Muslim Cemetery in Wellington

The burial procedures of Muslims is a very important part of faith. There was no special arrangement in place for Muslim burial. In Wellington the Muslim Cemetery is the result of hard work done by the late Dr. Majed Khan among others.

On 17 September 1970 he made a telephone call to the Wellington City Corporation and discussed about the needs of the Wellington Muslims for burials. On 21 September 1970 he wrote to the Wellington City Corporation about this. An arrangement was made between the Muslim representatives and the Town Clerk to meet at the Makara Cemetery for inspection of the land on 29 September 1970. An area was agreed upon which was big enough for approximately 200 burial plots. The plot was formally accepted by IMAN in December 1970. However, it was not until 25 November 1974 that agreement was made between the authorities and Mr Mansoor Khwaja for purchase at the sum of $21.00.

Before this arrangement for Muslim burial was made in Wellington there had been some burials of Muslims at Karori Cemetery as Mr McCutcheon of City of Wellington, Department of Administration and Finance pointed out to IMAN saying “I am advised on researching this matter, that only four Muslim interments have taken place in the last 20 years at the Karori Cemetery.”

Other details of the requirements of Muslim burial were given to the Wellington City Corporation by the then Secretary of IMAN, Mrs J. M. (Yasmin) Khan (Mrs Salamat Khan). She explained such things as the direction and position of the body, the depth and shape of the grave, coffin, and the placement of any structure on or around the grave.

In October 1977, the Director of Parks Department wrote to IMAN regarding signposting the burial sites. He proposed the name “Muslim Section” which was accepted by IMAN.