HUDSON — More than 150 men and women from the Muslim community were joined by city leaders to say goodbye to one of its most beloved daughters Friday.
Fardush Sultana, a junior at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, died Wednesday at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica from a mysterious head injury. She was 20.
“I think I have personally known her since she was in 7th grade,” principal Antonio Abitabile said after the service at Hudson High School. “She was the model student and in the top 10 of her class. She represented the very best of what we have to offer here. So it hurts our staff and students. It’s been a rough week. It was a very solemn day here yesterday.”
Sultana was taken to the hospital on the evening of April 8 for an unexplained head injury while she was in her dormitory room. The incident is still under investigation by state and university police, according to a statement from the college.
The Zanazah, or the Islamic funeral prayers recited in the Islamic funeral rite, was held in the gymnasium Hudson High School gymnasium, 215 Harry Howard Ave., Friday.
The entire Muslim community has been very sad the past week, Second Ward Alderman Dewan Sarowar said.
The entire community was welcome to attend the memorial services. Non-Muslims sat in the bleachers while prayers were recited. More than 100 men and 40 women attended the services from the Muslim community stood in 13 straight lines, with their shoes off and head bowed, to say a prayer for Sultana. The men stood in front, while the women stood behind them.
The prayer was to the Almighty God, or Allah, to give her to Jannah, or heaven, Abdus Miah said.
“Everybody has come together to help the family – everyone,” Miah said. “Everyone has said how good and how nice she was.”
Members from the community also came out to mourn the loss, including Mayor Rick Rector, Fourth Ward Supervisor Linda Mussmann, Fifth Ward Alderwoman Eileen Halloran, Fourth Ward Alderman Rich Volo and First Ward Alderman Rob Bujan.
As soon as the prayer is said, a burial was immediately held at the Muslim Cemetery in Wynantskill, as part of Muslim tradition, Miah said.
Sultana was studying civil engineering, according to a statement from the college. Sultana was an “outstanding” student who touched many lives, college President Grace Wang said Thursday.
Sultana was a member of the Hudson High School robotics team that competed in a state championship, a member of the National Honor Society and a runner on the track team, according to the Hudson City School District.
Two weeks ago, Sultana returned to Hudson High to assist teammates on the Hudson High School Robotics Team No. 1665.
“She was still helping them [the robotics teams] raise funds and everything and still helping three years later,” Abitabile said.
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