US comedian Dave Chappelle on conversion to Islam, visit to Saudi Arabia Zamzam well

Dave Chappelle is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP)

Top American comedian Dave Chappelle revealed the moment that led to his conversion to Islam, as well as his experience at the holy Zamzam well in Saudi Arabia, during an interview this week.

Chappelle, 47, was asked about being a Muslim by prominent talk show host David Letterman in his new Netflix show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”

Read more: Saudi Arabia allows Umrah gradually from October 4

Chappelle said his conversion to the Islamic faith happened at 17 years old, when he was living in Washington, DC, across the street from a pizza shop with a Muslim employee.

“I would ask him questions about his religion and the guy was so passionate about it, it was very compelling. I liked the perspective of [Islam] and I think these things informed my decision: that I wanted to have a meaningful life, a spiritual life,” said Chappelle.

Will Smith, left, and Dave Chapelle wait for the start of a middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP)

Will Smith, left, and Dave Chapelle wait for the start of a middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP)

Chappelle, arguably one of the most talented stand-up comedians in the US, is also an actor and producer who most recently starred in the movie “A Star is Born.”

Chappelle said that the way Islam is presented in the public space in the United States is “such a narrow and dismissive view of a religious belief.”

Read more: Saudi Arabia condemns Prophet cartoons, rejects attempts linking Islam to terrorism

“It’s a beautiful religion. A beautiful religion. And the ideas in that religion are reflected in all the major Abrahamic faiths. You’ll see these ideas in Christianity and Judaism,” he said.

Zamzam well in Saudi Arabia

Chappelle also described visiting the holy Zamzam well in Saudi Arabia, located about 20 meters away from the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Muslim pilgrims drink Zamzam water at the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 8, 2016. (Reuters)

Muslim pilgrims drink Zamzam water at the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 8, 2016. (Reuters)

In Islam, it is known for being the well where the angel Gabriel made water appear from underneath the ground in order to refresh the wife of the prophet Ibrahim Hajar, and their son Ismail who had run out of food and water.

Chappelle, whose first son is named Ibrahim, said the well is a source of comfort to him.

“The thing that comforts me about it is the idea that all of this is from a singular source. That this source is ultimately kind, and even though we may not understand the intentions of this source, we’re all connected,” said Chappelle.

Muslim pilgrims drink Zamzam water before the Friday prayer inside the Grand Mosque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. (AP)

Muslim pilgrims drink Zamzam water before the Friday prayer inside the Grand Mosque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. (AP)

Read more:

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Last Update: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 KSA 12:16 - GMT 09:16
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