Rakhi or Fatima? Indian artist addresses criticism upon return from Umrah
Rakhi Sawant, who first stepped foot in the entertainment circuit in the 2000s, has been the talk of the town more so than usual with her trip to Makkah for the holy pilgrimage of Umrah. The actor was reportedly subjected to plenty of ridicule for her trip and has now returned to Mumbai with a grand floral welcome.
As she exited the airport gates dressed in white abaya, Rakhi was met with a myriad of paparazzi waiting for her arrival. Amid the chaos, she took time to answer some questions, beginning with correcting the crowd when they addressed her as Rakhi. Instead, she insisted that she was now to be addressed as Fatimah after her pilgrimage.
Photographers quickly obliged and began referring to her as the latter, as a video shared by Viral Bhayani reveals. In an article by India Today, it was revealed that a reporter asked if she had changed her name on her documents as well, to which she reportedly replied, “God made me just like this. He loves me just how I am. He doesn’t need me to change documents or my name.”
Upon this revelation, Indian media began raising questions about whether the actor had converted to Islam, to which she responded, “Meine Muslim mein shadi kari thi, nikkah kiya tha toh isiliye jab aap nikkah karlete hain toh aap Islam kabool karlete hain – eik saal se mein shadi-shuda hoon Adil ke sath (I married a Muslim man and when you marry a Muslim then you also convert to Islam – I have been married to Adil for a year now).”
She went on to continue, “Aap log mujhe bolte hain – jo paidaishi musalman ho kar mandir jate hain, Vaishno Devi jate hain; aap oun ko kuch nahi bolte. Agar eik Hindu larki Kaabah sharif chali gayi aur Khuda se mera bulawa aya toh aap logon ne toh zalzala macha diya…mein ye kehna chah rahi hoon, doston, ke mein bohat khush naseeb hoon ke mera bulawa aya (You all don’t say anything to Muslims who go to Hindu places of worship. If a Hindu girl is summoned by God to visit the Kaabah, then cause all this ruckus. Friends, I am trying to say that I am very lucky to have been called [to Umrah]).”
The Indian celebrity had ignited a social media frenzy with her recent spiritual expedition to the holy cities of Makkah and Medina. The reality television star shared her journey of performing Umrah, the sacred Islamic pilgrimage, with her followers on Instagram. However, while some sent good wishes her way, others, such as social media influencer Mathira, criticised her for misusing religion in the name of “drama” and questioned the authenticity of her faith.