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Tattoos & Converts

Sonny Bill Williams Opens Up on Challenges Faced as New Muslim

14 years after becoming Muslim, New Zealand former rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams has revealed some of the challenges he faced as a convert, especially that one relating to the tattoos that covered his body.

Sharing a post by Mufti Menk advising people to be “gentler, kinder & always willing to extend a helping hand,” the former footy star-turned-boxer went to twitter to share an incident that occurred at a mosque in Dubai when he was asked to leave a mosque because of his tattoos.

“I remember the first time I ever went to a mosque in Dubai I was told to leave because of my tattoos,” Williams wrote on Twitter.

📚 Read Also: Can I convert to Islam if I have tattoos?

“Yes the brother was doing what he felt was right but if he had just showed some empathy and understanding (took me to the side and explained if possible I should try to cover the tattoos) I would’ve left the mosque empowered & enlightened instead I left a little down and none the wiser.”

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Williams advised Muslims to follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and avoid criticizing converts in public.

“This experience always sticks with me when I see new reverts making mistakes and people criticizing them in a public space. Remember no one’s perfect and if we are truely [sic] following the sunnah of our beautiful prophet our hearts and actions should always be full of empathy,” he said.

📚 Read Also: Thinking of Getting Tattoos?

Tattoos & Converts

Getting many comments on his post, Williams explained that he will address the issue further in a future video.

“So many comments on tattoos and Islam,” he wrote in a follow-up Tweet. “My next YouTube video I will do one on tattoos and Islam for my revert brothers. Allah make it easy.”

Although tattoos are unlawful or haram to apply at first place, there is nothing wrong for new Muslim converts, who have no means to remove them, in leaving them.

The tolerant teachings of Islam and its peaceful spirit make it easy for new converts to become easily adapted to its unique environment, and matchless life style.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Islam takes away the sins done before it.” (Muslim)

📚 Read Also: ‘I Could Have Died’: Sonny Bill Williams Opens Up on Drugs in New Book

Williams, a rugby star-turned-boxer, 37, converted to Islam 14 years ago while playing for Toulon in France after a period in his life where he was “wild”.

Two years ago, he published his autobiography, “Sonny Bill Williams: You can’t stop the sun from shining.” In this book, Williams described how he turned to a life of partying in an effort to hide a shy insecure young man who suddenly shot to fame in the rugby world.