SHAFAQNA – Mike Tyson is known for quite a few things, namely being a champion boxer, biting ears off of opponents, having a weird face tattoo and owning a pet tiger that knocked his teeth out. What many sports fans don’t know is that this heavy-weight converted to Islam back in 1992 when he was incarcerated.
Dave Chappelle is just a cool dude and a funny one to boot (by the way we miss you DC, where are you?). The actor/comedienne converted to Islam in 1998 and even tried to go on Hajj (that’s a pilgrimage). But, as Chappelle says, he only got as far as Turkey because the KSA wouldn’t give him a Visa.
Jemima Khan is a gorgeous British model (well, aren’t all models generally gorgeous?) who converted to Islam prior to marrying her World-class Pakistani ex-cricket player husband Imran Khan. Even though the couple eventually split, and she was raised Jewish, Jemima remains a faithful Muslim.
Jermaine is probably the least famous of all of the Jackson siblings, which is why, most likely, you don’t know very much about him. Like the fact that he converted to Islam back in 1989 after a trip to Bahrain. He ended up marrying an Afghan woman and has embraced his faith ever since. He claims he found the answers he had been looking for that Christianity never gave him.
You know he’s big, you know he can easily palm a basketball and slam-dunk said basketball, but did you know that Shaquille O’Neil is Muslim? Actually, his first and middle names Shaquille Rashaun mean “little warrior” in Arabic. He told the world of his faith in 2010 in a Youtube video when he discussed going on Hajj.
Here’s another basketball legend who has a deep faith in Islam. In fact, his real name is Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. but he publicly changed his name when he converted to Islam. Kareem is so devout he has actually learned Arabic and spent time in Lebanon and Saudi to better understand his religion.
First of all, did you know Ice Cube’s real name is O’Shea Jackson? Nope, neither did we. Ice Cube converted to Islam back in the early 90s when he was just coming on to the rap scene. He is serious about his faith and wrote the following about his faith, “I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, ’cause it’s just me and God.”
Another famous rapper who converted to Islam, but this one got in a bit of hot water with British and American Muslims when he put out the song, which some called downright flippant, “Arab Money.” A DJ in the UK was actually fired after playing this particularly track on the radio.
Well, Jermaine may not be the most famous Jackson but perhaps he is the most influential in the family, because Janet also converted to Islam after marrying her third husband Wissam al Mana, and spends much of her time in Qatar being a doting wife.
This one really shocked us as we had never heard of her conversion before. Known for her many unique and interesting roles in films like The Exorcist and Requiem for a Dream, Burstyn actually began her conversion to Islam when she was only in her 30s, describing herself as “a spirit opening to the truth.”