cases.
To donate to a fund for Hafidh Baig's widow and children, contact the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond or the West End Islamic Center.