South Africa's Muslim community has written an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, praising her response to the Christchurch terror attacks as "truly heart-warming".

The letter - from 70 South African groups including the South African Muslim Network, the Union of Muslim Students Association and the South African National Muslim Womens Forum - expressed the community's "deepest appreciation for the kindness and compassion that you have demonstrated".

"Your words and actions are truly heart-warming. The manner in which your citizens rallied to embrace the Muslim community and sincerely shared in its grief is a lesson to the world.

"We wish you and your country strength in this time of sorrow and pray that the future of New Zealand is one of enduring peace and security," said the letter, which runs in tomorrow's Herald newspaper.

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The Muslim world has reacted to New Zealand's response and Ardern's leadership to the attacks with widespread praise.

Earlier, the world's tallest building – the 829m-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai – was lit up with an image of a hijab-clad Ardern hugging a woman in the wake of the killings, along with the words salaam, and its English translation, peace.

United Arab Emirates prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted: "Thank you PM @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world."

Along with petitions to get Ardern nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the world's media have lauded our prime minister.

Ardern has played down her own efforts, telling an Auckland vigil: "I believe what I have done has not been about leadership ... All I have done is simply echoed the humanity of New Zealanders."

The letter was signed by:

South African Muslim Network (SAMNET)
Salaamedia
National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF-SA)
Minara Chamber of Commerce
Al-Imdaad Foundation
Al Ghazzali College
Muslim Education Institute Trust
Madina Institute South Africa
Radio Alansaar
Southern Africa Dawah Network
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
Jamiatul Ulama KZN
Benoni Ladies Forum
Altawheed Foundation
ILM-SA
Jellybeans Educational Fund
Al-Huda Educational Institute
Al-Habib College
South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
Markaz AlAlfalah
Jamia Faiz Ul Uloom Ul Islamia
Madrasah Aisha Siddiqah
Darul Iftaa (W.Cape)
Jamia Islamia Aalamiyys Skaapkral
Ladysmith Mosque & Madressa Trust
South African National Muslim Womens Forum
i24 Outreach SA
Sirius FM Radio
Radio Islam International
Darul Ihsan Humanitarian Centre
Muslim Judicial Council
Islamic Medical Association (IMA)
Lenasia Active Citizenry
YAB's Advisory Services
Nurul Islam Centre Lenasia
Channel Islam International Radio
Witbank Muslim Jamaat
The Voice of the Cape radio
Assist Africa
Springs Islamic Institute
Springs Muslim School
For the Sake of Daughters Org
The Humanitarian Development Alliance SA (HUDA SA)
Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI)
Nurul Latief Islamic Association
Islamic Lifestyle Solutions
Islamic Burial Council
Al Khairaat Foundation
Association of Muslim Accountants & Lawyers (AMAL)
Muslim Seafarers Institute
Springs Islamic Institute
Springs Muslim School
Queensburgh Islamic Society
Union of Arab Community of South Africa
Young Leaders Academy
KhamissaVahed Public Speaking and Leadership Academy
Ladysmith Dawah Centre Trust
Nylstroom Muslim Community Org.
Islamic Interfaith Research Institute
Union of Muslim Students Association (South Africa)
Muslim Views
Darul Yatama wal Masakeen
Juma Musjid Trust
Darul Uloom jamiatul Madinah Lenasia
Vaal Muslim Women's Forum
National Independent Halaal Trust
Marlboro Women's Forum
Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa
Sunni Ulema Council (Cape)
Sunni Ulema Council (KZN)