There are some clues that perhaps Michael Jackson had indeed embraced Islam:
- His older brother, Jermaine, has been a Muslim for the past 20 years and has spoken publicly about his faith. He reportedly talked to his brother about Islam and was hoping that he might convert. When announcing his brother's death, Jermaine commented, "May Allah be with you, Michael, always."
- In 2005-06, Jackson spent nearly a year living in the Muslim country of Bahrain.
- In November 2008, several news agencies reported that Michael Jackson had embraced Islam in a brief ceremony in Los Angeles. Both the Telegraph and NY Post tabloids ran stories about the conversion.
The Canadian Muslim singer Dawud Wharnsby Ali posted on his blog the following clarification: "Though our professional circles did cross-over slightly with various common professional acquaintances - I never had the honour or pleasure of meeting Michael Jackson personally, nor did we ever correspond on matters of our professions, personal lives or faiths."In the end, only God knows the intentions of people's hearts, and He Alone is the One to judge.
Jackson's family has taken his body to a private funeral home, are awaiting an independent autopsy, and arrangements for his burial are confidential at this time. Michael Jackson's recently-released will, dated in 2002, does not mention any burial wishes. If the family believes that Jackson was indeed a Muslim, then he would presumably be buried in an Islamic burial ceremony (janazah). Such plans are not known or announced at this time.
Photo: Michael Jackson at a 1983 awards ceremony in London (Dave Hogan/Getty Images)