Today, we went to the mosque to pray for all our brothers and sisters affected by the tragic massacre of Muslims in Christchurch.
Today, we went to the mosque and we saw hundreds of flowers outside the main gate. We saw hundreds of people from all walks of life who came to support our community at this time of need.
Today, we saw the part of New Zealand that made us proud to be New Zealand Muslims. Allah swt has blessed our country as can been seen by the outpouring amount of love and care.
If it takes fifty deaths to unite people of all races and creed in Aotearoa, then we say to those who are living, let us take heed and strengthen our bonds of love and care, celebrate the diversity of Kiwis, and most of all learn from each other so as to share the common humanity. This is what the Quran teaches us.
At times like this, our faith has taught us three crucial ways forward:
Firstly, have forbearance in the face of hatred. Be patient (have sabr). Life isn’t always easy but through sabr we can reflect, plan and act.
Secondly, the importance of seeking knowledge of other cultures and creeds. Ignorance engenders prejudice and distrust and this breeds hatred, and it leads to tragedies like last Friday. To live in a caring society, we have to care to learn from each other and not just live under a cloak of ignorance and rhetoric of hatemongers.
Thirdly, Islam teaches us not to look at humanity through our differences, but rather our similarities. Allah swt has given us diversity so we can celebrate the differences and not condemn those who don’t share our views and way of life.
The support that has been given to our community is unbelievable. It was scary at first, but all of you helped to make us feel safe. We don’t think "a thank you" is enough to show our gratitude. But we will say this…you have created a new New Zealand. We thank you for this, all our Muslim brothers and sisters thank you for this. The next generation of Muslims of NZ also thank you in advance . . . you have left a historic legacy of kindness and care which will be the umbilical cord of unity for the next generation.
For us Aotearoa is not just the land of the long white cloud, but also the land of long-lasting love.
MUSA Committee Member Adibah Khan