Hollywood stars follow a variety of faiths. But these celebrities say that they’re devout Muslims. Check out what they had to say about how their faith changed their lives for the better.
Mike Tyson converted to Islam back in 1992 while imprisoned on rape charges. And though he may have struggled with violence and drug abuse in the past, he said that he is now committed to his faith and living a better life. He once told Fox News, “Allah doesn’t need me, I need Allah.”
Everyone heard about Dave Chappelle leaving his beloved Comedy Central show. But not everyone knows that he left to go on a spiritual retreat. Chappelle converted to Islam back in 1998 but admitted,“I don’t normally talk about my religion publicly because I don’t want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing.”
British model Jemima Khan converted to Islam when she married Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan. But Khan said that her faith has grown deeper since her marriage ended: “What began as intellectual curiosity slowly ripened into a dawning realization of the universal and eternal truth that is Islam.”
The Jacksons may have started out as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but Jermaine Jackson converted to Islam after a trip to Bahrain in 1989. Jackson has said, “Having embraced Islam, I felt born again. I found the answers… which I had failed to find in Christianity.”
Did you know that Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal’s first and middle names mean “little warrior” in Arabic?
Although the NBA star rarely speaks about his religion, he did announce his plans to finally make the Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) back in 2010.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not only one of the best basketball players in history, but he’s also a devout Muslim. After Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. converted and became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he learned Arabic and even spent time in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia to understand better the roots of his faith.
O’Shea Jackson, also known as rapper Ice Cube, has said that the has a special relationship with God after converting to Islam in the early ’90s.
“What I call myself is a natural Muslim, ’cause it’s just me and God.”
Actress Ellen Burstyn was raised Catholic but became a follower of Sufi Islam in her 30s. She described herself as “a spirit opening to the truth.”
Akon is a devout Muslim, who prides himself on never smoking or drinking alcohol. He’s even spoken about his faith in the song, “Senegal”:
“So what you know about how God comes first in our lives, everything that we do is for Allah.”
About his faith, rapper Mos Def has said, “I’m a private person, but I’m certainly not ashamed of what I believe. To not speak about my faith for fear of reprisal would be terrible. If people are uncomfortable with my Islam, they should check themselves.”
The rapper also changed his name to Yasiin Bey.
“[I don’t want] to deal [anymore] with having any moniker or separation between the self that I see and know myself as.”
Dr. Oz’s full name is Mehmet Cengiz Öz, and he was raised by a father who practiced traditional Islam and a mother who followed more secular Muslim traditions.
Now Dr. Oz says he follows the mystic teachings of Sufi Islam as well as the ideas of Christian theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.
Lupe Fiasco told Katie Couric that he does not drink, smoke, or surround himself with temptation out of respect for his faith. But he doesn’t judge others for doing so: “My fellow Muslims, non-Muslims, Christians whomever; at the end of the day we’re human, we have faults we make mistakes.”