Comedian Dave Chappelle rose to fame in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until a few years later when his status really skyrocketed with Chappelle’s Show. That success came after he converted to Islam in 1998.
Shaquille has a complicated religious background. Though his mother was a Baptist, his stepfather, who he thought of as his real father, was a Muslim. He has regularly identified himself as a Muslim, although he has also said that he can relate to several religions instead of just one.
It’s a little bit difficult to keep up with the changes of Snoop’s life. From Snoop Doggy Dogg to Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion and back to Snoop Dogg again, he has changed his name more times than most can remember. He has also changed religions a few times, settling on Islam in 2009.
Depending on your musical tastes, you may know Mos Def as a rapper or remember him better from his screen appearances. He has acted in such films as The Italian Job and 16 Blocks. He studied Islam as a teen and became a Muslim at 19 years old.
British singer and songwriter Zayn Malik is best known as one of the members of One Direction, though he has since split with the group and embarked upon a successful solo career. Malik is a Muslim and once deleted his Twitter account due to the volume of anti-Muslim hate messages he was receiving.
Shawn Daivari is a professional wrestler who competed as Daivari in World Wrestling Entertainment and Sheik Abdul Bashir in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The son of Iranian parents who immigrated to the US in the 1970s, Daivari is a Muslim.
Most people know that the man known by many as the greatest boxer of all time was born as Cassius Clay. In the 1960s, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. His faith even kept him from fighting in Vietnam, which in turn led to the loss of some of the best years of his career as he was barred from the ring.
Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane was an extremely successful rapper in the 1980s and 90s and is considered a legend in hip hop music. Kane also identifies as Muslim and is a member of the 5% Nation, a controversial Muslim sect that has also been associated with black nationalism.
Believe it or not, Janet was actually raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. Her extremely strict upbringing was one that she couldn’t wait to get away from as she grew older, and she reportedly converted to Islam in 2013 after marrying billionaire businessman Wissam Al Mana.
Like his sister Janet, Jermaine was raised in an extremely strict household where being a Jehovah’s Witness was the only possible option. And just like his sister, the former Jackson 5 singer converted to Islam when he became an adult, although he did so much earlier than Janet by converting in 1989.
Fareed is an Indian-American journalist with CNN and hosts his own show, Fareed Zakaria GPS. He is a naturalized American citizen and though he lives a secular lifestyle, also identifies as a non-practicing Muslim.
Just like Muhammad Ali, Abdul-Jabbar’s change in religion came with an accompanying name change. He was known as Lew Alcindor before converting to Islam in 1971. After that, he took on his new name and continued his time as a basketball great, eventually ranking as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Ice Cube was still known as just a rapper when he converted to Islam in the 1990s. Since becoming a Muslim, he has found success in the film business as a writer, director, actor, and producer, even eclipsing his achievements within the record business.
Just like fellow NWA member Ice Cub, MC Ren has converted to Islam. He originally became a Muslim in the early 1990s, first allying with the Nation of Islam. He has since left that more radical group and converted to orthodox Islam.
Lilly was a member of the cast of Shahs of Sunset for three seasons, and was often known by her castmates as “Persian Barbie.” Since leaving the show, she has started clothing and makeup product lines. She comes from an extremely conservative Persian Muslim family.
Rashad was a former first-round NFL draft pick, but he’s much better known as an American sportscaster for NBC Sports. Much of his work was related to the NBA, and he was also the longtime husband of former Cosby Show actress Phylicia Rashad. He has been a Muslim since 1972, which is also when he changed his name from Robert Earl Moore.
Born in Nigeria, Olajuwon rose from poverty to become one of the best NBA players of all time. The 7-foot center won back-to-back NBA championships with the Houston Rockets and is a 2008 inductee in the Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s also a practicing Muslim.
Q-Tip is one of the formative members of the all-time great rap group A Tribe Called Quest. He has also appeared in films as an actor and produces music, as well. He has been a Muslim since the mid-1990s when he first converted to Islam.
Epps is a noted actor who has had roles in such films as Juice, Higher Learning, and Love & Basketball. He has been widely reported to be a Muslim, although he is also very guarded about his private life and doesn’t address the topic often.
Tyson can probably be credited with a lot of the popularity that Islam received in the black community during the 1990s. It was Tyson who started a huge trend by converting to Islam in the early 90s while serving three years in a federal prison.
R&B singer Akon was born in St. Louis and grew up not only in New Jersey but also Senegal. He has been Muslim for quite some time now and surprisingly, uses the religion to justify his personal choices, including the three wives that he reportedly has.
The Iranian-American actress has been nominated for several major acting awards, including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in House of Sand and Fog. She also won a Primetime Emmy Award for her work in the HBO miniseries House of Saddam. She is a Muslim who has historically resisted roles that portray negative stereotypes about practitioners.
You won’t find many references to Islam in Lupe’s music, but the successful rapper and actor have identified as a Muslim for quite some time now. He was even born with the name Wasalu Muhammad Jaco.
Better known as “Dr. Oz,” Mehmet grew up with Muslim parents. While his father was very strict and traditional, his mother was more secular and lenient. Though many people have doubted the science behind some of his teachings, he has not wavered regarding his faith.
Former pro boxer Hopkins was one of the most successful pugilists in recent decades, despite spending his early years in prison, where he learned to box. Like Tyson, he converted to Islam in prison. He has avoided trouble ever since and went on to win world championships in several weight classes.
Ali is an actor who has appeared in TV series such as The 4400, Crossing Jordan and Threat Matrix. He has also appeared in House of Cards, Luke Cage, and the final two films in the Hunger Games series. Ali is a practicing Muslim and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Moonlight.
“King Mo” Lawal
Muhammed Lawal, better known to fight fans as “King Mo,” is one of the top-ranked MMA fighters in the world. He has also performed as a professional wrestler and won some world championships as a wrestler for the United States. The son of Nigerian immigrants, he was raised by a single mother, and his name represents his Muslim faith.
The late Casey Kasem was perhaps best known for being the disc jockey behind the weekly American Top 40 countdown. Of course, he was also the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoon. Casey was a Muslim who negotiated to have Shaggy written as a vegetarian character and turned down numerous roles that he didn’t feel were fair to Arab-Americans.
Like many rappers, Everlast of the rap group House of Pain converted to Islam. However, unlike many of the others, Everlast is white. The “Jump Around” rapper converted from Catholicism to Islam in 1996, around the time when he went solo and found mainstream success.
Fans of The Daily Show will immediately recognize Minhaj’s face. He’s one of the senior correspondents on the comedy news show and has also had a lengthy career as a standup comedian. Minhaj comes from a Muslim family, and he practices the religion himself.
Busta Rhymes has had a long and successful career in rap music. Although he doesn’t explicitly deal with spirituality in his music, he claims that he is a Muslim. Busta says that he feels that his faith in Islam keeps him grounded, despite his fame and fortune.
Melody is a nationally recognized columnist and bestselling author. She has written two books and appears regularly on TV, with appearances on CNN, NPR, BBC, and other networks. She is also a Muslim that regularly speaks out against Muslim stereotypes.
Like many of the rappers in the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface identifies as a Muslim. Although he has included Muslim texts in parts of his lyrics since the 1990s, he didn’t official convert until 2013. He says that out of everything in life, only God is real.
You may not recognize her last name because you’ve probably never heard it before. No, this supermodel generally goes by just the name “Iman.” Iman identifies as Muslim but also says she doesn’t practice religion with intensity. She was married to David Bowie, who passed away last year.