The American singer Michael Jackson has converted to Islam, the Sun newspaper reported over the weekend, according to Ha`aretz.
The 50-year-old pop star, who changed his name to Mikaeel, pledged allegiance to the Koran at a friend`s house in Los Angeles. An Imam was summoned from a nearby mosque to hold the shahada, the declaration of belief in Allah and Mohammed`s prophecy.
An associate said that Jackson chose his new name, which is the name of one of Allah`s angels, after rejecting another Muslim name, Mustafa, which means "the chosen one."
Last week, he sold his multimillion California estate, Neverland Ranch, to cover his debts. He is also facing a lawsuit by a Bahrain prince, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who alleges he gave Jackson $2.2 million after he was acquitted of child molestation in 2007.