Is Boxing GOAT Mike Tyson Muslim?
Mike Tyson, born Michael Gerard Tyson on June 30th 1966, is a famous boxer, athlete, businessman, podcast host and personality. He rose to fame thanks to his ferocious style of boxing and became known as "The Baddest Man On The Planet".
Who were Mike Tyson's parents?
Mike grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and his early life was riddled with difficulties. His father, Purcell Tyson, was an absentee dad and wasn't present for Mike's life and his stepdad Jimmy Kirkpatrick walked out on his family shortly after Mike was born. Mike's mother, Lorna Mae Smith, was the sole breadwinner for the family and kept them afloat during times of abject poverty.
Lorna Tyson passed away in 1982 after losing the battle to cancer but Mike regards this life-changing event as "one of the best things that has ever happened to me" as it meant he had to stand up for himself in a neighbourhood full of crime.
What were Mike Tyson's early years like?
Mike grew up as a troubled youth and was involved in petty crimes and street fights as part of a gang in the 'ghetto'. By the age of twelve, Mike had even been to juvenile court.
However as an early teen, Tyson was sent to a school called Tyron for Boys and he met Bobby Stewart, an old-time boxer. Stewart introduced Tyson to Cus D'Amato, realising that Mike possessed an amazing talent. D'Amato took him under his wing, eventually becoming his legal guardian.
Transformed by D'Amato's tutelage, Tyson's prowess inside the ring quickly became apparent. He turned professional at 18 and, at the tender age of 20, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. With his incredible power and agility, Tyson dominated the boxing scene in the late '80s and early 1990s.
So, is Mike Tyson a Muslim?
Through the successes of the 1980s came a downfall towards the end of this decade. D'Amato passed away in 1985 and Tyson became embroiled in controversy surrounding cocaine and alcohol abuse.
In July 1991, Mike Tyson was charged with rape and sentenced to six years in prison. It was here in the mid-1990s that Tyson found and embraced Islam. In 1995, he adopted a Muslim name, Malik Abdul Aziz, symbolising his new spiritual path.
So yes, Mike Tyson is a Muslim!
In December 2022 images and videos surfaced of Mike Tyson and DJ Khaled performing Umrah together in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Whilst it's important not to judge anyone's faith, he himself has admitted that his relationship with Islam has been complex. There are times when he admits to not being devoted but he has always expressed gratitude to Islam for providing him with a sense of purpose and strength during trying times.
In various interviews, Tyson has candidly shared how Islam has helped him find inner peace and navigate his turbulent past. Although his relationship with his faith may be complicated, he has publicly acknowledged himself as a Muslim, affirming the significant role Islam plays in his life.
What has Mike Tyson recently said about being a Muslim?
In a recent podcast with the Nelk Boys, Tyson cleared the air regarding his religion. When questioned about his Islamic faith, he said:
"I have the characteristics of many religions, but I am a Muslim. I love God. I pray more than I can. My faith in God... when I die, I will die a Muslim. This is me as a person. God protects me, he comes to me in all possible aspects."
Mike goes on to say in this interview that he finds his hard to practice his faith and is a 'lazy' Muslim.
As always Allah knows best and we ask Him to make our faith easy for us and guide us on the straight path. Ameen.
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