Why Did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Change His Name and Convert to Islam? Well, this is the question that is causing people’s minds to whirl these days. So, don’t worry; we’ll answer all of your queries. So, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is perhaps one of basketball’s most well-known figures. The six-time NBA MVP and a record 19-time NBA All-Star was a key element of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime Era, during which the team won numerous titles and established itself as one of the most successful in the league. The drama series ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ depicts this period in LA Lakers history.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a key character in the series, and his contribution to the team’s success is fully highlighted. However, the series barely skims over Abdul-past, Jabbar’s leaving much to the imagination of the viewer. The fifth episode delves into Abdul-decision Jabbar’s to convert to Islam and change his given name to the one that has become synonymous with the Lakers’ Showtime Era. Here’s everything you need to know about the reasoning for these decisions if you’re curious!
Why Did Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr Change His Name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Convert to Islam?
Why Did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Change His Name and Convert to Islam? Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr, known as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was born on April 16, 1947, in Harlem, New York. Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr and Cora Lillian are his parents. Ferdinand’s father worked as a transit police officer and a jazz musician, while his mother worked as a price checker in a department shop. Ferdinand became interested in basketball throughout high school and was unusually tall for his age. Ferdinand enrolled at UCLA and played basketball for the Bruins after setting numerous school records. His undergraduate career set him on the path to becoming a celebrity.
Ferdinand converted to Islam and changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during his stint as a college basketball player. Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr converted to Islam in 1971, at the age of 24, and adopted the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (which typically means the noble one, servant of the Almighty). Abdul-Jabbar has defined his decision to change his religion and name as a spiritual one in the years since converting to Islam. However, in an article for Al Jazeera America, Abdul-Jabbar finally spoke out about his decision in detail.
Why Did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Change His Name and Convert to Islam? Abdul-Jabbar began to feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied as his superstar profile grew. After reading Malcolm X’s autobiography during his junior year, Abdul-Jabbar was affected. Malcolm X considered Christianity as a cornerstone of white civilization that was responsible for the slavery of African Americans, thereby supporting racism in society. Islam, on the other hand, aided Malcolm X in discovering his true self and fighting societal injustice. Thus, Abdul-Jabbar began studying the Quran after being inspired by Malcolm X, eventually leading to his conversion to Islam under the supervision of Hammas Abdul-Khaalis.
According to Abdul-Jabbar, his surname “Alcindor” was derived from a French plantation in the West Indies that was the master of many of his forefathers. He believed that continuing to use the name of his family’s slave master was a disgrace to his ancestors. In the piece, Abdul-Jabbar added, “The adopting of a new name was a pure extension of all my rejection of the things in my life that related to the captivity of my family and people.” As a result, he finally changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-decision Jabbar’s to convert to Islam is ultimately motivated by his desire for spiritual awakening. The name change symbolizes Abdul-deep Jabbar’s devotion to Islam as well as his pride in his ethnic heritage.