People all over the world have discovered and adopted faith in something other than their own religions over the years. They always make headlines and receive a huge appreciation for inculcating respect and modern values towards different religions.
On the other hand, celebrities often alter their religious status to their inclination toward a particular belief. They always make headlines and receive a huge appreciation for inculcating respect and modern values towards different religions.
When it comes to the film industry, we’ve mostly seen examples in Hollywood and Bollywood. But in the Tamil cinema industry, there are a number of noteworthy individuals who have left their religion and adopted a different one.
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.
1. A.R. Rahman
A.R. Rahman, formerly known as Dileep Kumar, has transformed the face of the music industry with his composition talents and a magical voice. Although his mother was a Sufi, A R Rahman converted to Islam when his sister became sick and recovered while they prayed to Allah. Hence, he converted to Islam in 1989 and changed his name to Alla-Rakha Rahman. He later unveiled it to the rest of the country.
2. Yuvan Shankar Raja
Yuvan Shankar Raja revealed on Twitter a few months ago that he had discovered faith in Islam. After eliciting mixed reactions from his supporters, he eventually decided to quit social media. Yuvan Shankar Raja is said to have converted to Islam after his mother passed away. However, he has not yet changed his name.
“My father is a staunch Hindu and is so superstitious that even if a glass breaks, he will call a pandit. Both my parents were ritualistic, but right from childhood, I used to always have a thought that beyond all this there is a supernatural power that is running the whole world. How can God be in any form? That search was always there in me.
“What triggered my conversion was my mom’s sudden passing away. I had come to Mumbai for some work. When I returned to Chennai, my mom was coughing badly and me and my sister rushed her to the hospital. I was driving the car. We reached the hospital and I was sitting next to her holding her hand and the next second her hand fell and she had died.
“I was crying but wondered where her soul went within seconds as she was alive just a few seconds back. I was in search of the answers and I should say that I got a direct calling from Allah. It was a spiritual experience.
“My friend had just been to Mecca and he said to me, ‘You seem to be really low. You have to move on.’ He gave me the musalla (the prayer mat) and said, ‘This one mat I used in Mecca and it has touched Mecca so if you are feeling really heavy, just sit on it.’ I kept the mat in one corner of my room and forgot all about it. A few months later I was speaking to one of my cousins about my mother and I started feeling really heavy.
“I entered my room and coincidentally saw the mat which all this while I had missed even though it was kept in the same corner. I sat on it for the first time and just started crying saying, ‘Ya Allah please forgive my sins.’ That was 2012. I started reading the Quran and the translations and it connected with me really fast. I started practising Islam and learnt how to pray and by January 2014, felt sure about converting.
“Since I am known as Yuvan Shankar Raja in films, I have still not changed my name officially in my passport and other records, but maybe later, I might do that too. My father was the last one I told in my house to. I told him, ‘I have started reading the Quran and it gives me a lot of peace.’ He said to me, ‘Yuvan, I am not comfortable with you becoming Islamic.’ My brother and his wife were very supportive. It’s odd but in some way I used to get that spiritual feeling that it was my mom, who held my hand, and said, ‘Yuvan, you are alone. I want you to stand here under the tree called Islam.,” Yuvan Shankar Raja told the Times of India in an interview.