17 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Muslims
In these last years, Islam has been related to several important events, for instance, 9/11, the rise of ISIS, the anti-refugee sentiments in Europe, and certain anti-Muslim postures in the US produced by some presidential measures taken in the last decade. In this spiral of confrontations and polemics, people have forgotten that some famous people, from Muhammad Ali to Aziz Ansari are actually Muslims. You won’t believe there are many other Muslims in the showbiz world.
Who would ever imagine that this comedic genius is a Muslim? However, Chappelle is not a strict practitioner. He actually smokes, drinks, and eats pork; these things are forbidden in Islam. He converted to this religion in 1998 but he hasn’t too evident about his adopted faith except calling it “a beautiful thing”. Nevertheless, nobody can deny his talent and cool attitude.
The British singer-songwriter was born in a largely Christian family, but he began questioning this religion and decided to explore other faiths. Then, he adopted Islam and feels no regrets about it. Cat, or Yusuf Islam after his conversion, is a devout Muslim who has shares his Islamist political views and believes that his new adopted religion is the “true religion.”
Before his role as a contributing correspondent on The Daily Show, Aasif acted, wrote and produced in the HBO show The Brink (which is now canceled). He is also the author of “No Land’s Man,” which reflects several aspects his life as a Muslim-British-American actor. Plus, he has recognized to have a complicated relationship with Islam, but that it always will be a part of his life.
Mike Tyson converted to Islam during his 3-year sentence in prison for rape. The former heavyweight champion has claimed that his new faith has helped him a lot and now is an essential part of his life. Although he is not considered himself as a strictly devout of Islam, Mike has visited the Mecca and got married to the daughter of a Muslim priest. It seems that this faith has made him be a calmer and less aggressive person.
The basketball icon is actually a devout follower of Muslim. In fact, Shaq has revealed his intention to travel to Mecca. However, the basketball star lives a quiet life as a practitioner of Islam. In fact, he considered himself as a “people person” who always respect and welcome other religions such as Judaism and Buddhism.
Perhaps this one may give you a big surprise: the Emmy-award winner and Academy-award nominated actress Ellen Burstyn is actually a practitioner of a moderate form of Islam (to be more specific, a Sufi Islam); that’s why we don’t see her wearing a traditional burqa. However, the famous actress has said that she also follows some tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity.
The rapper-producer T-Pain (or also known as Rashad Najm) was raised is Muslim family, however, he has claimed that he believes in “everything” and actually religion restraints free will, that’s why he will never associate with a single faith. Therefore, T-Pain cannot be considered as a strict follower of Islam taking into consideration his lifestyle and song lyrics. Besides, he got married to a Christian woman with whom he shares an open relationship.
Q-Tip was a member of the critically-acclaimed hip-hop trio “A Tribe Called Quest.” In the 1990s, he decided to adopt Islam after reading the Qu’ran and has stated that it helped him to be a more spiritual man after his unpleasant experience with agnosticism.
Craig Hodges is a retired basketball player who won two NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He went into the spotlight after wearing a dakishi and saying some declarations against the Gulf War during his visit to the White House after achieving the championship. In fact, Craig has been an active advocate for the rights of minorities in the U.S.A.
Akon is one of the richest hip-hop artists in the industry. He is an active Muslim who has mention Allah in his songs. However, he considers himself to be more spiritual than religious. But is also believed that Akon is the father of 6 children with 3 different women.
Lupe Fiasco, or also known as Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, is a rapper and entrepreneur who was raised in a Muslim family in New York. Even though he is devout, Lupe has criticized the extreme postures in Islam. Besides, he doesn’t like to use his faith as a badge and has expressed his worries about the militant Islamic terrorism and also has questioned some atrocious practices such as female genocide using the Islam as an excuse.
Janet Jackson is married to the Qatar business magnate Wissam Al Mana and she has converted to Islam as a requisite to get married to him. In fact, Janet has followed the steps of her brother Jermaine Jackson who was converted into Islam in 1989 after a music tour in the Middle East.
Mehmet Oz had admitted that he has struggled with his Muslim identity many times due to his mother was secular but his father was a strict believer. According to Dr. Oz, he has only followed the spiritual aspect of his religion and has claimed he also has been influenced by the mystical points of view of his wife’s religion: Swedenborgian Christianity.
In 2007, the rapper-producer Busta Rhymes made the announcement that he is a Muslim. Plus, it’s rumored he is a member of the “Nation of Gods and Earths,” a branch of the Nation of Islam. Busta has admitted his life is ruled “by Islam,” in fact, the rapper has written the word “Qu’ran” in some of his lyrics.
Mos Def, and now known as Yasiin Bey, is a hip-hop artist, activist, and comedian who was converted into Islam by the influence of his father, Abdul Rahman. The rapper has mentioned his concern about the discrimination of Muslims in the U.S.A and believes that the 9/11 terror attacks were not committed by Islam followers.
Omar is a producer and songwriter who is best known for his role of Dr. Foreman on the TV show “House.” He converted to Islam in the 1990s. He didn’t mention his faith too much but he has criticized President Donald Trump for his openly racist statements and lack of comprehension on the real problems.
Ice Cube, or also known as O’Shea Jackson, is a rapper, actor, producer, and filmmaker who was converted to Islam in the 1990s. Although he has been related to the Nation of Islam, Ice has not publicly recognized it yet. Plus, he has claimed that he actually believes in the spiritual aspects of Islam and not the rituals and traditions associated with that faith.