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