Exploring Sam Asghari's religion as Britney Spears baby news breaks

Bruno Cooke April 12, 2022
Exploring Sam Asghari's religion as Britney Spears baby news breaks
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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News that Britney Spears is expecting a baby with personal trainer Sam Asghari broke yesterday, after nearly six years together. Additionally, Spears used the word “husband” in her Instagram announcement, prompting curiosity about what kind of wedding they’ll have or whether they’ve already wed away from the prying eyes of the “paps”.

Some have speculated Sam Asghari identifies as Muslim, but he hasn’t confirmed that. We explore what could be his religion and how it might have an effect on his nuptials with Britney.

What is Sam Asghari’s religion?

Iranian personal trainer and actor Sam Asghari’s religion has been subject to some debate since he rose to prominence in the late 2010s, especially via his attachment to Britney Spears.

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Asghari is from Tehran, Iran. He travelled to the US when he was 12 years old, leaving three of his sisters behind, along with his mother. His father was already in America – they hadn’t seen each other for five years, he told Forbes in May this year.

“It was definitely a culture shock, coming out here with a completely different language to speak. I didn’t speak a word of English and it was a weird age.”

He has not confirmed whether or not he is religious. Some, however, have speculated that he is a Muslim, encouraged by surveys that report a very large majority of Iranians identify as Muslims. Most Iranian Muslims associate with Shia Islam, rather than Sunni Islam.

He may be from Iran, but that doesn’t mean Asghari identifies as Muslim

Evidence of such includes a 2016 Pew Research Center survey (which found 99.8% identify as Muslim), the 2011 Iranian government census (99.38%) and a 2020 World Value Survey (96.5%).

Focus on Iran on the Map. Source: “World reference atlas”

However, a poll conducted by Netherlands-based research centre GAMAAN reported much lower percentages

Using online polling, which provides greater anonymity for respondents, the survey (of 50,000 Iranians) found that only 32% identified as Shia. The survey reported that 22.2% of respondents did not identify as having a religion at all.

Iran is an Islamic Republic – conversion from Islam (known as apostasy) is punishable by death, and atheists are not recognised by the state. As a result, government censuses are likely to be skewed in Islam’s favour.

Moreover, Sam Asghari’s migration to the US throws any claims regarding his religion – Muslim or not – into further uncertainty.

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How religion could affect Sam Asghari’s and Britney Spears’ wedding

It is uncertain what Sam Asghari’s religion is – or if he is religious at all – but what about Britney Spears?

Spears announced in August this year that she had become a member of the Catholic Church. She was raised as a Southern Baptist in Louisiana, according to HuffPost, and studied the Kabbalah – a Jewish text – for a period. 

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Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

According to the Qur’an (5:5), Muslim men can marry women from the People of the Book – i.e., Christians, Jews and Sabians

So if Asghari is Muslim and Spears is Catholic, their marriage will not contravene the Islamic principles of sharia law. Of course, if he is not religious, then sharia law is of no matter to the couple.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.