Muslim Bollywood actors with Hindu names– Indian Film Industry commonly known by the people as Bollywood has always been a popular film industry. To much of our surprise, even a huge film industry of Hollywood was taken aback by Bollywood in 2001. The latter sold more tickets worldwide than the former.
Perhaps, the reason for its fame is the ethnic diversity of singers, producers, directors, actors, and actresses. The Bollywood film industry does not only have Hindus in it, but it also has Muslims, Christians, and people of other regional, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
It is not an exceptional case to see Muslim actors in Bollywood. However, many well-known and popular actors have worked in Bollywood under a Hindu name. Even the world did not know that they were Muslims. The famous and top-paid actors such as Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar, Tabu and so many others are examples of it.
List of the Muslim Bollywood Actors with Hindu Names:
There is a long list of Muslim actors working in Bollywood. However, this article precisely comprises Muslim Bollywood actors who have an Indian name.
|Real Name||On-Screen Name|
|1||Mahjabeen Bano||Meena Kumari|
|2||Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi||Madhubala|
|3||Muhammad Yusuf Khan||Dilip Kumar|
|5||Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery||Jagdeep|
|7||Hamid Ali Khan||Ajit|
|8||Shah Abbas Khan||Sanjay|
|12||Dilnawaz Shaikh||Manyata Dutt|
1 – Meena Kumari (Mahjabeen Bano):
A Sunni Muslim, Mahjabeen Bano, was indeed a beautiful Indian actress who captivated the hearts and attention of millions of people. Not only her reel life, but her real-life also had many downfalls which entitled her as the Tragedy Queen. She started her acting career when she was only 4. Meena was the only bread earner of her family; she faced many sufferings throughout her life.
Meena married an Indian producer, Kamal Amrohi. Her marriage did not go well due to her sickness and other marital issues. She finally died from liver cirrhosis at the early age of 39 on 31 March 1972. Meena appeared in around 92 films such as Baiju Bawra, Kaajal, Parineeta, Do Bigha Zamin, Azaad, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. Pakeezah was her top film in which she made her appearance with Raaj Kumar.
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The reason behind why she changed her name was that Vijay Bhatt, the director of Farzande Watan, named her Baby Meena for his movie. However, when she grew up, she became popular as Meena Kumari.
2 – Madhubala (Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi)
An ethereal and mythical beauty, Madhubala was born in a Pashtun Muslim family. Even till now, she is referred to as the most beautiful and iconic actress of Bollywood. She had around 11 siblings and 4 out of them died. When her father lost his job, he relocated his family to Mumbai where Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi signed her first film.
After working as a successful child actress, a fellow actress, Devika Rani asked Mumtaz to change her name to Madhubala and so she did. She became popular to the point where she started to get film offers from Hollywood.
The actress is often referred to as “The Beauty with Tragedy” due to her life tragedies. Her most famous movies are Kala Pani, Howrah Bridge, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Baghi Sipahi, Barsaat Ki Raat, and Mughal-e-Azam. She appeared with famous co-stars such as Raj Kapoor, Rehman, Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, and Pradeep Kumar.
3 – Dilip Kumar (Muhammad Yusuf Khan)
The “King of tragedy” or the “First Khan” reigned over the Indian cinema due to his ubiquitous performance. However, he was born in an area of Peshawar in a Muslim family.
He mostly played serious roles and hence he was known as the King of Tragedy. He worked in more than 64 movies and made himself one of the most famous Bollywood actors. His finest movies such as Mughal e Azam, Devdas, Madhumati, Naya Daur, Azaad, etc, made him the center of attraction.
He changed his name from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar because of his father who did not appreciate his acting career. Other than that, his friend, Devika Rani also supported him to change his name and opt for a Hindu name.
4 – Arjun (Firoz Khan)
Arjun Firoz Khan was born in a Muslim family. As an Indian actor, he has appeared in many films. However, he picked the name Arjun from his screen name Arjuna in Mahabharat.
The reason why he changed his name from Arjun to Firoz Khan was the bias he faced by producers due to his name. So he was suggested to opt for a Hindu name and as a result, he soon got everything he ever dreamt of.
His famous movies are Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Swayam Krushi, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Mohabbat, and others.
5 – Jagdeep (Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery)
Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery, a later famous comedic actor was born into a Muslim family. He started working for small roles. Later, he became a child artist and performed in movies like Afsan, Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Munna, Aar Paar, Do Bigha Zamin, and Hum Panchhi Ek Daal Ke.
Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffery soon became famous from the name Jagdeep and established his career as a comedian after the movie Brahmachari. He worked in famous movies like Sholay, Gali Gali Chor Hai, Masti Nahi Sasti, Life Partner, Rohan’s client, etc.
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6 – Jayant (Zakaria Khan)
The famous actor of movies like Amar, Nazneen, and Memdidi namely Zakaria Khan was born into a Muslim family in Peshawar. He was later named Jayant due to his first film in which the producer and director Vijay Bhatt named him from Zakaria Khan to Jayant.
Later on, he started to play read roles in movies such as Bombay Mail, Challenge, His Highness, and State Express. Moreover, he was the father of the famous actor Amjad Khan, Gabbar Singh from the movie Sholay, who is considered an all-time iconic villain of Hindi Cinema.
7 – Ajit (Hamid Ali Khan)
Another Khan of Bollywood, Ajit Khan whose real name was Hamid Ali Khan has worked in more than 400 films. Ajit was an iconic Hindi villain.
He was famous for his dialogue delivery. Ajit also worked in a lead role in movies like Nastik, Bara-Dari, Bada Bhai, Milan. His work as a second lead role in movies like Mughal e Azam is also remarkable. He was asked to change his name from Hamid Ali Khan and shorten it by the director K. Amarnath. So he shortened his name to Ajit.
8 – Sanjay (Shah Abbas Khan)
Sanjay Khan, a famous actor, director, and producer was born into a Muslim family. He started his career in the small role of a soldier from the movie Haqeeqat. Later on, Sanjay flourished his career by working in more movies like Dosti, Dus Lakh, Intaqam, Ek Phool Do Maali, and Dhund.
He worked as a director alongside Zeenat Aman and Raj Kapoor. Sanjay has received many awards and he is still successful in his career.
9 – Nimmi (Nawab Bano)
The leading actress of Indian cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, Nimmi, was born into a Muslim Family of Agra. Her real name was Nawab Bano. She was really young when she appeared in the movie Barsaat. After the movie Barsaat, young beauty was flooded by many film offers.
Nimmi worked in movies like Banwara, Sazaa, Aandhiyan, Deedar, and Daag. She worked with many famous co-stars such as Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Madhubala, Meena Kumari, etc. Nimmi was also a famous singer.
10 – Shyama (Khurshid Akhtar)
Shyama, a Hindu or Sanskrit name that means “Dark, blue and black” often refers to the Hindu Gods. However, Khurshid Akhtar, who was a Muslim and was born into a Muslim family opted for this name. She started her career at the early age of 10 years.
Since the earliest times of Bollywood, actors belonging to minorities have tried to adjust to the growing film industry of India. One method of doing so was to opt for a Hindu name in a country where Hindus are in Majority. Shyama changed her name at the request of director Vijay Bhatt and she opted for the name Shyama and left her real name behind.
11 – Tabu (Tabassum Hashmi)
Tabassum Fatima Hashmi, an Indian actress was born into a Muslim family in Hyderabad, India. She appeared in many famous movies such as Hum Sath Sath Hain, Chachi 420, Hera Pheri, Sanju, and many more.
She belongs to educated family background. However, she chose Bollywood due to the immense interest she had in acting. Tabu has worked with many famous co-stars such as Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty, Ajay Devgan, Salman Khan, and many others.
12 – Manyata Dutt (Dilnawaz Shaikh)
Manyata Dutt who was born in a Muslim family worked as an actress in Bollywood. She changed her name from Dilnawaz Shaikh to Manyata after her movie deshdrohi. The actress later married Sanjay Dutt and is currently married to him with two sons. Her famous movies are Sanju and Gangajal.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do Bollywood Muslim actors change their names?
Even though India is a religiously, and ethnically diverse country, Hindus remain there in Majority. Hindus and Muslims have had religious clashes since the beginning of time. Due to political and religious clashes, it becomes difficult for a Muslim to make an impact on the Bollywood industry. Therefore, some actors/actresses have changed their faith while others have opted for a Hindu name.
Q. How many Bollywood actors are Muslim?
Bollywood is full of Muslim actors; even the top-ranked actors in India such as Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan are themselves Muslims. Huma Qureshi, Ayesha Takia, and Zarine Khan are a few other Muslim actresses working in Bollywood successfully.
Q. Who are the Top-Paid Actors in India?
Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan are the top-paid actors of India without any doubt.