Photo credit: Takanini School and Stuff NZ
To mark this weekend’s first anniversary of the terrorist attack that saw 51 New Zealanders murdered at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, the Māori Language Commission has translated the iconic speech delivered by survivor and widower, Farid Ahmed at the National Remembrance Service.
“We raise the voices of those who have suffered the most. Mr Ahmed’s message of humanity and peace, in the face of terrorism and hatred are words that have echoed around the world. We wanted to make sure they were also heard in te reo Māori,” said Māori Language Commission chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui.
“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata. What is the greatest thing of all? It is people. It is people. It is people.”
“If our heart is full of love, then peace will start from here: Ko te aroha nui o te ngākau, te tīmatanga o te maungārongo,” Farid Ahmed.
‘Ko te aroha nui o te ngākau te tīmatanga o te maungārongo’: te kupu a te mōrehu o te parekura i Ōtautahi
If our heart is full of love then peace will start from here’: a Christchurch survivor speaks
Ko te kōrero tēnei i te Hui Whakamaumahara ā-Motu a tētahi o ngā mōrehu o te parekura i Ōtautahi, a Farid Ahmed, i mate nei tōna hoa wahine i te 15 o Maehe.
Christchurch shooting survivor Farid Ahmed, whose wife was killed on March 15, spoke at the National Remembrance Service. This is his speech.
Ko te kupu a te Atua i te Kōrana ko tēnei, ”Kaua e kī kua mate te hunga i hinga i ngā mahi mō te Atua, i ngā karakia ki te Atua, me mōhio pū e ora ana rātou. E ora ana ō rātou wairua. Kāore nei e kitea ana e koe.”
Allah says in the Qur’an, “Do not say about those who are killed in the service of Allah, in the worship of Allah, that they are dead, but know they are living. Their soul is alive. But you do not perceive it.”
E whakapono ana tātou ko te hunga i mate mō te kaupapa pai, ko te hunga i patua i a rātou e karakia ana, kua puta ki te rangi. Ko te tinana kua hemo, engari anō te wairua. Kei te rangi ō rātou wairua e tiakina ana e te Atua o te aroha. E whakapono hoki ana mātou, ko te hunga ora i taotū, ko ngā whānau katoa e kūraruraru ana, ka manaakitia rātou e te Atua mō rātou e manawanui ana, ā, i te rā nei, i mua tonu i a tātou katoa, e tāpae atu ana aku karakia mō te hunga i patua, mō ngā mōrehu anō. Ka taki karakia hoki ahau ki ngā iwi o Aotearoa, ki te whenua tonu o Aotearoa kia tau mai te maru o te manaakitanga ki runga i a tātou. Ka mutu, ka taki karakia anō ahau ki ngā iwi o te ao kia tau mai te maungārongo me te whakaaro pai ki runga i a tātou.
We believe that people who die in the good cause, that people who are killed in their worship, they are in paradise. Their body is going to be perished, but their souls are not. Their souls are in paradise, they are being hospitalised by Allah merciful. We also believe that people who survive with injury, all the families who are going through struggles, for their patience Allah is going to reward them, and today, in front of all of us, I would like to offer my sincere prayers for the people who have been killed and also people who survived. I would also like to offer my prayers to New Zealanders and New Zealand for safety and security. And also I would like to offer my prayers to the people in this world for peace and happiness.
Kei aku rangatira, tēnā koutou mō koutou i puta mai i te rā nei, e mihi ana. Ka nui anō ngā mihi ki ngā kaiwhakarite o tēnei hui whakamaumaharatanga nui i whakaae mai kia whai wāhi ahau ki te kōrero. Heoi, nei rā aku mihi ki ngā iwi o Aotearoa e piri tahi nei i runga i te whakaaro kotahi he whenua maungārongo a Aotearoa, āmine.
Honourable audience I would like to thank and acknowledge your presence today. I would also like to thank the organisers to allow me to speak in this auspicious memorial service. I would also like to thank New Zealanders for coming together to show the world that New Zealand is a peaceful country and it is going to be peaceful, inshallah.
Ka pātai mai te tangata ki a au, “He aha i murua ai e koe te hara o te tangata nāna tō wahine i patu?” He nui aku whakautu ki te pātai nā, engari nā te wā ka poto kē. Tuatahi, he tangata whakapono ahau, e whakapono ana ahau ki te Atua, ā, ko tāna, ki te murua e tētahi ngā hara o tētahi, ka aroha mai ia ki a au, ka aroha mai ia ki a tātou. Hei tā te Atua i te Kōrana tapu, “Ko te hunga whakamoe i te riri, muru i ngā hara, ka arohaina ko rātou e mahi pai ana e te Atua,” nā reira e muru ana ahau i ngā hara, he pērā te iwi Muhirama i te mea koinā te akoranga mai a te Kōrana, ki te murua ngā hara ka aroha te Atua ki a rātou. Tuarua, ka whai au i te poropiti kotahi, pērā i ngā karere katoa a te Atua, ko tōna ingoa ko Mohameta, he tohu whakaaroha mō te ao katoa. Ko tā te Atua, “E taku karere, kua tukuna koe e ahau hei whakaaroha mō te ao”, nā reira ki te kore he murunga hara, ki te kore hoki te whakaaroha, e kore nei e tūturu taku whakapono ki a ia.
