An All Blacks New Zealand rugby Muslim star, Sonny Bill Williams has said that Islam has made him a new man after a successful spell playing union where he won the World Cup with the All Blacks.
“I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without my faith,” New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams said in a BBC video.
Four years in union, including a World Cup win, six professional victories as a boxer, Williams reversion to Islam have seen him return to league a new man.
Born in 1985, Williams is a top-notch rugby star in New Zealand. He reverted to Islam in 2008 after attending prayer services at a Sydney masjid.
The superstar is the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks rugby team.
Williams’ younger sister Niall Williams is a New Zealand international touch football player, and won gold at the Youth World Cup in 2005 and silver at the 2011 Touch Football World Cup.
“Islam has given me happiness. I don’t go around preaching or anything. It is like something that’s just with me,” Williams said in another video posted on YouTube last September.
“What it has done for me on my inside I can’t really explain. But obviously it’s helped with my footy, cause I don’t drink or anything like that anymore and I try to live a lot cleaner lifestyle and things like that, but essentially it’s just made me a lot happier.”
New Zealand is home to 36,000 Muslims, according to the 2006 census.