The Dublin-based neurosurgeon whose wife and three children were murdered last month paid an emotional tribute to their memory at their funeral.
Dr. Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar told 1,000 mourners that he now felt like a bird without wings because he was alone, but said he would dedicate his life day and night to his community and the society in Ireland.
He delivered his tribute at Warrenstown House in Blanchardstown, Dublin, the property his wife had bought with their life savings and which they planned to use as a mosque and community center.
Shehnila Taufiq, 47, died along with her daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamil, 15, in an arson attack at their home in Leicester in England. They divided their lives between Dublin, where Taufic worked, and Leicester where the children were pursuing Islamic studies.
Taufic, who has been working in Dublin hospitals for 20 years, said at their funeral that although they had been lost their dreams had not.
“This is a very sad occasion for me. You can say now, I am a bird without any wings. I have nobody with me now,” he said.
“I will work until I die. I will continue to work in both my capacity as a professional neurosurgeon and at the same time I am going to dedicate my life day and night and the weekends for the community and society in this land.”
Earlier this month, Fingal County Council granted planning permission for Warrenstown House to operate as a mosque. Taufiq also sees it as a facility for the broader community.
He told mourners, “You can see the beautiful land and the beautiful place being bought by my wise wife. She is listening and I know that she is in paradise and she is looking at me as well and looking at this place.”
He added that his wife used all their savings to buy Warrenstown House and there was no mortgage on it.
The bodies of his family were brought to Dublin on an overnight ferry after about 7,000 people gathered in Leicester to pay their respects.
Police in Britain have charged at least eight people in connection with the fire that killed the family. It is believed the property was mistakenly targeted in revenge for a fatal assault elsewhere in Leicester.