City of Brass

City of Brass


PHOTO: Mike Tyson at Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here I am during my journey to Mecca.  on Twitpic

I had no idea that Mike Tyson was a muslim until I heard last week that he had traveled to Mecca for umrah (the minor pilgrimage, identical to the Hajj except that umrah can be performed anytime during the year and does not fulfill the muslim’s religious obligation to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime).

I didn’t give it much further thought until I saw via Twitter that Tyson had actually posted a picture of himself (at right, click to enlarge) in front of the Holy Ka’aba using Twitpic. The contrast of ancient tradition and modern social networking is actually old hat by now; what really blows my mind is that this is Mike Tyson. The mere fact of him being there is sufficient to essentially erase any notions or opinions I had of him prior.

I hope that the experience not only stays with him but also triggers the same deep self-reflection that it did for Malcolm X. Mike Tyson has just entered a larger universe; I hope he finds it suits him, and decides to stay.

Hat-tip to @jstrevino for the photo and London Muslim for the story. Also, this essay about Hajj from last year by my friend Aamer is probably my favorite thing written about Hajj, ever.



  • juree

    Mike Tyson took shahada in the 90′s when he went to prison…he has been a revert for a very long time…and to get a better understanding of him..go buy his documentary of himself…that will help with a lot of the negative views the media has brainwashed us with of him…very enlightning!

  • assad khan

    mike tyson had always been a good person at heart. I knew of him as a kid when he fought bruno, since then I followed him via watchign his old clips or interviews. Trully a blessed soul.
    He had been muslim prior to his term in prison but as he said himself once ” God judges our heart man judges our actions”
    Allah bless him more,

  • Klimilda

    ALLAH-AKBAR!!

  • Adil

    umm the unrah is not identical to the hajj

  • Malik Hassan

    Alhamdulillah! Very happy to see that Mike is embracing his deen.
    I’m surprised at you though brother, every Muslim that I know knows that Mike has been a Muslim for a long time now, even my in-laws that live out in the country in Indonesia lol.

  • Yaz

    Too bad he got his tattoo’s on his face while in prison AFTER taking his shahada.

  • http://www.HotConflict.com HotConflict

    There is going to be a rush of more people trying to get to Mecca or perform Hajj. People are feeling that the signs are aligning up and a lot of people are trying to get more spiritually connected to the ancient sites.
    The Kaa’Baa being the Divine Masculine form in sacred geometry or KabAlla is more understood by the westerners now.
    Yet many people still consider the Islamic ways to be backward and the people to be primitives. It wont be much longer until the western people realize the eastern mysticism and spirituality are at a much more advanced level that they will begin to comprehend the beauty of Islam.
    Saleem Siddiqui has a video series on the importance of Mecca the kaba and the Sacred sites. It was recorded live on the Days of hajj and is one of the best spiritual courses. This speaker had studies and Lived in the Holy city for many years. Mekkah and Median are the Only two cities remaining on this earth that the dark has not taken open possession.
    Check out,
    Stories of the Prophets… series and also
    Unseen World.
    Peace and Love.
    Have you heard of Ascension!

  • Andy

    “Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers. … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … [T]hese doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.”

  • Abdullah

    Jihad does not always mean fighting

  • brohemjebar

    death to the jews. praise Allah.

  • Beej

    Really? The conversation starts out about how Mike Tyson is getting his life together and has found God and within 5 posts its the ‘Koran says kill everyone’ and ‘kill the jews praise Allah’?
    I’m not Muslim and I’m happy for the guy. He’s had a really rough road from the collapse of his career all the way to the death of his child. I hope he’s found peace and the strength to teach his kids how to not self-destruct like he did.

  • Kola Bakre

    MaashaAllah, It is surprising that you did not know that Mike Tyson is a muslim which he had been since the early 90s. Even at his release from prison he chanted Alahu Akbar numerous times and The Kalimat too. He took after Malik as his name then.
    Alhamdu Lillahi that he was on this religious trip to further cement his connection with Islam.

  • Sabah

    Alhumdulillah. may allah accept your Umrah Bro Mike !

  • HARISH IBRAHIM THAMEEM

    hgyhj jhulhu

  • Klimilda

    ALLAH-AKBAR!!

  • Jafar

    Next will be Obama Inshallah

  • Jamaal

    May the Lord of the Universe Bless the Brother and bring im PEACE

  • George

    Excellent article
    Why is Geert Wilders “anti-Islam,” and what is his message to the Muslims?
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/07/why-is-geert-wilders-anti-islam-and-what-is-his-message-to-the-muslims.html#comments

  • Thembelani

    He has been Muslim now for some time. This is not a new development or someething that is new out of the woodwork. He took shahada many years ago. Just glad to see that Allah invited him to HIS house and the brother accepted to go. May Allah keep him strong and sincere.

  • Mohammed

    Islam is agreat Religion.

  • http://carmenisacat.blogspot.com/ Carmen

    Wow. How could you have missed that! And he isn’t the only big name added to the big roster either.
    Peace

  • selver ocal-crombie

    Thank you for the opportunity to read this article. Contrary to the malicious slander against Islam billions of highly intellegent and clean hearted people around the world are finding true peace within Islam.Tyson may Allah bless you for your open and honest nature.May Allah protect all honest good natured people who just want Freedom to practise in peace.Selam,from Australia

  • http://www.al-hidaayah.travel/ Umra

    If the peace that is the innate quality of Islam pervades the soul of Tyson, it should reform him for the good.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Waleed Sajjad

    May Allah bless you!Ameen

  • http://pilgrimagetomecca.org pilgrimage to mecca

    Masha Allah, its good to see famous and renovated people turning (reverting) towards Islam. May Allah accept his Umrah and make him to perform Hajj.

  • http://www.laptopcare1.blogspot,com topan

    I love Islam around the world

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Halima

    Peace to the world. Being a muslim is not enough. Do u love a human being like yourself?

  • http://ALLAHUAKBAR MUHAMMAD YANDA S.B MUHD

    ALLAHU-AKBAR

  • Pingback: Mike Tyson's Religion and Political Views | The Hollowverse

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