When AS Dileep Kumar decided to shed the faith he was born into and adopt a new one, the reasons were several.
“Sometime before we started on our journey on the path of Sufism, we went to an astrologer to show him my younger sister’s horoscope because my mother wanted to get her married. This was around the same time when I was keen to change my name and have a new identity. The astrologer looked at me and said, ‘This chap is very interesting.” He suggested the names: “Abdul Rahman” and “Abdul Rahim” and said that either name would be good for me. I instantly loved the name “Rahman.” It was a Hindu astrologer who gave me my Muslim name.”
Today, April 12, marks the second annual Muslim world music day, commemorating the aural history of Islam from such diverse regions as North America, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, among others. The day was conceived by the Archive of Contemporary Music in New York (ARC), and is also a project of Columbia University.
Here are some links to the expansive collection of Muslim music archives and recordings:
Below is a video taken in Cappadocia, Turkey, at a Sema (whirling dervishes ceremony), and is the inspiration of Mevlana Rumi, the revered mystical Sufi poet. The instruments used include the kudüm drums, the tanbur long-necked plucked lute, and the ney, an end-blown flute.