What Religion is Shahrukh Khan?

Shahrukh Khan, also known as SRK, is one of the most popular and influential actors in India and around the world. He has starred in over 80 Hindi films and earned numerous accolades, including 14 Filmfare Awards. SRK is regarded as one of the most successful movie stars in the world.

But beyond his acting career, many people are curious about SRK’s personal life and beliefs. One common question people have is – what religion does Shahrukh Khan follow?

In this comprehensive article, we will explore SRK’s religious background, beliefs, and practices to understand what religion he identifies with.

Shahrukh Khan’s Upbringing

Shahrukh Khan was born on 2 November 1965 in New Delhi, India to Mir Taj Mohammed Khan and Lateef Fatima. His father was a Muslim Pathan from Peshawar, Pakistan while his mother was from a Muslim family of Hyderabad, India.

Khan’s parents raised him with religious values and teachings of Islam. He attended St. Columba’s School in Central Delhi, a prestigious Christian missionary school. During his school days, Khan regularly offered namaz and read the Quran. His family celebrated both Hindu and Muslim festivals.

So Shahrukh Khan comes from a multi-faith family background exposed to both Islamic and Hindu traditions and teachings. But he primarily identified himself as a Muslim right from his childhood.

Shahrukh Khan’s Religious Identity

Shahrukh Khan openly identifies as a Muslim and has frequently talked about his Islamic faith. He incorporates traditions and practices of Islam into his daily life.

In several interviews, SRK has affirmed that he is a devout Muslim who believes in Allah and the teachings of the Quran. He occasionally reads the Quran and offers namaz five times a day when his schedule permits.

Khan once said, “I am a Muslim and I am an Indian, and I see no difference between the two identities.” He describes himself as a secular Muslim who respects all religions.

During film shoots, Khan makes special arrangements to offer namaz at required times. He even has a prayer room at his Mumbai residence Mannat.

In essence, Shahrukh Khan proudly upholds his Muslim identity through beliefs, rituals, and practices of Islam.

Shahrukh Khan’s Views on Islam

Even though Shahrukh Khan closely follows Islam, he considers himself a moderate and progressive Muslim. He has spoken about reforming outdated interpretations and adopting an inclusive, tolerant view of Islam.

In an interview, SRK asserted:

“I am a Muslim and I am an Indian, and I see no difference between the two. I believe in the teachings of Islam and I also respect other religions. The essence of Islam is peace, brotherhood and tolerance for people of all faiths.”

He follows a liberal and secular outlook of Islam accommodating other religious identities. Khan has memorably said:

“I am a Muslim, but I think there is no need for people to put up loudspeakers and scream. You are a Muslim from inside, God will understand.”

SRK interprets Islam as a religion of humanity, compassion and peaceful co-existence, rather than rigid rituals and dogmas. He embodies the spirit of progressive and reformed modern Islam.

Instances of Shahrukh Khan Promoting Religious Harmony

Consistent with his tolerant worldview, Shahrukh Khan has been involved in several initiatives and acts promoting inter-faith harmony and dialogue between religions.

Some notable examples include:

  • Donating to Hindu temples: As a gesture of goodwill, Shahrukh Khan donated ₹1.5 crore to a Kerala Hindu temple undergoing renovations in 2008. He makes donations to shrines and social causes across religions.
  • Celebrating all festivals: Khan’s family celebrates major Hindu festivals like Diwali along with Muslim celebrations like Eid. He conveys the message of brotherhood through these actions.
  • Speaking against extremism: After the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, Khan condemned religious extremism and called for reconciliation between faiths.
  • Supporting secularism: SRK has frequently advocated for a secular and pluralistic India that treats all religions equally. He staunchly opposes sectarianism.

Through these actions and statements, Shahrukh Khan continues to promote unity, understanding and respect between religious communities. He embodies inclusive Islamic values.

Shahrukh Khan’s Connection to Hinduism

While Shahrukh Khan identifies himself as a Muslim, he also feels a strong connection to Hinduism for several reasons:

  • His mother Lateef Fatima was a Hindu before marriage.
  • He would visit Hindu temples and shrines with his parents during childhood.
  • Khan follows some Hindu rituals and beliefs – like wearing rings to ward off evil, doing pooja on Diwali.
  • The Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata influenced him profoundly.
  • He celebrates Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali, etc, along with Muslim celebrations.
  • Most of his closest friends, colleagues and staff members are Hindu.
  • Khan believes in the philosophy of Hindustani – a blend of Hindu and Muslim cultures.

Though he is not a practicing Hindu, the religion’s teachings, values and customs hold a special significance in Shahrukh Khan’s personal life journey. He embodies religious pluralism and syncretism.

Controversies and Criticisms

Despite SRK’s efforts to build inter-faith understanding, he has faced controversies and criticism from time to time:

  • Links to Pakistan: Shahrukh Khan’s Islamic faith and ancestral roots in Pakistan have led to accusations of disloyalty and sedition by right-wing groups. He clarified that his work and patriotism for India is evidence of his national commitment.
  • Intolerance remarks: Khan’s comments in 2015 that there was “growing intolerance in India” created massive backlash from Hindu groups and the ruling BJP government. He had to clarify that he stands for India’s democracy and diversity.
  • Love Jihad: His marriage to Hindu wife Gauri Khan was labeled as “love jihad” – a conspiracy theory accusing Muslim men of marrying Hindu women for conversion. SRK dismissed it as fear-mongering propaganda.

