Say Their Names - Remembering the Victims of the New Zealand Masajid Attacks
Posted on Mar 19, 2019
They went for Jummah (Friday) prayers at their local mosque to pray in congregation, to remember Allah (S). And it was in these minutes, these contemplative moments that so many were brutally killed in a terrorist attack, a spray of horrific and relentless bullets.
How many of us have attended Jummah prayers? We sit there and listen to the khateeb (person giving the sermon) speak to us and recite from the Qu’ran. We stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder, praying as one. It was in this state of wudu at Friday prayers that 51 of our brothers and sisters were taken from us at Masjid Al Noor and the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Let us remember the shuhada (martyrs). They were children, fathers, mothers, grandparents, husbands, wives, friends. Refugees, New-Zealand born, immigrants, Muslim. While all the names have not been released, let us say the names of those who have and recite Surah Al Fatiha.
Mucad Ibrahim, 3
Mucad is believed to be the youngest victim of the mass shooting at Masjid Al Noor. He was at Jummah prayers with his father and older brother Abdi. During the shooting, Abdi fled for his life, and Mucad was separated from his father in the commotion.The family searched for the toddler at the local hospitals only to learn that he had died.
Hajj-Daoud Nabi, 71
Haji-Daoud came to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 1977 and was instrumental in the building of Masjid Al Noor. He died as he tried to save the lives of other worshippers at the masjid. His son, Yama Al-Nabi, was late for a meeting with his father at the masjid and escaped being caught up in the shooting by just a few minutes, according to The Guardian.
Abdus Samad, 66
Imam Abdus Samad led prayers at Masjid Al Noor when he wasn't giving lectures at Christchurch's Lincoln University. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Lilik Abdul Hamid, 58
Lilik was an engineer for Air New Zealand and had worked in Christchurch for 16 years. He was a father to two children.
Musa was a hafiz of the Qu'ran (memorized the entire Qu'ran) and a respected scholar and community leader who lived most of his life in the Fiji islands. He had recently moved to New Zealand and Christchurch.
Sayyad Milne, 14
Sayyid attended Jummah at Masjid Al Noor every Friday and was in tenth grade at Cashmere HIgh School. Sayyid was an avid football player, and his father called him his “brave little soldier.” His brother, who also attends Jummah prayers was away on a school trip that Friday and his twin sister was in school when the attacks happened.
Attal Elayyan, 33
Attal was the goalkeeper of New Zealand’s national men’s futsal team. The Palestinian brother was born in Kuwait and had also just become a father and was a well-known member of ChristChurch’s tech industry. He is survived by his wife, Farah, and their young daughter, Aya.
Khaled Mustafa and his son, Hamza, 16
Khaled and his family had fled the war in Syria for the safety of New Zealand just a few months prior to the shootings. He was praying at the masjid with his two sons - Hamza, 16, presumed to be dead, and Zaid, 13, who was operated on at Christchurch Hospital. Said Ali Akil, spokesperson for Syrian Solidarity in New Zealand, “They were just looking for a safe place. Unfortunately we can’t claim that New Zealand is a safe place anymore.”
Amjad Hamid, 57
Amjad, who hailed from Palestine, had lived in Christchurch for 23 years. He was a heart doctor and traveled to the small town of Hawera for work three times a week. He was known for his kindness, compassion and sense of humor, said Rosemary Clements, the chief executive of the Taranaki District Health Board.
Naeem Rashid and his son, Talha, 21
Naeem’s story has become well-known around the world, as he tried to wrestle the gun away from the shooter as Masjid Al Noor. He was killed, and his son Talha was also killed. Naeem hailed from Pakistan where he worked as a banker. He moved to Christchurch and started teaching there.
Zakaria helped to rebuild the masjid in Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake. He is one of the last victims identified, as his body was found after police searched Masjid Al Noor, according to the BBC.
Farhaj Ashan, 30
Farhaj moved to New Zealand from India about ten years ago and worked as an electrical engineer. He was married with two children, a daughter who is three years old and a six-month-old baby boy.
Ansi Alibava, 25
Ansi was studying for her master’s degree. Her husband, Abdul Nazer Ponnath Hamsa, said, “The life Ansi and I had together, the plans we made, the family we hoped to build here, all vanished in a moment of senseless, anti-immigrant rage.”
Syed Jahandad Ali, 34
Syed is presumed to be dead, as one of his colleagues said they had left work at 1 p.m. on Friday to go to Masjid Al Noor. He spoke to his wife, Amna Ali (who is in Pakistan) on Friday morning, and she has not heard from him since.
Hussain El-Umari, 36
Hussain prayed at Masjid Al Noor regularly. Hussain worked in the tourism industry, and his family immigrated to New Zealand from Iraq.
Ozair Kadir, 24
Ozair was from Hyderabad, India and was a student pilot in New Zealand. He had dreams of becoming a commercial pilot and flying himself back home to India.
Abdullahi Dirie, 4
Adan Ibrahim and his five children were at the masjid for prayers when shots broke out. Four of his children escaped unharmed, but the youngest, Abdullahi, was killed. Adnan is in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds. The family had fled from Somalia in the mid 1990s as refugees and resettled in New Zealand.
Ghulam Hussein, 64, Karam Bibi, 63 and Zeeshan Raza, 38
Ghulam and Karam were visiting their son Zeeshan and their grandkids from Pakistan. They traveled to New Zealand often to visit their grandchildren. Zeeshan, who had a degree in engineering, had just recently moved to Christchurch and rented a home near Masjid Al Noor.
