10 Famous Celebrities Who Converted To Islam & Their Stories

Celebrities who converted to Islam are countless in numbers be it from any disciplines like cricket, boxing, acting, journalism or the missionaries. What prompted these top and famous celebrities to convert to Islam is not the sword but the beauties, benefits and unique aspects of Islam and its principles.
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List of Celebrities Converted To Islam Are:

1. Mohammad Ali
2. Malcolm X
3. A.R. Rahman
4. Wayne Parnell
5. Dr Gary Miller
6. Lauren Booth
7. Sinead O'Connor
8. Sonny Bill Williams
9. Mike Tyson
10. Yousuf Youhana

I am just limiting the list to 10 famous reverted Muslim celebrities only but the list is much longer than this.

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Now, I am going to present before you the brief story of their conversion and what prompted these celebrities to shed their beliefs.

Mohammad Ali

He was a heavyweight champion and the most significant and revered icon of 20th century.
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Born to poor parents, Mohammad Ali was raised as a Christian who in life felt many times oppressed from white supremacy. Mohammad Ali started getting trained as a boxer at the very young age of 12 which latter led him bagging WBA, ABC and three consecutive lineal heavyweight titles, the only to do so.

In 1967, Ali refused to join the US military citing America's involvement in the Vietnam war which stripped him of his titles and cost his profession but was appreciated for this bold decision later.
The professional American boxer later converted to Islam and adopted the name of Mohammad Ali from Cassius Clay. Ali announced:
Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it and I don't want it. I am Mohammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it to call me.
What basically attracted Mohammad Ali to Islam is the aspect of Islam that denies any form of superiority over anyone (racial in particular) and propagates an equally progressive society as evident from his speeches after the conversion. His speeches inspired many. 

Mohammad Ali devoted later part of his life in charitable works and died in 2016 battling Parkinson's syndrome.

Mohammad Ali was a good friend of Malcolm X who mentored Ali to Islam in his earlier days.

A.R. Rahman

Born as Dileep Kumar to a Hindu family, this Indian celebrity converted to Islam at the age of 23 changing his name to A.R. Rahman (Allah Rakha Rahman).
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A.R. Rahman is a renowned Indian musician and singer by profession. He became the first Indian to win two Oscars scripting history in 2009 which also earned him global recognition. 

It was the early death of Rahman's father followed by his family experiencing difficult times that first led his mother, a practising Hindu to be influenced by Islam eventually accepting the religion. 

Speaking about his conversion to Islam and his love for the religion, A.R. Rahman said:
It’s not about converting to Islam, it’s about finding the spot and seeing whether it presses the button in you. The spiritual teachers, the Sufi teachers, taught me and my mom things that are very, very special. There are special things in every faith, and this is the one we chose. And we stand by it. 
About the prayers in Islam, he said,
Prayer has been extremely beneficial. It has saved me from many falls.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X is a prominent figure during America's civil rights movement and has been called one of the greatest and the most influential African-Americans in history. 
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Malcolm X's family was the victim of the white supremacist oppressions resulting in his father followed by mental disbalance of his mother. He was just 6 of age at this time. He had lived in foster homes before he was sent to prison for larceny and other illicit activities. 
Malcolm X came in contact with the Nation of Islam when was in jail and changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X. 
Upon his release, he started working with the organisation and became one of its influential leaders. Soon after, he developed disillusions with the key leader of NOI parting away from it eventually choosing Sunni Islam.

Malcolm X advocated for black supremacy and saw evils in white people until he made the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca embracing the true aspect of Islam. It was after this pilgrimage, he abandoned his view of racial separatism. 

He rediscovered the concept of brotherhood and racial equality during this journey what actually is the practical manifestation of Islam teachings and reflection of equality before God.

In the first-ever kind of experience just before the beginning of his journey at the airport, Malcolm X witnessed:
Throngs of people, obviously Muslims from everywhere, bound for the pilgrimage were hugging and embracing. They were of all complexions, the whole atmosphere was of warmth and friendliness. The feeling hit me that there really wasn’t any colour problem here. The effect was as though I had just stepped out of a prison.
About his hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Malcolm X describing the sacred site said:
A huge black stone house in the middle of the Grand Mosque. It was being circumambulated by thousands upon thousands of praying pilgrims, both sexes, and every size, shape, colour, and race in the world.... My feeling here in the House of God was numbness.
Malcolm X was assassinated by his rival while addressing his organisation of Afro-American unity.

Wayne Parnell

Wayne Parnell, a South African cricketer who converted to Islam after a period of his personal study and reflection.
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Parnell declared his conversion from Christianity to Islam in July 2011 and announced that he would celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday as a Muslim confirming that he had accepted Islam in January 2011.
While I have not yet decided on an Islamic name, I have considered the name Waleed which means Newborn Son, but for now, my name remains Wayne Dillon Parnell.
The pace bowler refuted the claim that his teammates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir, both Muslims influenced him to accept Islam, propaganda that was soon aired after his conversion.
However, Wayne Parnell mentioned that he was certainly influenced by the discipline and strict adherence that Hashim Amla showed by refusing to participate in the celebration that involved liquor, staying steadfast in his daily prayers and refusing to wear the jersey with South African beer brand Castle Lager logo on it

After his conversion to Islam, as confirmed by fellow cricketers, Wayne was very serious about his choice of Islam and that also he had stayed away from even a drop of Alcohol (as not allowed in Islam).

