About 1,000 mourners are to attend a funeral prayer service for the family of a neurosurgeon who died in a suspected arson attack. Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar is expected to lead the janaza service for his wife Shehnila Taufiq, 47, and their three teenage children, Zainab, Bilal and Jamil in Dublin. The doctor has revealed that it was the family's wish to return to Ireland once their children had completed Islamic education in Britain.
Prayers will be said at Warrenstown House in the Blanchardstown area of Dublin this morning before the family is buried in Newcastle cemetery on the outskirts of the city. Dr Sattar, a prominent member of Ireland's Muslim community, is well regarded for his work as a neurosurgeon in Beaumont Hospital and with other clinics.
Eight people have been charged in connection with the deaths of the four family members, who died in the blaze at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester, on September 13.
It is feared the family's property was targeted by mistake in a revenge attack following a fatal assault in nearby Kent Street.
The bodies of the family were brought into Dublin on an overnight ferry after about 7,000 people gathered in Leicester's Spinney Hill Park to pay their respects on Thursday. In a brief message informing the local Muslim community of the funeral, the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland said:
All our sympathy and prayers are with Dr Sattar - a geniune, generous, gentle and kind man. May Allah give him boundless patience and abundant rewards in this life and the Hereafter.
Khalil Kazi, of the Warrenstown House mosque, was in Leicester with Dr Sattar for the first service."Dr Sattar will lead the service. It's not unusual really, it is really just in special circumstances and it's advised or recommended if a person is in a position to do it," he said.About 1,000 people from the Muslim community as well as medical professionals who knew Dr Sattar are expected to attend the funeral.Dr Sattar, who works in Dublin as a neurosurgeon, said after the service on Thursday that he was heartbroken but not angry over the loss of his family.He has vowed to continue on his work for the Muslim community and help to cement links between people of Islamic faith in Ireland and others.
Dr Sattar said his wife's vision had encouraged him to help set up the Dawah community centre in the Castleknock area of Dublin where the family has a home.His daughter Zainab had planned to train to become a primary school teacher and Islamic religious teacher and to live and work in Ireland.Dr Sattar said his wife and daughter were planning to help develop a bigger community centre which has been bought in the Blanchardstown area of Dublin where the funeral service was taking place.