Mohsen literally means, a person who helps others. And that described Mohsen Al Harbi. He was among the founders of the Al-Noor mosque and the Vice President of the Islamic Community in Christ Church. He was also known for his services: A student who knew him, told Arab News of his kindness.
“Last January, I visited the mosque in southern New Zealand.
“One day, at 10 A.M. in the middle of the week, I found Uncle Mohsin with his sleeves rolled up and in sweatpants sweeping the mosque himself. He smiled and welcomed me warmly.”
Although born in Saudi Arabia he lived in New Zealand for 25 years. He survived five bullets and was the only survivor of the terrorist attack. Doctors worked urgently to save Al-Harbi but he died eight hours after being rushed to Christchurch Hospital.
He raised his five children, 3 sons and 2 daughters, in the lovely community of Christchurch. He was an avid reader. He spent most of his day reading about different civilizations and their cultures. Besides English, he knew Greek, German, Hebrew and his mother tongue Arabic.
Mr. Mohsen gave his best to the company he worked for, Showerwell Home Products. The company described Mr Al-Harbi as “real character and a kind and caring Kiwi.” Here is what the company’s manager Nick Mallia told the Radio NZ.
“We are all typical Kiwis, so we had never had any real dealings with someone who had a different background like his and we had to set aside a prayer space for him and we had to give him the opportunity to pray during the day and it was strange for us. It was hard for us to kind of get our heads around our differences but the guy himself made all of that very natural and so he became a bit of character.
“Mohsin – the first business deal he did with us was to the mosque and we sold tiles and other products and organised the renovations for one of the bathroom areas. He took me in and showed me and he was so proud of the mosque and his involvement in it…
“He was the one who introduced us to them and we … continued business and had ongoing relationships with lots of people in the muslim community as a result of him being here. He affected us a lot and changed our business.”
Impressed by his work the company hired other Muslims as well.
Mr. Al Harbi was diagnosed with cancer. Family expected him to pass away from disease in the comfort of his home and family. However, his life was taken away by the terrorist’s five bullets. Mr Al Habri’s wife, Manal, suffered a heart attack from the shock of the news . But his son is happy that their father, a shaheed, is now buried in the city of the Prophet, Madinah.
Our thoughts and prayers with you our hero. We shall not forget.