The Moonlight actor, hailed as the first Muslim Oscar winner when he picked up last year's (and this year's) Best Supporting Actor award, has openly discussed his sentiments around being a Muslim in America today. He converted to Islam in 2000, and it's argued that the beanie hat he wore to the 2019 Academy Awards was a play on a traditional Jinnah cap.
The American-Palestinian DJ is open about his faith, sharing 'Ramadan Mubarak' messages, releasing videos in which he plays the adhan to his son and revealing he prays and reads the Qu'ran every day. He admits he's usually working or touring during Ramadan, but recently told GQ Middle East: "I’ll be honest with you, many Ramadan times, I’ll fast, and then I get dehydrated and have to go to the hospital. Just because I work so hard. I try my hardest to fulfil the beliefs and how beautiful what we fast for is. It’s so beautiful, what we’re doing it for."
The singer-songwriter grew up in a Muslim household with a conservative father. She has admitted that observing modesty was always important to her growing up, wearing the hijab during her adolescence, and remains a proud and practising member of the Muslim community. She even shared how she once damaged her vocal chords several years ago trying to sing whilst fasting during Ramadan.
The singer routinely broadcasts a 'Ramadan Mubarak' message to his followers at the start of the holy month, and has previously confessed his pride at being part of the Muslim community and having grown up surrounded by Islamic traditions. Zayn's mother has told the BBC that he "has read the Qu'ran three times".
Somali-born Iman has spoken in the past about her Muslim faith, has revealed the difficulties of reconciling her modelling career with her religion, and often takes the time to share a 'Ramadan Kareem' message with her fanbase. Her first book, I am Iman, discussed her Muslim upbringing in several African nations.
The world-class footballer is often hailed as a champion of both Egypt and of the Muslim community, and can be spotted performing the sujud to celebrate his goals. He is a devout Muslim and observes the fast during Ramadan, famously adhering to his religious routine during the most important of football tournaments.
Our sterotype-shattering modestwear queen and the first hijab-wearing model to sign to IMG and to grace international runways, Halima has been vocal about her faith, revealing to Harper's BAZAAR Arabia that aside from fasting, her biggest challenge during Ramadan is avoiding music. "For Ramadan I try to stay away from all music, which can be hard. It means no movies, no television, no nothing, because even commercials will have music. For that month everybody has something that they want to work on. For me this month is going to be for me the music. What I always do is Nasheed; it’s halal, so I could replace it with that."
The American-Moroccan rapper, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, is a practising Muslim, observes many Islamic traditions and has been vocal about topical issues relating to Muslims. At 2019's Met Gala, the rapper stayed true to his roots and donned a traditional thobe and ghutra complete with printed agal to mark the first night of Ramadan. He posted a snap of his outfit on Instagram, captioning the image: "CHEIK MONTANA RAMADAN MUBARAK".
Bella and Gigi Hadid
Although the girls may not be fasting this year, they have opened up in the past about how proud they are to be Muslim and to have been brought up with Islamic traditions. Bella, a former Harper's BAZAAR Arabia cover star, told us in her cover story interview:
"That was the best day of my life, when I went and saw the mosque in Abu Dhabi. I was talking to all of these Arab women and men, and finally understanding the culture a lot more than I ever really have. He would teach us about it and we would go and do Eid with my family and we would do Ramadan – I did that since I was a kid. Once I got older I was working and going to school so I couldn’t fast for as long. My dad, he’s so passionate about it, and that’s what kept me very passionate and excited about my roots."
The Hadid sisters' father, Mohamed, a proud Palestinian, is a practising Muslim who has stated that he fasts during Ramadan. He also observes several other Islamic practices and has instilled in his children a sound understanding of their heritage.
Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan is also taking part in an Instagram initiative called #MonthOfGood, for which she nominated Aden, to motivate people to provide food for families in need. She mentions that “this time of year is all about spending time with her loved ones," adding “my family is the most important thing to me. We do everything together, but during Ramadan we really take the time to slow down and dedicate more time to appreciating one another.”
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I’m nominating @halima, @malala & @monakattan for the #MonthOfGood Ramadan Kareem Repost @instagram For Huda Kattan (@huda), this time of year is all about spending time with her loved ones. “My family is the most important thing to me. We do everything together, but during Ramadan we really take the time to slow down and dedicate more time to appreciating one another,” says the founder and CEO of Huda Beauty, who lives in Dubai. “One of the main things that me and my family are dedicating our time to this #MonthOfGood is providing food for families who need it. This is something that our family focuses on every Ramadan, and it’s really eye-opening. We sometimes take some of the most basic things in life, like food, for granted.” Right now, Huda and people around the world are observing Ramadan, a month of prayer, giving and kindness. Share your moments of everyday kindness and good using the hashtag #MonthOfGood and tag three people to do the same.
Bazaar cover star and supermodel Shanina Shaik wished her followers Ramadan Kareem in a recent Instagram Story.
This article was originally published on May 8, 2019. It was updated by Sarah Joseph on April 26, 2020.
Lead image courtesy of Instagram/Halima.