It goes without a doubt that AR Rahman is one of the finest musicians in our country. He has kept all of going through tough times with the help of his soothing music. But do you know, he too has a painful story of struggle and has climbed the ladder of success, one step at a time?
The Oscar-winner is one of the very few who has actually put India on the global map in the world of music. However, besides his music, his conversion to Islam remains a topic of discussion even today. Continue reading further to know why did the musician embrace Islam?
AR Rahman was born Dileep Kumar, but embraced Islam, along with his family, sometime after the death of his father, music composer RK Shekhar, and sometime before the release of his first major project, Roja. His friend Trilok Nair had told Krishna Trilok in his authorised biography, Notes of a Dream, that Rahman’s mother Kareema Begum had insisted on changing his name in the film‘s credits at the last minute.
AR Rahman said, “It was a pretty big request to make so late in the day, but she was particular about it. She said it really, really mattered to her personally. In fact, she would’ve rather not had his name appear at all, than not have his new name appear on the credits.”
Rahman doesn’t believe in imposing his religious beliefs on others. He once told Hindustan Times Brunch in an interview, “You can’t impose anything. You can’t ask your son or daughter to not take history ‘coz it’s boring, and to take economics instead, or science. It’s a personal choice.”
AR Rahman said that many people ask him if they would become successful in converting to Islam, but he prefers to keep quiet. “It’s not about converting to Islam; it’s about finding the spot and seeing whether it presses the button in you. The spiritual teachers, the Sufi teachers, taught me and my mom things that are very, very special. There are special things in every faith, and this is the one we chose. And we stand by it.”
He added, “Prayer has been extremely beneficial. It has saved me from many falls. In between prayers, I think, ‘Oh, I have to pray, so I can’t do this mischief’. People from other faiths do the same thing and are peaceful too. For me, this works!”