Here’s a list of mainstream celebrities that you probably didn’t know were Muslim.
10. Irrfan Khan
Bollywood director, Irrfan Khan directed some major films before his death in April 2020.
However, he ran into a little scandal when calling people out while discussing the Qurbani ritual (the ritual of sacrifice.)
“The meaning of Qurbani is to sacrifice something which is close to you instead of any goat or sheep which you just buy to sacrifice,” he told the Deccan Herald. “Before sacrificing we should share a bond with that thing otherwise just killing of an animal will not serve the purpose. Nowadays we have lost the relevance behind such religious activities and perform these rituals without knowing the meaning.”
9. Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Juan in Moonlight. He converted to Islam back in 2000 and during one of his acceptance speeches, he talked about how his mother reacted to the news.
“My mother is an ordained minister, I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago,” he said. “But I tell you now, we put things to the side, I’m able to see her, she’s able to see me, we love each other, the love has grown. That stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important.”
8. Bella Hadid
The twenty-five-year-old supermodel has always been pretty vocal about her faith.
Speaking to Porter Magazine back in 2017, she said she was “proud” to be Muslim.
“My dad was a refugee when he first came to America, so it’s actually very close to home for my sister and brother and me,” Hadid said. “He was always religious, and he always prayed with us.
“I am proud to be a Muslim.”
7. Shaquille O’Neal
Standing at 7 feet, Shaquille O’Neal is probably one of the best basketball players to have ever existed and the fact that he’s also a Muslim just tops it all off.
He confirmed his religious standing a few years ago when he confirmed that he was going to undertake Hajj, an important Muslim pilgrimage.
6. Hakeem Olajuwon
On the topic of major sportsmen, here’s Hakeem Olajuwon, also a fellow Muslim.
Shaquille O’Neal also referred to him as a fellow “Muslim brother” when asked who he thought the best centre of all time was during an interview with the Plain Dealer.
5. Iman Abdulmajid
Iman Abdulmajid, better known just by her first name, Iman, is a Somali supermodel and businesswoman. She is best known for her collaborations with big-name fashion brands such as Calvin Klein, Versace, and Mugler.
“I’m Muslim and Egypt was a very progressive place. Girls like me could go to school. I completely fell in love with the people and the cultural legacy that goes far beyond the pyramids,” she said, speaking of her childhood.
4. Mike Tyson
Now Mike Tyson is notorious for many things throughout his boxing career, but he’s also known as being an influential Muslim in the mainstream too. After converting in the late ’90s, he’s done his best to fulfil his duties as a Muslim man, even embarking on many crucial pilgrimages to show his dedication to the faith.
3. Jermaine Jackson
Now, this discovery shocked me. Jermaine Jackson is best known for his music but did you know he was a Muslim as well? The artist converted to Islam after being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and it was all because of a trip to Bahrain.
“I think if the Western world really looked at Islam for what it really is, and stopped trying to put this terrorist word with Muslims and Islam, the world could be a much better place – because this is the most pure religion ever,” Jackson said in a 2010 interview with Al-Arabiya TV.
2. Dave Chappelle
The forty-eight-year-old funnyman talked about his journey to converting and described Islam as “beautiful” during a Netflix interview with renowned host, David Letterman.
“The pizza shop was across from my house and it was, like, all these Muslim dudes that worked in there,” he said. “I used to go in there and crack jokes. And I am also a naturally curious guy and I would ask [the owner] questions about his religion and the guy was so passionate about it. It was very compelling. I liked the perspective of it.
“It’s been presented in the public space in such a narrow and dismissive view,” he added. “It’s a beautiful religion. And the ideas in that religion are reflected in all the major Abrahamic faiths. You’ll see these ideas in both Christianity and Judaism, you know. It is the idea that this place does mean something, you know?”
1. French Montana
Karim Kharbouch, better known by his stage name, French Montana has credited all of his musical success to his faith.
“My religion plays a big role in my success,” he said. “It’s just about doing positive … You fear not doing the right the thing,” he told MTV.
Were you surprised by any of the people included in this list? Let us know!