The American singer Michael Jackson has converted to Islam, the Sun newspaper reported over the weekend.
The 50-year-old pop star, who changed his name to Mikaeel, pledged allegiance to the Koran at a friend's house in Los Angeles. An Imam was summoned from a nearby mosque to hold the shahada, the declaration of belief in Allah and Mohammed's prophecy.
An associate said that Jackson chose his new name, which is the name of one of Allah's angels, after rejecting another Muslim name, Mustafa, which means "the chosen one."
Last week, he sold his multimillion California estate, Neverland Ranch, to cover his debts. He is also facing a lawsuit by a Bahrain prince, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who alleges he gave Jackson $2.2 million after he was acquitted of child molestation in 2007.
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