Actor Zaira Wasim on Sunday announced that she has quit films. “Though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here,” the Kashmir-born actor wrote on Facebook, adding that she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion.

“Five years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever,” said Wasim who shot to fame with her first film Dangal. “As I stepped my foot in Bollywood, it opened doors of massive popularity for me. I started to become the prime candidate of public attention, I was projected as the gospel of the idea of success and was often identified as a role model for the youth. However, that’s never something that I set out to do or become, especially with regards to my ideas of success and failure, which I had just started to explore and understand.”

The 18-year-old actor said she felt like she was struggling to become someone else. “This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, and applause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, as I silently and unconsciously transitioned out of ‘imaan’ (faith),” she said. “While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my ‘imaan’, my relationship with my religion was threatened. I was constantly battling with my soul to reconcile my thoughts and instincts to fix a static picture of my ‘imaan’ and I failed miserably, not just once but a hundred times...”

Wasim said she began to heavily rely upon Allah’s mercy for help and guidance. “I discovered my lack of knowledge of the basic fundamentals of my religion and how my inability to reinforce a change earlier was a result of confusing my heart’s contentment and well being with strengthening and satisfying my own (shallow and worldly) desires,” she said.

The actor said success was the accomplishment of the purpose of one’s creation. “We have forgotten the purpose we were created for as we ignorantly continue to pass through our lives; deceiving our conscience,” she added.

Wasim said life was too short yet too long to be at war with oneself. “I may have consciously or unconsciously planted a seed of temptation in the hearts of many, but my sincere advice to everyone is that no amount of success, fame, authority or wealth is worth trading or losing your peace or the light of your ‘imaan’ for,” she said.

Wasim will be next seen in The Sky is Pink in which she will play a character based on motivational speaker Aisha Choudhary, who has pulmonary fibrosis. The movie stars Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar. Directed by Shonali Bose, the film is scheduled to be released on October 11.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted on Sunday after Wasim’s announcement, saying it was “her life to do with as she pleases”. “Who are we to question her choices?” he asked, and wished her the best.