Our Martyrs, Our Heroes, our thoughts are with the victim families of the Christchurch tragedy. They are passing through extreme grief and sorrow this week. Those injured have untold stories of extreme hardship and uncertainty. Allah (SWT) may bestow Thy grace and may grant them Shifa (Health) and Taskeen-e-Qalb (peace of mind). Alhamdulillah (Thanks to Almighty Allah) that we are believers. Whatever happens, it happens only with the leave of Allah (SWT).
To illustrate the belief, I wish to relate the following historical facts about Masjid Al-Noor in Christchurch. I am personally a witness, but the story is strictly about Our Martyrs, Our Heroes.
In 1982, when the project of Masjid Al-Noor was conceived, there were only four families and one bachelor Muslim residing permanently in Christchurch. The rest of the 267 Muslims (1981 Census of Population) were students at the University of Canterbury and Lincoln College. Two Saudi Trainee Medical Doctors worked at Christchurch Hospital. One of the doctors was very resourceful, raising donations for the project in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The small Muslim Community collected $700,000 to build a state-of-the-art Masjid at the rims of Hagley Park in the heart of the city, which the Late Dr. Mohammad Ali Kittani, Director-General IFSTAD, used to call Christ-Church-Mosque. While granting permission, The Riccarton Borough Council debated the Fajr Azan (dawn prayer call) with loudspeakers and obtained the neighbors' consent.
I went around asking permission from neighbors in the street behind Plot No. 101 on Deans Ave. All the neighbors were very graceful, especially an elderly lady saying, ‘I am looking forward to the day, the Dome and Minaret of the mosque will brighten the horizons of my house.’ To the members of the Borough, we conveyed that we will not call to prayers from the Minaret using the loudspeaker till the whole of Riccarton become Muslim. The Christchurch press published a feature article, ‘City Mosque will promote understanding of Islam’ (January 30, 1985, Fig.1). More than 200 members of the public turned up to plant a Maple tree symbolizing great blessings and a peaceful retreat (Fig.2).
The terrorist dashed our dreams. The whole society is in pain and is grieving. But the ‘Call to prayer’ was relayed on loudspeaker from the podium in front of Masjid Al-Noor that was heard by the entire world. On reflection, the destiny of ' Azan-Call to prayers' from Masjid Al-Noor to be heard across the globe was inscribed in 1982. The victims sacrificed their lives for the glorious call of 'Allah o Akbar' (Allah is Great). May Allah (SWT) accept the sacrifices of the victims with may lighten the pains of the injured and may help their families to endure the sufferings (Aameen).
For the Muslim Community, our role model and our guide are our beloved Prophet (SWA). We would plead with our brothers and sisters in Islam to heed the Holy Quran's teaching, Surah Al-Nahl, 16: 125-128.
[Call thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and good admonition, and dispute with them in a better way. Surely thy Lord knows very well those who have gone astray from His way, and He knows very well those who are guided. And if you chastise, chastise even as you have been chastised; yet assuredly, if you are patient, it is better for those patients. And be patient yet is thy patience only with the help of Allah. And do not sorrow for them, nor be thou straitened for what they devise. Surely Allah is with those who are God-fearing and good doers.] Our Martyrs, our heroes, will on the Day of Judgment be rocking on the throne of dignity in the presence of Allah (SWT) - Surah Yasin verse 55. Insha Allah.