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Celebrities who converted to Islam
Having embraced Islam, I felt as if I were born again. I found in Islam the answers to those queries which I had failed to find in Christianity.
―Jermaine Jackson
There are a lot of people who convert to another religion, whether it is because they become more spiritually inclined to the new religion they found, or for love as they are required by law to convert. Whatever be the reason, the conversion is strictly a personal choice, but it gets widespread media attention when celebrities do it. People question as to why they had to convert? Did they not have enough money and fame? Were they not happy with their lives? When the answers come, people become more understanding of the human nature; how it connects with a spiritual choice through religion.

People understand that money and fame are just some aspects of life, and the spiritual craving has to be filled too. When the present religion does not provide that, people look at the other religions for guidance. Situations and circumstances might lead them to this. This Buzzle article presents a list of celebrities, who may have gone through such a situation that may have made them to convert to Islam.
MUHAMMAD ALI
Muhammad Ali
"Islam is a religion of peace. Islam does not promote terrorism or the killing of people...If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam."
(After September 9/11)


✦Profession: Former Professional Boxer

✦Previous Religion: Christianity (Baptist)

✦Nationality: American
Known as Cassius Clay before converting from Christianity to Islam, Muhammad Ali met Malcolm X in 1962. It was here that he was influenced by Malcolm X's vision of Nation of Islam, where there would be Black supremacy. As Ali accepted Malcolm X as his mentor, he converted into Islam. He converted into the conventional Sunni Islam in 1975, and started following the practice of Sufism in 2005.
SHAQUILLE RASHAUN O'NEAL
Shaquille O'Neal
"Of course I believe in God. Only God could have given me what I have."

✦Profession: Former Basketball Star

✦Previous Religion: Undecided

✦Nationality: American
Although he had a Muslim father, Shaquille O'Neal only started practicing the religion recently. He credits all his success to God. He also talked about his intention of going on a pilgrimage to Haj. Although he seems to devoutly follow the religion lately, Shaquille maintains that he accepts all religions and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion.
A. R. RAHMAN
"But it wasn't an instantaneous decision - it took us 10 years to convert. The change in religion was like washing away the past."

✦Profession: Academy Award-winning Music Composer

✦Previous Religion: Atheist/Hindu

✦Nationality: Indian
Previously known as Dileep Kumar, Rahman was an atheist since childhood. After his father's death, his family went through troubled times. His sister fell severely ill, and Rahman looked towards religion for strength. His mother was a Muslim, and so he took up Islam because he said that it gave him strength and peace. He practices Sufism, and his devotion can be seen beautifully incorporated in the songs he composes.
MIKE TYSON
Mike tyson
"Being a Muslim is who I am as a person. God will have to forgive me if I forgot a few things. I hope he does, at least."

✦Profession: Former Boxing Champion

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: American
"The Baddest Man On the Planet" was convicted of rape in 1992 and was sentenced to 6 years in jail. After living a high life of a celebrity and throwing money away on luxuries that surprised even the richest of people, prison was a return to the stark reality of life for Tyson. It was while serving his sentence that Tyson took up Islam. After his prison sentence, he is now forced to live paycheck to paycheck. He credits Allah for making him humble; he says that he needs Allah and is very grateful for being a Muslim.
JEMIMA KHAN
Jemima Khan
"What began as intellectual curiosity slowly ripened into a dawning realization of the universal and eternal truth that is Islam."

✦Profession: Heiress, Associate Editor

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: British
Born as Jemima Marcelle Goldsmith, Khan converted to Islam a few months prior to her marriage to Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan. Although people viewed this conversion as her attempt to smoothen her move to Pakistan, Jemima maintains that her conversion was her decision and was in no way hurried. She took to the other traditions such as covering her head while living in Lahore and also learning Urdu.
SNOOP DOGG
Snoop Dogg
"To me the best religion is the way you live. Not by a book or by what someone tells you. By the way you live. That's your religion because it's your life and it tells exactly who you are and what's gonna happen when you're gone. That's my belief."

✦Profession: Rapper, Basketball Coach

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: American
Snoop Dogg converted to Islam in the year 2009. He refuses to give the exact date of his conversion. Like Muhammad Ali, he was influenced by Nation of Islam too. He has cited the reason for the conversion to becoming a better person, correcting his mistakes, and trying to show the people the right way. This conversion did not last for long as he converted to the Rastafarian religion 2012. He claimed that he was "born again" and changed his name to Snoop Lion.
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"Well as a spiritual journey, I don't think I would have been able to be as successful as I was as an athlete if it were not for Islam. It gave me a moral anchor, it enabled me to not be materialistic, it enabled me to see more what was important in the world."

✦Profession: Former Basketball Star, US Ambassador

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: American
Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., Jabbar is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. He converted into Islam after he traced his family line to the slaves who were brought to the United States. He maintains that they were Muslim, and he is doing his duty to his heritage by converting into Islam. Although he has had an illustrious career, some journalists cite his religion as a reason for the relatively less amount of fame he has received as compared to Michael Jordan.
JANET JACKSON
Janet Jackson
"Maybe we'll meet at a bar / He'll drive a funky car / Maybe he'll be a Qatari-born retail billionaire / And I'll convert to Islam."

✦Profession: Singer

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: American
Sister of Michael Jackson, Janet converted to Islam after her marriage to Wissam Al Mana, a billionaire businessman based in Qatar. She did this in 2013, and has since then given up music and retired from the entertainment business. She said that she grew tired of the cutthroat competition in the industry and needed time away from the snooping paparazzi. Coincidentally, her brothers Jermaine and Michael Jackson (who's no more) also converted into Islam.
FRANCK RIBÉRY
"I am a believer and since I converted to Islam, I think, I became stronger, I became mentally and physically stronger."

✦Profession: Professional Footballer

✦Previous Religion: Christianity

✦Nationality: French
Like Nicolas Anelka and Zinedine Zidane before him, Franck Ribéry also converted to Islam. He was heavily influenced by his Algerian wife who introduced the religion to him. He became a practicing and devout Muslim after the conversion and changed his name to Bilal Yusuf. He credits Islam for making him mentally and physically stronger. The fact that he was a Muslim came to light during an after-match celebration when Jérôme Boateng splashed beer on Ribéry, angering him.
DR. OZ (MEHMET OZ)
"I've struggled a lot with my Muslim identity, in part because in my family there were two very different perspectives on it."

✦Profession: TV Personality, Physician

✦Previous Religion: Undecided

✦Nationality: Turkish, American
Although not technically a convert, he is included in this list because of the surprise he generates when people come to know that he is a Muslim. Dr. Oz is both an American and Turkish. He was born in a Muslim family, but has struggled to identify with the religion. His mother was very secular and his father a devout Muslim, making Oz question his religious practice. Eventually, he accepted the spiritual aspects of Islam, and at the same time, getting to know Swedenborgian Christianity―his wife's religion.
Other famous people who converted to Islam include comedian Dave Chappelle, rapper Ice Cube, Malcolm X, and Akon. There were rumors that even Princess Diana wanted to convert to Islam before she met with that dreadful accident that took her life.