He is married to a South African fashion blogger, Aisha Baker.

Dr Gary Miller

Dr Gary Miller was a Christian missionary who converted to Islam after reading the Quran. He chose to study the Holy Quran with the intention to find out some mistakes that he would use as an advantage to invite Muslims to Christianity. But, things didn't go like this and Dr Gary Miller got stunned after finding out the Quran amazing in many ways that he didn't think of. 

Being a biblical expert and a  mathematician by profession, Dr Miller loved to be logical. He assumed the Quran to be mere an outdated book with stories of Prophet Muhammad, an old book that would tell the stories of deserts and around it. But his perceptions about the Holy Quran changed after he found it meaningful and logical. Describing the Holy Quran, Gary Miller said: 
Calling the Quran amazing is not something done only by Muslims, who have an appreciation for the book and who are pleased with it; it has been labelled amazing by non-Muslims as well. In fact, even people who hate Islam very much have still called it amazing.
He changed his name to Abdul Ahad Omar after his conversion to Islam. 

Dr Gary Miller narrated his journey to Islam in a book called "The Amazing Quran".

Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth is an English journalist, broadcaster and a trained actress who converted to Islam in 2010, a few years after her visit to Palestine.

As a journalist, she opposed America's invasion of Iraq which established her as an outspoken activist. She toured the Gaza strip along with other activists to bring in the picture of Israelis imposed blockade of Gaza before the world and to highlight the human right violations in Gaza. 

Lauren Booth is the sister in law of former prime minister Tony Blair and is the sixth daughter of the actor, Tony Booth.

In 2010, Lauren Booth accepted Islam to become a Muslim after her journey to Palestine as a reporter which she called was her spiritual journey.

She announced her conversion to Islam at an event by Islam Channel.
My name is Lauren Booth and I am a Muslim.
She said while appearing live in the channel with her daughter.

Lauren Booth has delivered a no. of lectures sharing her spiritual journey to Islam.

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1st row (from Left to Right): Mohammad Ali, Malcolm X, Wayne Parnell & Lauren Booth.
2nd row: Sinead O'Connor, Sonny Bill Williams, A.R. Rahman & Mike Tyson.

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor is an Irish singer cum songwriter and an ordained Christian priest who converted to Islam in 2018.

Confirming her decision to be a Muslim, this Ireland based celebrity said it was the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologians journey.
This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim. This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant. I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada. [Sinead O'Connor]
She took her Shahadah in presence of the Irish Islamic theologian Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, wearing hijab and later tweeted a video of herself saying the Adhan (the call to prayer in Islam). Sinead O'Connor changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat.

Sonny Bill Williams

This New Zealand rugby player and heavyweight boxer converted to Islam in 2009 while in France playing for Toulon.
Sony Bill Williams with his mother, brother, Sony Bill Williams converted to Islam, His Mother converted to Islam, Sony Bill Williams wife is Muslim, Photo from twitter, EduIslam
Sonny Bill Williams with his mother & brother.

Sonny Bill Williams' friendship with a Tunisian family of five children who just one-bedroom house proved to be a pivotal role in his conversion to Islam. The contentment, the solace, the happiness that they had in that household, he said, cemented his belief in Islam.

He spoke many times about the happiness and simplicity, for that he achieved being a Muslim.
One thing I have learned over my career is that simplicity is the key. On the field, off as well.
I have become a true Muslim. It’s giving me happiness. It’s made me become content as a man and helped me to grow. I’ve just got faith in it and it has definitely helped me become the man I am today. 
He geared up to help the Muslim community during the recent Christchurch mosque terrorist attack and appealed for brotherhood, love and unity.
My message is about unity, it's about peace, it's about love, the core essence of what Islam is, and my message is about how we move forward as a people. Let's lead the way here.
The star said while expressing deep condolences.

Following the Christchurch deadly attack that had shaken the world in 2019, his mother along with his best friend and teammate (Ofa Tuungafasi) who were Christians converted to Islam.
Sonny Bill Williams and his friend Ofa Tuungafasai praying in the field.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is a boxer by profession who scripted the record as the youngest boxer to bag a heavyweight title.

Tyson was sent to prison for six years convicted of rape in 1992 but was released on parole in just less than 3 years.

During imprisonment, this famous American celebrity converted to Islam and adopted the Muslim name, Malik Abdul Aziz.

Talking about Islam, Mike Tyson said:
I am very grateful to be a Muslim. Allah doesn't need me, I need Allah.
In 2010, he performed Umrah (the minor pilgrimage in Islam)
Mike Tyson in Mecca Twitter, Mike Tyson during hajj pilgrimage, Mike Tyson converted to Islam, EduIslam

Yousuf Youhana

Yousuf Youhana, a Pakistan based cricket player who along with his wife converted to Islam from Christianity in 2005.

The former Pakistani cricketer revealed that he had decided to embrace Islam after attending the regular preaching sessions of Tableeghi Jamaat.

Shedding off Youhana, he adopted the name Muhammad Yousuf after becoming Muslim.

Expression his happiness of converting to Islam, he told BBC:
I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is.

Small Note: That's all about these top and famous celebrities who being logical and intellectually honest chose to be Muslims by converting to Islam. Their brief introductions and stories behind their reversion have been presented before, for which I had to source out from various authentic platforms after extensive exploration and research.
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