Thousands of people attended the funeral of Hafiz Musa Patel a prominent Fijian Muslim
and Christchurch shooting victim in Auckland today.

Patel was imam at Lautoka Jame Masjid in Fiji for about 25 years.

The Fiji Muslim League said he had left Fiji only three weeks ago to spend time with family in Australia.

He was visiting Christchurch with his wife, at the invitation of friends, it said.

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The crowd was so large at the Manukau Memorial Gardens it overflowed from the designated funeral and prayer area.

A funeral for former mosque leader Imam Hafiz Musa Patel is at the Puhinui Rd cemetery today.
A funeral for former mosque leader Imam Hafiz Musa Patel is at the Puhinui Rd cemetery today.

Patel's body was carried by a large group of men into the funeral grounds and through the crowd of mourners as they all prepared to take part in prayers.

An Imam speaking over a loudspeaker system talked about how it is important to pray and respect one another.

He said Patel's love was evident in the large crowd gathered.

As part of his speech, he emphasised the need to forgive those for their sins.

He also thanked the police, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden and everyone who has helped in the past week since the attack.

The funeral of Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, who was killed in the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, takes place at the Manukau Memorial Gardens. Photo / Dean Purcell
The funeral of Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, who was killed in the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, takes place at the Manukau Memorial Gardens. Photo / Dean Purcell

"I would like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart," he said.

The cemetery fell silent before the mourners recited the Salat al-Janazah, Islamic funeral prayer and he was buried.

Speaking after the funeral for Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, Vice President of the South Auckland Muslim Association, Abdul Shakeel Ahmed, said Imam Patel was "one of the greatest men we have seen in Fiji".

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"He was born in India and came to Fiji more than 25 years ago. He served the community Muslim community in the whole of Fiji as well as New Zealand and Australia," he said.

"He has been all the time a powerful man and preaching to everybody the facts and figures to be a powerful and good Muslim."

Mourners at the funeral of Imam Hafiz Musa Patel at Manukau Memorial Gardens. Imam Patel was visiting Christchurch when he shot during the terror attack. Photo / Dean Purcell
Mourners at the funeral of Imam Hafiz Musa Patel at Manukau Memorial Gardens. Imam Patel was visiting Christchurch when he shot during the terror attack. Photo / Dean Purcell

Ahmed said the thousands of people who turned out to the funeral showed how patient and giving Imam Patel was.

"I met Patel so many times when I was back in Fiji 20 years back when I was a student and went to his mosque - and he was a very nice guy," he said.

Ahmed said Imam Patel's two sons and his wife attended the funeral.

"It is very sad for our community. I wish the family all the best for a happy life in Australia," he said.

Ahmed said the large gathering at the funeral was incredible.

"It is incredible. I think it is one of the best gatherings I would say in New Zealand for our Muslim community."

He thanked the Government, Prime Minister, Police Force and Auckland Council for their help.

"Without their support it could have never happened."

Yesterday, six other victims from the mosque shootings were laid to rest in Christchurch.

Father and son Khaled and Hamza Mustafa, who were killed together, were the first to be buried.

Khaled was 44 and Hamza - his eldest child - just 16.

Both were gunned down at the Al Noor Mosque and it is understood Hamza was on the phone to his mother Salwa when he was shot dead.

Hours later, four others were buried.

Junaid Ismail, 36, was also killed at Al Noor. His twin brother Zahid escaped.

A man whose name is suppressed was also laid to rest.

He is the only person to date that the gunman has been charged with murdering.

Ashraf Ali, 58, was a businessman from Suva, and had arrived in the country only six days before the terror attack. He has also been buried.

Funeral details for the remaining victims are yet to be released.