Fifty-one people died when a gunman stormed two mosques and opened fire – one of the casualties from Al Noor Mosque was Farid’s wife Husna. After hurrying women and children to safety, she was killed as she ran back into the mosque to help Farid, who uses a wheelchair.
Out of his grief, Farid has penned a book telling Husna’s story, detailing the selflessness and bravery with which Husna lived her life.
Husna’s Story also outlines Farid’s remarkable journey to forgiving the alleged killer. His belief in the philosophies of forgiveness, peace and love have helped him to navigate this horrific tragedy in his life.
Farid has become something of a symbol of the ability of Christchurch’s Muslim community to forgive.
He told Radio New Zealand being able to forgive and remembering his wife’s strength allowed him to stop being bitter.
“Sometimes people say you have forgiven, you have done a great thing but I say no, not compared to her. I only have given up the feeling that I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to be hateful. So she is a great motivation,” he said.
Farid has previously practised forgiveness after another tragedy in his life. Twenty-one years ago, he was hit by a drunk driver as he walked to work, leaving him paralysed.
Since the attacks, Farid has been honoured with an international peace award in Abu Dhabi while speaking at the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.
He was also one of 27 people from 17 countries who met with US President Donald Trump in July to discuss religious freedoms.
All 27 participants were survivors of religious persecution.
You can purchase Husna’s Story: My wife, the Christchurch massacre & my journey to forgiveness here. All royalties from sales are being donated to St John Ambulance service.