Hussain confronted and charged the terrorist to try and stop him. He sacrificed his life to save the lives of friends and other worshippers.
Linda Armstrong, 65
Linda was born in West Auckland and had moved to Christchurch to be near her grandchildren and be part of the growing Muslim community. She had converted to Islam many years ago.
Mohammed Omar Faruk, 36
Mohammed was from Bangladesh. His friend messaged Professor Khaled Beydoun on Twitter to tell him, "he was the best friend somebody could ask for."
Muse Nur Aale, 77
Muse taught religious studies at Masjid Al Noor. He had lived in Christchurch for 30 years with his loving wife, Muhubo Ali Jama. They had no children, and Muse saw his students as his children.
Husna Ara Ahmed, 44
Husna hailed from Bangladesh and was killed after she had escaped from Masjid Al Noor but then returned to find and shield her husband, Farid, who was wheelchair bound. In sacrificing her life, she also helped to save several children.
Junaid Ismail, 36
Junaid was with his twin brother, Zahid at the masjid. His brother managed to escape with his wife. Ismail leaves behind a wife, three young children and his mother.
Mounir Soliman, 68
Mounir never missed Friday prayers and would also go to the masjid regularly. He left Egypt to work as a design engineer in Christchurch in 1997 and would frequently visit Egypt. He is survived by his wife, Ekram.
Suhail Shahid, 33
Suhail, an engineer, had left Pakistan to work in Christchurch. He diligently sent money back to his parents in Pakistan and was known to be a caretaker in his community.
Mathullah Saffi, 55
Mathullah moved to New Zealand from Afghanistan nine years ago. He worked many jobs to provide for his wife, six sons and a daughter. His friends remember him as a humble man who always was helping anyone in need.
Osama Adnan Abu-Kwik Osama, 37
Osama hailed from Palestine by way of Egypt and was in the process of applying for his New Zealand citizenship. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Tariq Omar, 24
Tariq's mother dropped him for Friday prayers and pulled around to the back of the masjid. She heard the first round of gunshots and then two more and fled the scene. She waited for her son to come home, but he never did.
Dr. Haroon Mahmood, 40
After completing his doctorate, Haroon had been working as an assistant academic director of Canterbury College, a private school. He had earned his master’s degrees in Pakistan and had worked in banking there. He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 13 and 11.
Mohammad Imran Kahn, 47
Mohammad is believed to have died at the Linwood Masjid. He owned two restaurants in Christchurch.
Abdukadir Elmi, 70
Abdukadir was a proud father of nine - five sons and four daughters - and had moved to Christchurch a decade ago. He had been married to his wife for 50 years. He hailed from Somalia.
Ashraf hailed from Fiji. His friend, Abdul Qayyum, said they were planning to visit Fiji in a few weeks. He said he will always remember his friend’s quiet laugh.
Hussein Moustafa, 70
Hussein hailed from Egypt and loved going to the masjid. His daughter-in-law said of him that “nobody ever saw him in a bad mood,” and that he was always cleaning the masjid.
Ahmed Abdel-Ghany, 68
Ahmed, who was most recently identified as one of the victims of the Christchurch massacre, is a native of Egypt who moved to New Zealand with his son Omar in 1996. Omar remembers him as "a kind man with the purest of hearts.
Arifbhai MohamedAli Vora, 58, and his son Ramiz Arifbhai Vora, 29
When Arif and his wife learned their son, Ramiz, was having a baby, they came from India for a visit. A week after the baby was born, Ramiz and his father and died together while attending Friday prayers.
Ali Elmadani, 65
Ali had been living in Christchurch since 1997. He is survived by his four children and his grandchild, who lives in Sydney.
Abdel-Fattah was a loving husband, father and uncle. Said his nephew, "He taught us to never let go of our morals and values."
Mojammel Hoq, 30
Mojammel had moved from Bangladesh to Christchurch to work in healthcare. He was planning to move back to Bangladesh, open up a dental clinic and marry his fiance.
Mohsen had lived in New Zealand for 25 years, moving there from Saudi Arabia. He was shot five times and passed away in the hospital.
Talha Naeem, 21
Talha was shot at Masjid Al Noor. His father tried to wrest the gun away from the terrorist.
Syed Areeb Ahmed, 26
Ahmed, a chartered accountant, has recently moved to Christchurch from Karachi, Pakistan to work at PriceWaterhouseCooper to support his family. He was described by one of his uncles, Muhammad Muzaffar Khan, as deeply religious.
Maheboob Allarakha Khokhar, 65
Maheboob was visiting his son, Imran Khokhar and was due to return home to Ahmedabad, India that Sunday after Friday prayers. He did at Masjid Al Noor.
Muhammad Maziq Mohd-Tarmizi, 17
Muhammad had moved to New Zealand from Malaysia with his family a year and a half ago. His father, Mohd Tarmizi Shuib, was injured at Masjid Al Noor, where Muhammad lost his life. His mother and younger brother escaped. Muhammed was in Year 12 at Burnside High School in Christchurch.
This list is incomplete, and as we learn of more victims, we will add them here. Thank you to Khaled Beydoun’s twitter thread where he honored the victims, The Guardian, the New Zealand Herald and The Stuff for their articles about the shuhada.