AR Rahman on why he embraced Islam but wouldn’t want to impose it on anyone else.


AR Rahman is one of the many artists who has a painful story of struggle and hs 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.

AR Rahman was born Dileep Kumar, but embraced Islam, along with his family, some time after the death of his father, music composer RK Shekhar, and some time 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. He 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.”

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