Prayers and final goodbyes for heroic security guard

Belad Al-karkhey |

A prayer service is being organised for the public to pay their respects to Faraz Tahir.
A prayer service is being organised for the public to pay their respects to Faraz Tahir.

A security guard who “gave his blood” to protect others during a stabbing rampage at a shopping centre has been farewelled by hundreds of mourners at a mosque in Sydney’s northwest.   

Faraz Tahir was one of the six people killed at Westfield Bondi Junction on April 13 and has been hailed a national hero for confronting the knife-wielding attacker, only to be fatally stabbed.

The 30-year-old refugee was on his first day shift as a security guard at the complex when Queensland man Joel Cauchi began attacking people.

Family and other mourners gathered on Friday at a Marsden Park mosque to honour Mr Tahir.

Flowers lined an open casket as his grieving family gathered around him one last time for an emotional farewell.

On what would have been his 31st birthday on Wednesday, Mr Tahir’s family had instead spent the once joyous occasion seeing his body for the first time.

Faraz Tahir lost his life in the Bondi Junction stabbing rampage
Faraz Tahir lost his life in the Bondi Junction stabbing rampage. (HANDOUT/AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY AUSTRALIA)

Older brother Mudasar Bashir said he had not seen his brother in person in six years, and found it just as difficult to see him on Friday as it had been two days earlier.

“We were speaking (to him) but he couldn’t answer,” he said.

“He gave his blood to protect the public.”

Mr Tahir was the only male victim to die in the Bondi attack.

The lives of Jade Young, 47, Ashlee Good, 38, Dawn Singleton, 25, Pikria Darchia, 55, and Yixuan Cheng, 27, were also lost in the tragedy.

Anthony Albanese speaks during the funeral for Faraz Tahir.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has spoken during the funeral for Faraz Tahir. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was joined by NSW Premier Chris Minns and a number of politicians who paid their respects to the grieving family at Marsden Park.

Mr Albanese said that Mr Tahir’s heroic actions were a reflection of his commitment to his new home in Australia.

“We crave for the long and happy life he should have had the chance to make here,” he said.

“Faraz Tahir counted himself lucky to have come to Australia, but in truth, Australia was lucky to have him.”

Mr Albanese said “without a doubt” Mr Tahir saved lives on April 13.

The coffin of Faraz Tahir is carried at his funeral.
Members of the Ahmadiyya community gathered for Faraz Tahir’s funeral at Marsden Park in Sydney. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Mr Tahir had fled persecution in Pakistan before arriving in Australia in 2022, intending the country to be his final home.

A prayer service organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was open to the public to pay their respects at the Masjid Baitul Huda.

A sweltering sun offered little relief for members of the Ahmadiyya community as its national leader spoke a solemn prayer.

Mr Tahir’s casket was placed on a table out in the open and in front of his three brothers and relatives, who watched on with squinted eyes and crossed arms.

Faraz Tahir funeral
Wounded security guard Muhammad Taha left hospital to attend Faraz Tahir’s funeral. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Fellow wounded security guard Muhammad Taha was in a wheelchair, still in his hospital gown, when he spoke to the brothers before final prayers.

It was four days after the Bondi Junction attack when he had first heard the shocking news of Mr Tahir’s passing.

“I was unable to say anything in that moment (when I’d heard) because nothing was coming out of my mouth,” Mr Taha said.

“I was literally stunned.”

Although suffering from lingering pain and broken sleep, Mr Taha refused to miss the chance to say goodbye to Mr Tahir.