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Asha, Muhubo and her mother Amina in Muhubo's new Housing New Zealand home that is large enough for the six adults in her family. Since moving out of their overcrowded house, Muhubo is happier and her health is improving.

Asha, Muhubo and her mother Amina in Muhubo's new Housing New Zealand home that is large enough for the six adults in her family. Since moving out of their overcrowded house, Muhubo is happier and her health is improving. Photo: Photo / Janneth Gil

On March 15 2019, dozens of women hovered in the female section of Christchurch’s Al-Noor Mosque, as their time of worship became a time of terror which shocked the nation to its core.

Widows of Shuhada is an 8-part podcast documentary series featuring four of the women left widowed by the attacks on worshippers at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques, which claimed 51 lives.

We first meet the diverse group of women – Farah Talal, Sanjida Jaman Neha, Muhubo Ali Jama and Hamimah Tuyan - six months after the deaths of their husbands.  We follow the women as they move houses, try to explain to their children what happened, return to the place of their husbands’ deaths and come together as widows to share their burden of collective loss.
Their personal journeys take us to the streets of Singapore, a refugee camp in Kenya, a mosque in Jordan and a new gun store in Christchurch. 

They show how their beliefs have shaped their personal responses to the violence of that day and the person accused of carrying out the attacks.  And they remind us that at the centre of their sorrow is their belief that every person who died as a result of the attacks are martyrs – or shuhada – who are where Allah had planned for them to be; their husbands, they believe, are the lucky ones.

There are tears.  But there is laughter too.  As well as a few Arabic lessons and Somali tea.
The women share their intimate thoughts on forgiveness, gender and Islam, and their views on living life as Muslim women in a modern world - some of which may be surprising.  They also discuss the New Zealand Government and wider public’s response to the attacks.

Widows of Shuhada is an authentic walk alongside four of the women most affected by the atrocities of March 15, 2019.  Featuring Muslim broadcasting student Asha Abdi and Al-Noor mosque’s Women’s Coordinator Jumayah Jones, they present insights rarely heard before or since March 15.

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