From Hema Malini to AR Rehman, Indian celebs who accepted Islam

Mumbai: Islam is indeed a beautiful religion and it has inspired a number of people all over the world to study and even to convert to it. Even many celebrities have converted from other faiths to Islam. While some did for marrying a certain person, some genuinely did it because of attraction towards the religion.

We all look up to our favourite celebrities and often wonder how strong and impeccable they are. But, we often fail to realise that they have certain interests and choices that they had to forego to reach where they are right now. Some get the desired love of their life easily, and some have to fight for it. There are various instances when our stars have fought frivolous for life, love, and stardom. Some even had to sacrifice their religion and adopt some other religion.

In this article, we have bought you a list of few Indian celebrities who accepted Islam and information on when, where and why they did that.

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1. Hema Malini and Dharmendra

Bollywood couple, Dharmendra and Hema Malini, converted to Islam in 1979 to be able to get married. Dharmendra was already married to Parkash Kaur when he fell in love with Malini during the shooting of Sholay. Since the Hindu regulations did not allow second marriage, Dharmendra and Hema Malini both converted to Islam and changed their names to Aisha Bi R. Chakravarty and Dilawar Khan Kewal Krishn.

2. Sharmila Tagore

The gorgeous actress and the Padma Bhushan awardee Sharmila Tagore, has also converted to Islam. She fell in love with the late cricketer, Mansoor Ali Pataudi, and converted to Islam before marrying him in 1969. She was born a Hindu, but converted her name to Ayesha Begum after her marriage. The couple was blessed with three children – actor Saif Ali Khan, jewellery designer Saba Ali Khan and actress Soha Ali Khan.

3. Amrita Singh

Actress Amrita Singh was born in a Sikh-Muslim family.  Amrita, who followed the Sikh religion since birth, converted to Islam just before her marriage to actor Saif Ali Khan who was Muslim by birth. After thirteen years of marriage, they divorced in 2004.

4. A R Rahman

Oscar winning music composer, singer-songwriter and music producer, AR Rahman was born a Hindu and named AS Dileep Kumar. However, he converted to Islam later at the age of 23 and changed his name to A R Rahman (Allah Rakha Rahman).

The musician was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister was severely ill. He was enchanted by the ideals and values of the religion.

Speaking about Sufism, AR Rahman once said, “It has taught me that just as the rain and the sun do not differentiate between people, neither should we. Only when you experience friendship across cultures, you understand there are many good people in all communities.”

5. Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt is a popular Indian film director and producer. As per reports, he converted to Islam to marry Soni Razdan. However, Mahesh does not practice the religion.

6. Mamta Kulkarni

Former Indian actress Mamta Kulkarni has also accepted islam. She got married in the year 2013 and her husband Vicky Goswami had also accepted Islam. The Indian Bollywood actress, of the ‘Ghatak’ fame was arrested by the UAE police in 1997 in drug smuggling case. Vicky Goswami was sentenced 25 years in jail, but released in November 2012. His conversion to Islam was the main reason of major reduction in his punishment.

7. Yuvan Shankar Raja

Ilaiyaraaja’s son, Yuvan Shankar Raja is India’s youngest music composer. Despite the fact that he was born into a Hindu household, Yuvan eventually decided to convert to Islam. Speaking to TOI, he once said that the reason behind his acceptance and conversion is the ‘solace’ that he found while reciting Quran.

“I started reading the Quran and its translations and connected with it quickly. I started practising Islam, learnt how to pray and by January, 2014, felt sure about converting,” he said.

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