Helpful tips if you're not Muslim and want to pay respects, offer support after Christchurch attack

Samir Harith from Waikato University has provided some helpful tips if you’re not Muslim and want to pay respects and offer support to those affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.

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He told Breakfast it is important to learn about the types of prayers and the food they can eat for people wanting to provide meals Source: Breakfast

He told TVNZ1's Breakfast it's  important to learn about the types of prayers and the food Muslim people can eat for people wanting to provide meals.

"I think the first thing people need to know about attending vigils and prayers is that generally speaking Muslim prayers are divided into two. We have what we call the salah, which is a set of movements together with the citation of religious verses and we also have what is called dhuhr where we pray for peace and wellbeing and for strength in these trying times.

"Most non-Muslims will be participating in the dhuhr."

He said if non-Muslims want to join the prayers it's better to wait for the invitation from the mosque to the public rather than show up unannounced.

Mr Harith also said Muslims will only take and consume halal food.

"What that means is not pork, the meat has to have been slaughtered according to Muslim rights and it must not contain alcohol or alcohol-based derivatives."

Mr Harith said if you're going to donate food seafood and vegetables are halal and most desserts are fine.

"Especially pavlova, everyone loves pavlova."

He said he doesn't think there's any real danger of offending anyone.

"Most Muslims that live here are quite open minded and quite understanding of other cultures, but that being said knowing a little bit more about our sensitivities does go a long way in extending that support."