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Actress Zaira Wasim quits the movies as she felt her faith was 'threatened'

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The decision of the Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017) actress stunned film fans.

Our Correspondent

In a surprise move that shocked film fans, actress Zaira Wasim, who shot to fame with her roles in Aamir Khan's Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017), announced her decision to quit the profession.

Zaira cited her relationship with her religion, Islam, as the reason for her step. Zaira had made her acting debut playing the younger version of wrestler Geeta Phogat in Dangal. She had then bagged the lead in Aamir Khan's production Secret Superstar (2017) and was acclaimed for her performance.

Zaira announced her decision in a lengthy Facebook post. She said the decision she took five years ago to enter the movies had changed her life. She got recognition and love from the audience and support from the film fraternity. However, deep down she felt she did not belong even though she had fitted in.

"As I complete five years today, I want to confess that I am not truly happy with this identity i.e. my line of work. For a very long time now it has felt like I have struggled to become someone else. As I had just started to explore and make sense of the things to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grab hold of a new lifestyle, it was only for me to realise that though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here," read an excerpt from her post. 

The main point of the National award-winning Kashmiri actress was that she felt her faith was being 'threatened' by her profession.

"While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened. As I continued to ignorantly pass through while I kept trying to convince myself that what I was doing is okay and isn’t really affecting me, I lost all the Barakah from my life. Barakat is a word whose meaning isn't just confined to happiness, quantity or blessing, it also focuses on the idea of stability, which is something I struggled with extensively," she wrote. 

"I kept procrastinating by tricking and deluding my conscience into the idea that I know what I am doing doesn’t feel right but assumed that I will put an end to this whenever the time feels right and I continued to put myself in a vulnerable position where it was always so easy to succumb to the environment that damaged my peace, imaan and my relationship with Allah," she said. 

Last year, Zaira had admitted in another lengthy post on Instagram that she had been battling depression for four years but had been pushed into "a bubble of denial". About six months prior to that, Zaira had been in the news for accusing a co-passenger on a flight of sexual harassment. At that time, Zaira had been supported by most of the film industry but many others had also felt she was making a mountain out of a molehill and misusing her celebrity status.

Zaira said today that the Quran came to her rescue and she found solace in it. "In the great and divine wisdom of the Quran, I found sufficiency and peace. Indeed the heart finds peace when it acquires the knowledge of Its Creator, His Attributes, His Mercy and His commandments. I began to heavily rely upon Allah’s mercy for my help and guidance instead of valuing my own believability," she said. 

Elaborating on her decision, the actress continued, "This journey has been exhausting, to battle my soul for so long. Life is too short yet too long to be at war with oneself. Therefore, today I arrive at this well-grounded decision and I officially declare my disassociation with this field." 

Zaira also quoted a few verses of the Quran to justify her decision. Interestingly, her character in Secret Superstar battles her conservative father in order to pursue her dream to be a singer.

Zaira Wasim will be seen next in The Sky Is Pink, which is also a real-life drama and is due to be released on 11 October.