Religion conveys the principles of ‘faith’ and sometimes, the faith may change based on the circumstances. We’ve seen quite a lot of people renouncing their religious teachings only to convert to some other religions, a change that has been happening since the olden days. Only you can change what you believe in and others shouldn’t inspire you to do so.
Hinduism is the third largest and the oldest surviving religion globally with over 1 billion people sticking to their beliefs. For them, Hinduism is considered more like a way of life than a religion.
In fact, the teachings of Hinduism have always attracted people worldwide. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg visited India in a bid to seek spirituality. Also, many Hollywood stars have converted to Hinduism after getting fascinated by the faith.
Now let’s learn about 9 big personalities who converted to Hinduism from Islam.
#1. Harilal Mohandas Gandhi
Harilal Mohandas Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi converted to Islam and then reconverted to Hinduism. Yes, it was on May 1936, when he was 48 years old, Harilal publicly converted to Islam and later named himself Abdulla Gandhi.
However, later in the same year itself, on his mother Kasturba Gandhi’s request, he made up his mind and converted back to Hinduism through the Arya Samaj and even adopted a new name called Hiralal.
#2. Harihara I
Harihara I was famously called Hakka and Vira Harihara I. He was the founder of the Vijayanagara empire, which he ruled from 1336 to 1356 CE. It was actually him and his successors formed the Sangama dynasty, the first of four dynasties to ever rule the empire.
#3. Zubeida Begum
Zubeida Begum, an Indian film actress was born to Shri Kasembhai Mehta (Bohra Muslim businessman), and Faiza Bai, a singer in Bombay.
A Shia by birth, Zubeida converted as per Arya Samaj rites to marry Maharaja Hanwant Singh of Jodhpur, on 17 December 1950, in Bombay and then changed her name to Vidya Rani.
Indian film actress Nargis Dutt who is also known by her stage name Nargis starred in classic films of Bollywood film industry. She was regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema.
She first appeared as a child artist where she made a screen debut at just 5 years old with Talash-E-Haq (1935), but her acting career shot into prominence with film Tamanna (1942).
Besides acting, she was also a politician and a social worker. She converted to Hinduism upon marriage to actor Sunil Dutt.
#5. Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan Bishnoi, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana State and a recognised Indian National Congress Leader from Haryana. He is elder son of former CM of Haryana Sh. Bhajan Lal Bishnoi.
Bishnoi has been elected as a member of legislative assembly for continuously 4 spells from Kalka Constituency.
The politician converted to Islam upon marriage and later converted back to Hinduism after divorce.
#6. Bukka I
Bukka was a famous emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Sangama Dynasty. The King of Vijayanagara empire converted to Islam, then reconverted to Hinduism.
Bukka and Hakka were the best commanders in the army of the Kakatiya King of Warangal. After the Kind of Warangal was defeated by Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Bukka and his brother were held captives and sent to the national capital, Delhi wherein both were forced to convert to Islam.
Bukka and his brother finally escaped the torture and retained their Hindu traditions after which they founded the Vijayanagara Empire under the influence of the Brahmin sage Vidyaranya.
#7. Khusro Khan
When he was at the young age itself, he was converted to Islam. Yes, when he was a little boy, he was enslaved and subjected to immense torture and then was forced to convert to Islam by Alauddin Khilji.
However, he reconverted to Hinduism after toppling Khilji Dynasty and becoming Sultan.
#8. Netaji Palkar (Muslim for a decade)
Maratha Empire’s noble and commander-in-chief of the army of Shivaji initially converted to Islam then reconverted to Hinduism.
#9. Anwar Shaikh
Anirudh Gyan Shikha famously known as Anwar Shaikh was a Pakistani-born British author who was born into a family descended from ‘Kashmiri Pandit converts to Islam’ in the Gujrat’s city situated in the north of Punjab.
In his youth days, Shaikh was a passionate believer of the Sunni branch of Islam his family whole-heartedly practised, particularly his mother since she could quote a large part of the Qur’an from memory.
When he was 25 years old, he started doubting Islam and its teachings, and then went on to become an ardent critic.
It was at this time, Shikha reverted to the Hindu religion practised by his ancestors after reading the Rig Veda which really inspired him due to its humanism. Then he fell in love with Hinduism and later on, subsequently adopted the name Anirudh Gyan Shikh