Te reo Koran gifted to king
A te reo version of the Koran has been given to the Maori King Tuheitia at a reception at Turangawaewae Marae.
The spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was in New Zealand to help launch the Maori language Koran and was welcomed onto the Waikato-Tainui stronghold with more than 50 followers yesterday.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim order was established in 1889 but fell foul of others because the founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani claimed to be the second coming of the Messiah. There are 400 followers in New Zealand and they claim to have tens of millions of members worldwide.
The Koran is due to be officially launched at a new mosque in South Auckland this weekend but made its preview in the Waikato when a passage was recited during the powhiri in both Arabic and Maori.
Matt Abu Bakr Howell said the Maori welcome for his spiritual leader was a once in a lifetime experience and a day he couldn't miss.
"My wahine is having our baby down in Te Teko and I'm not there, I'm here and it's not going down very well. That's how important it is to me."
He has been a Muslim for two years and was captured by the passages written in his own language.
"When I first picked it up and reading it in te reo I said, ‘how beautiful'. It was beautiful in English and beautiful in Arabic but it was really beautiful in our language."
It has taken 25 years to complete the translation of the Koran.
Eru Thompson who worked on the translations said it would help bridge the gap between Maori and Islam.
"This visit by His Holiness is actually to launch the completed book and that will be done by the king on Saturday coming.
"They come to open the new mosque and at that time the Koran will be officially launched."
A copy of the Koran, translated directly from the original Arabic text, was given to King Tuheitia.
Waikato spokesman and executive chairman Rahui Papa said all religious orders were welcome to the marae.
- - by Elton Smallman
- in news, media-release