Overall, Khan remains unfazed by controversies, maintaining that Islam teaches him to stand up for truth and justice. He continues to speak out against bigotry and extremism.

Gauri Khan’s Perspective on Religion

Shahrukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan was born in a Hindu Punjabi family. She continues to practice Hinduism and participate in related rituals and functions.

Commenting on the two faiths at home, Gauri says:

“We are a Hindu-Muslim family that celebrates all festivals. But we follow certain traditions at home that ground us. We observe Ramzan and also celebrate Diwali with rituals and traditions followed by my family. We visit the Ganpati temple as well as offer Namaz at home. The kids follow what we do.”

Gauri asserts they are raising their children with values from both faiths and openness towards all religions. Their aim is to nurture inclusive identities transcending divisions of caste or creed.

So while SRK is Muslim and Gauri is Hindu, they have built a progressive household that blends the two faiths harmoniously.

Shahrukh Khan’s Children and their Religious Identity

Shahrukh Khan and Gauri have three children – Aryan, Suhana and AbRam. The elder two were raised with influences from Islam and Hinduism, and taught to respect both faiths.

However, SRK has clarified that his children should themselves choose their religious identity once mature. He said:

“I will not decide what my children should or should not imbibe from my faith. They will grow up into responsible adults who know what is right or wrong.”

He wants his children to inherit universal human values, rather than rigid religious dogmas. Khan’s parenting reflects openness, tolerance and free thinking – allowing the children to shape their own belief systems.

Both Aryan and Suhana seem comfortable blending Muslim and Hindu cultures and festivals. AbRam is still young but being raised in the same pluralistic environment. Overall, SRK wants religion to act as an anchor of values, not boundaries for his children’s identity.

Table summarizing key aspects of SRK’s religious identity:

AspectDetails
Personal FaithIslam (Sunni sect)
Key PracticesOffers namaz, observes rozas, reads Quran
Spiritual OutlookProgressive, liberal, secular
Connection to HinduismRegards Hindu scriptures and festivals
PhilanthropyDonates to mandirs, madrasas, dargahs
Views on SecularismStaunch supporter of religious pluralism
Children’s UpbringingExposed to both faiths, free to choose

Conclusion

In conclusion, the analysis shows that Shahrukh Khan, despite growing up in a multi-faith environment, firmly self-identifies as a Muslim. His beliefs, rituals, donations and practices all align with Islam. However, SRK follows a liberal, progressive and secular version of Islam that promotes harmony and tolerance.

He has great regard for Hinduism’s teachings as well and celebrates major Hindu festivals. But he clearly identifies himself as a Muslim first, describing no conflict between his Islamic and Indian identities.

While SRK faced unfair criticism from Hindu right-wing groups, he continues to champion secularism and religious diversity as core constitutional values. Through his films, philanthropy and public messages, Khan constantly advocates for a pluralistic, inclusive India where all faiths are respected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which sect of Islam does Shahrukh Khan belong to?

Shahrukh Khan is a Sunni Muslim, which is the largest sect of Islam worldwide. He has not specified any particular Sunni sub-sect and follows mainstream Islamic beliefs and practices.

Does SRK offer namaz and keep rozas?

Yes, Khan has said he offers the mandatory namaz five times a day when his schedule permits. He observes fasting in the month of Ramzan as per Islamic traditions.

What are some of SRK’s favorite verses from the Quran?

In interviews, Khan has quoted Quranic verses like – “To you your religion, and to me mine.” (Surah Al-Kafirun) and “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (Surah Al-Baqarah). These reflect his progressive, tolerant Islamic outlook.

Has Shahrukh Khan performed Hajj in Mecca?

No, Khan has not yet completed the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca known as Hajj. He has expressed a desire to go for Hajj with his family someday.

Why does SRK celebrate Hindu festivals like Diwali and Holi?

Shahrukh Khan celebrates major Hindu festivals to respect the faith of his mother and wife Gauri. He also believes that participating in such festivals promotes religious harmony and brotherhood in India.

Why is SRK’s marriage to Gauri described as “love jihad” by some groups?

The false conspiracy theory of “love jihad” accuses Muslim men of marrying Hindu women solely to convert them forcibly to Islam. Hindu right-wing groups applied this propaganda to Khan’s interfaith marriage. SRK dismissed it as bigoted fear-mongering.

Has Shahrukh Khan faced threats from radical Islamic groups?

In 2010, Khan received threats from a radical Muslim group objecting to his stance on inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in IPL. He refused to be intimidated and participated in subsequent IPL seasons.

How does SRK respond to accusations of disloyalty for being Muslim?

Khan asserts his family’s long history in India, his nationalistic films and the fact that his earnings contribute to India’s taxes and economy as proof of his loyalty. He dismisses communal accusations.

Why did Hindu groups criticize SRK’s remark on “growing intolerance” in India?

SRK’s 2015 remark was made in context of violent attacks on intellectuals and rising communal politics. Some Hindu groups misconstrued it as attack on Hinduism and trolled him furiously.

Has Shahrukh spoken in favor of constructing the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya?

No, Khan has generally avoided contentious, politically charged religious issues. He believes India’s constitution should safeguard rights and liberties of all communities equally.

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