Manchester United star, Paul Pogba, has revealed that he quizzed himself over a lot of things before deciding to adopt Islam as his religion of choice.
Although his mother, Yeo Moriba Pogba, did not raise the 26-year-old as Muslim- notwithstanding the fact that she practices the religion- Pogba made a pilgrimage to Mecca in May, and claims he feels ‘more peaceful inside’ since he turned to Islam.
According to the midfielder, a turbulent period in his life triggered him to research the religion, and he believes that the ultimate decision to join his friends and practice Islam is helping him become a better person.
Pogba explained what the religion means to him now on The Times’ new Life Times podcast: ‘It’s everything. That’s what makes me thankful for everything.
‘It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.
‘It was a good change in my life because I wasn’t born a Muslim, even if my mum was. I just grew up like that, respect for everyone.
‘Islam is not the image that everyone sees – terrorism… What we hear in the media is really something else. (Islam is) something beautiful.
‘You get to know it. Anybody can find that he feels connected with Islam.’
Once a year, more than two million Muslims embark on a journey, known as Hajj, to stand before the holy building of the Kaaba in the Saudi Arabian city and praise Allah; and Pogba – along with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma – made the pilgrimage last month.
The former Juventus player further explained: ‘It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk.
‘I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good.
‘Since that day I just carried on. You have to pray five times a day, that’s one of the pillars of Islam. It’s something that you do.
‘The meaning why you do it – you ask forgiveness and be thankful for everything you have, like my health and everything.
‘It’s really a religion that opened my mind and that makes me, maybe, a better person. You think more about the afterlife.
‘This life has a test. Like when I’m with you, here. Even if you’re not a Muslim, you are a normal human. You have a human relationship and respect you for who you are, what religion you are, what colour and everything.
‘Islam is just this – respect of the humanity and everything.’