Asia - Pacific

NZ rugby player's mother, friend convert to Islam

Sonny Bill Williams’ mother, teammate Offa Tuungafasi convert to Islam less than fortnight after Christchurch attacks

Zehra Nur Düz   | 30.03.2019
NZ rugby player's mother, friend convert to Islam Al Noor Mosque, Christchurch, New Zealand ( Peter Adones - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

Muslim rugby star Sonny Bill Williams’ mother and his friend have converted to Islam. 

“Allahu akbar today Sonny Bill Williams' mother and his team mate Offa Tuungafasi accepted Islam. May Allah make it easy for them and grant them firdous ameen,” John Fontain, a fellow converted Muslim and friend of Williams, said on Facebook.

“Our boy Sonny Bill Williams wears his Islam on his chest proud for all to see. It is Islam he seeks his honour and from this Allah granted him the gift of his mother, brother and team mate accepting Islam,” he added.

Fontain posted on Facebook a picture of the ceremony at a mosque in which 33-year-old New Zealand athlete’s mother Lee Williams and his teammate Offa Tuungafasi took the Shahada on Tuesday.

The photos show Tu'ungafasi dressed in white tunic alongside Williams.

Williams shared a picture on Twitter with her mother wearing a headscarf and his brother who was previously converted to Islam and wrote a caption "Mum, Alhumdulliah”.

Zimbabwean-based imam Sajid Umar also congratulated their decision.

“Just came across great news that the mother of our brother Sonny Bill Williams accepted Islam, along with his best friend and team mate,” Umar said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.

"All praises belong to Allah alone. He is most kind. Even though I'm far away; I am genuinely pleased for my brother. Allah has honoured him,” he added.

Sonny Bill Williams had accepted Islam in 2009 when he played for France's RC Toulonnais.

Williams sent his prayers to the victims of the twin armed attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, fighting back tears in a video on March 15.

"Just heard the news. I could not put it into words how I am feeling right now. l am just sending my duas (prayers) to their families... InshAllah (God willing) everyone who has been killed today... InshAllah, you guys are all in paradise," said Williams.

"I am just deeply, deeply saddened that this would happen in New Zealand," he added.

At least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured on March 15 when a terrorist -- identified as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28 -- entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot worshippers in cold blood, including four children younger than 18.

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