The book “A Brief History of Waikato Muslim Association” by Dr Anis Rahman was launched at the Waikato Community Inclusivity Symposium held on Saturday 26 November 2022 at Waikato University attended by over 100 invited dignitaries and community leaders.
Dr Rahman, a long time resident of Hamilton city in the local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand presented the book to the Hamilton City Mayor and other government officials and guests at the launch.
Dr Anis Rahman was born in Azamgarh, India and educated in Canada and arrived with his wife and a young daughter from Vancouver to land in Auckland on the morning of 10 June 1972 while accepting a Scientist position in Hamilton with the then New Zealand Department of Agriculture. His was the first Muslim family to start residing in Hamilton.
A pioneer in the establishment of the Muslim Community in NZ, he was a founding member of the Waikato Muslim Association, a first recognised Imam of the Muslim Community in Hamilton, delivering Friday Khutbahs and leading Eid Prayers. At the national level he was the founding member of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).
Dr Anis Rahman has been a senior leading scientists with over 250 research publications and recipient of numerous awards from scientific bodies, government and community organisations for his professional research achievements and for rendering community services locally as well as globally.
The book spanning 80 pages provides a brief history of the Waikato Muslim Association, focussing on the early struggles of Muslims in the region and the building of a united community. It provides details of the initial gatherings of the community, formation of the Association, securing a property in Hamilton and building and rebuilding of the current Masjid and educational facilities.
The book is a historical record of the development of the Muslim Community in the region for half a century and acknowledgement of the valued contributions of the many individuals involved, who donated both their time and money towards community organisation and establishment of various institutions.
It includes maps, historical photos of mosques, community gatherings, landmark events, copies of critical documents and manuscripts, media clips and references to other publications for further reading and research.
Talking about the book, Dr Rahman said, “I decided to write this brief history of the Waikato Muslim Association focussing on the early struggles of Muslims in our region and the building of a united community.”
“I hope this brief record of early history will provide some understanding to our present and future generations of the struggles their ancestors have gone through. I also trust this will motivate them to work together and continue building on this record Inshallah,” Dr Rahman humbly concluded.