E7: Time

From Widows of Shuhada, 6:00 am on 14 March 2020

It's February 2020. A month shy of the anniversary of the March 15, 2019, Christchurch mosque shootings.

Four women whose husbands were made martyrs (shuhada) have traveled a long and difficult path since that terrible day.

As New Zealand prepares to commemorate their husbands and the 47 other victims, the women reflect on the past year.

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47 of the 51 killed on the mosques attacks on March 15th were male, 31 were husbands. They were shot while kneeling in prayer.  In Muslim tradition these men are martyrs, shuhada, innocents who died in the purest state, a state of prayer.  Memorial Park Cemetery, Bromley, Christchurch.

Photo: Copyright Janneth Gil

Muhubo visits Sheikh Muse's grave in Memorial Park Cemetery, Christchurch, where 41 of the 51 martyrs of the March 15 attacks are buried. Some Muslims prefer not to have headstones to mark grave sites. Muhubo has asked for Sheikh Muse's headstone, which was laid by mistake, to be removed.

Neha's mother and brother have arrived from Bangladesh, bringing close family members and more support to Neha and Noor, now 6 months old.

Photo: Copyright Janneth Gil

Neha's mother and brother have arrived from Bangladesh, bringing close family members and more support to Neha and Noor, now 6 months old.

Neha now has time to study English outside the home. She says she wants to get a job to give her baby "a good life and a good future."

Photo: Copyright Janneth Gil

Neha now has time to study English outside the home. She says she wants to get a job to give her baby “a good life and a good future.”

Al Noor Mosque after Salah al-Maghrib (sunset prayer), Christchurch, New Zealand.

Photo: Copyright Janneth Gil

Al Noor Mosque after Ṣalāh al-Maghrib (sunset prayer), Christchurch, New Zealand.

In the Al-Noor mosque entryway, a frame reads, “No one besides Allah can rescue a soul from hardship.”  Hamimah says "I spent a lot of time with my forehead on the mat, talking to him, complaining to him, being thankful to him because he's the only, the only one that can help me. And he has helped."

Photo: Copyright Janneth Gil

Since Zekeriya’s death, Hamimah has stepped in to continue leading “righteous children with a strong moral compass, who would live up to the dreams that their father had for them.”

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