In an interview back in 2009 Music maestro, Allah-Rakha Rahman popularly known as A.R. Rehman talked about his journey of discovering himself and how he adopted the Islamic religion.
In his own words, Rehman described his very special and emotional journey and explained that though he never had any problem with it, he never connected with his Hindu name Dilip Kumar and how he faced a severe identity crisis as a kid.
Explaining from the start, Rehman said,
“I was born in a Hindu family but the society where I spent most of my childhood had a majority of Muslim-Indian residents. So, I have been able to enjoy the perks and rituals followed by both the communities.”
He further added that his family has always taught him to welcome people and values from all religions and that was one of the biggest reason why he converted to Islam.
Rahman in length spoke about discovering himself via music how at the tender age of 13 he would work with people who were 50 and learn whatever he could from them.
His father’s untimely death had thrown him into tough circumstances as he became the sole breadwinner for his family.
Never backing away from any challenge, Rahman accepted his fate and happily accepted the work that came to him and kept on creating jingles for advertisements.
During this time he would work with people who were more than double his age and with their learning, got deeper into music.
He explained that deeper he got into music but still faced an identity crisis, you see Rehman’s mother was a spiritual woman and was the person who instilled a lot of spiritual qualities in Reham.
It was during this search for a spiritual identity that Rahman connected well with Sufism as ” the Sufi path lifted” both him and his mother.
Rahman’s relation with it can clearly be seen and felt in all his music and make one understand why he decided to adopt Islam.
He also states that India has its own rich culture and doesn’t need a different culture.
“Beyond everything, it is the thought that God is one. Whether you are a winner or a loser, dark or light God will shower his love on you so it didn’t matter to me if I was a Hindu or a Muslim.”
Here is what Rehman said in the interview.