A. R. Rahman, the Mozart of Music, the legendary singer, and the breathtaking composer who turned 54 this week opened up on why he embraced Islam and what made him do it.
Very few know that AR Rahman was born as Dileep Kumar in 1967, in Chennai, to music composer father RK Shekhar.
A. R. Rahman changed his name from Dileep Kumar after embracing Islam just days before the release of his first major project, Roja.
Rahman once said in an interview, “It’s not about converting to Islam, it’s about finding the spot and seeing whether it presses the button in you.”
He said, “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.”
Rahman added that, “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!,”
In 2010, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third-highest civilian award. Among Rahman’s awards are six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Filmfare Awards and seventeen Filmfare Awards South.