People ask me, why did you forgive someone who has killed your beloved wife? The answer to this is I can give so many answers, but because of the time I will give only a couple points. The first point is, I have a faith, I believe in Allah, and Allah says if we forgive one another, he loves me, he loves us. In the holy Qur’an Allah says, “those who control their anger, and pardon their fellow human, Allah loves those who are good doers,” so I forgive and Muslims forgive, because they are taught by the Qur’an that if they forgive then Allah will love them. I will give one more reason: I follow one prophet like all other messengers of god, of Allah, that he is titled Muhammad, a mercy for all creation. Allah said “Oh my messenger, I have sent you as a mercy for the world”, so without forgiveness, without showing mercy, I cannot be a true follower of him.
Tuarua, kāore au i te hiahia kia mate au i te kino o te ngākau riri, i te nguha, kāore nei i hou mai te rongo. Ko te whakamauāhara tonu tēnei. He kaitangata tonu te rite. Kāore au i te hiahia kia noho pēnei ahau, kia pēnei hoki te tangata. Ko taku hiahia kia nui te aroha o te ngākau ki te whakaaroha atu, ki te muru hara, kia kore ai e mate anō he tangata. Kia kaua rawa te mamae e kai nei i taku ngākau e kai i tangata kē atu. Nā reira au i kī ai me hohou te rongo, me aroha, ā, kua murua ngā hara.
Also, I don’t want to have a heart that is boiling like a volcano. A volcano has anger, fury, rage, it doesn’t have peace. It has hatred, it burns itself within, and it burns the surrounding. I don’t want to have a heart like this and I believe no one does. I want a heart that is full of love and care and full of mercy, and will forgive lavishly, because this heart doesn’t want any more life to be lost. This heart doesn’t like that the pain I have gone through, that any human being should go through. That’s why I have chosen peace, love and I have forgiven.
Kua kī mai anō te tangata ki a au he aha i aroha ai koe ki a ia anō nei ko tō taina tonu, ā, ka mea atu au, kua pānuitia mai e te imama te kupu i te Kōrana e mea ana, “E te iwi, kua hangaia koutou i te tokorua kotahi, i te tāne, i te wahine”, heoi ko Matua Arama rāua ko Whāea Ewe ēnei, ko tātou ā rāua tamariki, he whānau kotahi. He tāina, he tuākana, he tungāne, he tuāhine tātou ki a tātou, ā-tangata nei. Me pēhea e kino atu ai au ki taku taina? Kāore au i te whakaae ki tāna i mahi ai, kāore hoki au i te tautoko i tērā, he pōhēhē pea nōna ki tēnei āhuatanga, tērā pea i te raru ia i tōna tipuranga, i maukinotia rānei, tē taea e ia tōna raru te whakatau kia tika. Kāore au i te whakaae ki tāna mahi, engari e kore hoki e taea e au a ia te whakakore hei taina nōku. He taina, he tuakana, he tuahine ngā tāngata katoa ki a au. Koinei te akoranga mai a te Atua. Kāore au i te mauāhara ki a ia. Kāore au i te mauāhara ki te tangata.
People have asked me why do you love him as a human brother and the answer to this is our brother imam has recited the verse from the Qur’an, that says “Oh Mankind, we have created you from a single pair of male and female”, referring to father Adam and mother Eve, so we all are Adam’s children, Eve’s children, we are one single family. We are human brothers and sisters. How can I hate my human brother? I don’t agree with what he has done, I don’t support what he has done, probably he has misunderstood the whole thing, probably he had gone through suffering in his life, some traumatic thing has happened, and he could not process his suffering in the right way. I don’t support his action but I cannot deny he is my human brother. Each human being is my brother or sister. This is what Allah taught. I cannot hate him. I cannot hate anyone.
Kāti, anei aku whakaaro ki te ao. Kei te whai katoa tātou i te maungārongo. Koirā kē ā tātou kōrero. Nā reira me tīmata ki hea? Me tīmata ki a tātou anō. Mātua whakapai i ō tātou ake ngākau, kia pupū ake te aroha hei hohou i te rongo. Kei tēnā tangata, kei tēnā tangata te tikanga me pēhea, heoi me tīmata i ō tātou ngākau, kia huri ai ō tātou whakaaro. Ka kīia ai, he whānau kotahi tātou, whakapono mai, hāhi mai, ahurea mai, reo mai.
At the end, again, I would like to say a couple of words for humanity. We all want peace. We say that we want peace. But we have to start from somewhere. We have to start cleaning our own heart first. We have to change our attitude. If our heart is full of love then peace will start from here. Each one of us has responsibility from wherever we are to at least start from our heart. We have to change our attitude. Our attitude should be that we are one family, regardless of faith, religion, culture and language.
Nā reira hei whakatepe ake, e mihi ana ki tōku tāone ātaahua. Ko Ōtautahi tonu tēnei, te tāone māra, kei reira te putiputi e pua ana. He akoranga kei roto i ngā putiputi nei. Ahakoa he rerekē ngā momo putiputi, ka tipu tahi hei māra ātaahua, e tūtahi ana tētahi i tētahi i runga i te rongomau, ahakoa ngā rerekētanga. Me pēnei kē tātou. He tikanga āku, he tikanga kē āu. He hāhi anō tōku, he hāhi kē tōu, engari nō te māra kotahi.
I would like to conclude with my beautiful city. This is Christchurch city, the garden city, and in a garden, we see beautiful flowers. We have to learn from them. In the garden there are different types of flowers, but together, they make a beautiful garden, they stand beside one another with peaceful coexistence, even though they have different. We must be like this. I may be different culture, you a different, I’m a different religion, you’re a different religion, but together we are one garden.
Mā te Atua tātou e ārahi ki te maungārongo, ki te maruārongo, māna anō e hohou te rongo ki runga o Aotearoa, ki te ao whānui tonu.
May Allah guide us towards peace, safety and security, and may Allah make new zealand peaceful and the whole world peaceful.