Raised in the Islamic faith, Zayn Malik admits he no longer considers himself a Muslim, with the former One Direction singer opening up about matters of faith and spirituality in a new interview with British Vogue.
In the interview, the 25 year-old-pop star says that while he considers himself spiritual, he isn’t a practicing Muslim.
“To be honest, I’ve never spoken publicly about what my religious beliefs are,” he tells the magazine. “I’m not professed to be a Muslim.”
Asked whether he calls himself a Muslim, he answers: “No, I wouldn’t. I believe whatever people’s religious beliefs are is between them and whoever or whatever they’re practising. For me, I have a spiritual belief of, there is a god. Do I believe there’s a hell? No.”
However, he says he’s reluctant to discuss matters of religion publicly. “I just want to keep it between me and whatever I believe,” he explains. “I feel like that makes me move through life in a nice way. If I behave well, I will get treated well. That’s it. I don’t believe you need to eat a certain meat that’s been prayed over a certain way, I don’t believe you need to read a prayer in a certain language five times a day. I don’t believe any of it. I just believe if you’re a good person everything is going to go right for you.”
While some people find it difficult to walk away from the religion in which they were raised, Malik says that wasn’t the case for him, admitting it was “really easy for me. With my mum and dad, they were always there to educate us — I did go to mosque, I did study Islam — but they gave us the option so you could choose for yourself.”
Still, he’s glad to have that religious instruction during his formative years. “There’s definitely beautiful parts to every religion,” he says.
You can read Zayn Malik’s interview in its entirety in the December issue of British Vogue.