It is with great sadness that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand announces the death of Mr Shakil Ahmad Monir – the man credited with the first translation the Holy Quran into Te Reo Maori.
Born in Monghyr, Bihar province of India in 1932, Mr Monir was a professor in Science and Religion and a senior member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan. His desire to serve mankind through propagation of the peaceful message of Islam saw him work in a number of capacities in many different parts of the world, including the Indian sub continent, several African countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
In the late 1980’s he took up the responsibility of translating the Holy Quran to the Maori language under instruction from the then head, and the fourth Caliph, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. Mr Monir explored several options of translation of the Quran into this unique language, but came to realize that to do full justice to the translation, the translator will have to be in a unique position to have grasp of all three languages - namely Arabic, English, and Maori. When he couldn’t find such a person, Mr Monir took it upon himself to learn the Maori language for several years, finally taking over 20 years to fully translate and publish the Maori translation of this Holy book. His grasp of the Maori language saw him earn the respect and friendship of many Maori elders.
Despite his achievements throughout his life, Mr Shakil Monir remained a humble person willing to spend his time and money for the benefit of the mankind. He fully funded the translation project from his own pocket. He spent his final few years with his family in Karachi, Pakistan, and after a short illness passed away on the morning of 1st of August 2017.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in Punjab, India, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans over 206 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of ‘Love for all and hatred for none’ is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. Its New Zealand branch is a registered charitable organisation, and endeavors to be an active and integrated community within the wider society.