Zayn Malik is no stranger to having all eyes on him – not just because he was once a member of the biggest boyband of the world, but also because of his exotic beauty. His thick eyebrows, long lashes, and deep, brown eyes can all be owed to his Pakistani genes.
With that said, many are wondering if Zayn Malik has also adopted the country’s religious beliefs. After all, 96% of Pakistanis follow Islamic traditions. It is possible that his parents passed down those traditions to him and his siblings.
So, is Zayn Malik a Muslim? Or has he moved on from that religion? Let’s find out.
Zayn Malik Was Raised As a Muslim
Zain Javadd Malik, who we know better today as Zayn, was raised by his parents to adhere to Islam principles and traditions. And even though they lived in the UK, their family managed to find ways in order to keep practicing their beliefs.
His dad, Yaser Malik, had the biggest influence on Zayn in terms of faith since he was a native Pakistani. Most of what Zayn knows about the religion came from his dad.
Zayn’s mom, Tricia, is also a Muslim but she only converted when she married Yaser. She worked as a Halal chef in an elementary school to support their family.
In a tweet, Zayn revealed that he can speak Urdu and can read Arabic – although, his British accent can render his sentences almost incomprehensible. Further, he would also go to the Mosque to pray and studied Islam like any other Muslims.
Zayn Malik: A Victim of Islamophobia
It is not a secret that Islam representation in mainstream media is not that prominent compared to other religions. It could have something to do with the fact that when people do come across a Muslim artist, they immediately subject them to malicious and discriminatory attacks.
That is exactly what happened to Zayn. Not only has he experienced prejudiced rants by trolls in social media, but bad things have also happened to him in real life simply because he was Muslim – or looked like one.
“The first time I came to America, I had three security checks before I got on the plane; first they said that I’d been randomly selected, and then they said it was something to do with my name, it was flagging something on their system. Then when I landed, it was like a movie. They kept me there for three hours, questioning me about all kinds of crazy stuff. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused. The same thing happened the next time, too.”
On top of that, Zayn has been consistently labeled as a ‘terrorist’. The US talkshow host Bill Maher once got blasted by the popstar’s fans after he jokingly suggested that Zayn could have been the culprit behind the Boston marathon bomber, citing that they looked similar.
Is Zayn Still a Muslim?
In a 2017 interview with Belfast Telegraph, Zayn revealed that he has decided to become a non-practicing Muslim. He further explained:
“I’m not currently practicing but I was raised in the Islamic faith, so it will always be with me, and I identify a lot with the culture. But I’m just me. I don’t want to be defined by my religion or my cultural background.”
In other words, Zayn’s relationship with God is more of a personal and spiritual matter instead of a religious one. He expounded on that in an interview with British Vogue in 2018.
“I believe whatever people’s religious beliefs are is between them and whoever or whatever they’re practicing. For me, I have a spiritual belief of there is a god. Do I believe there’s a hell? No. I just want to keep it between me and whatever I believe. I feel like that makes me move through life in a nice way. If I behave well, I will get treated well. That’s it. I don’t believe you need to eat a certain meat that’s been prayed over a certain way. I don’t believe you need to read a prayer in a certain language five times a day. I don’t believe any of it. I just believe if you’re a good person, everything is going to go right for you.”
Further, when asked if he would call himself a Muslim, Zayn said no. However, he says that he is still grateful of his Islamic upbringing.
Muslim or not, Zayn deserves to be treated with respect just like everybody else. A person is so much more than his religious belief, or lack thereof.
So, instead of going around and judging a person’s life based on his faith, why don’t we start spreading love and compassion instead? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?