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No intention to offend anyone: A.R. Rahman on blasphemy controversy


Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman said on Monday that his “decision” to compose the music for the movie “Muhammad: The Messenger of God”, “was in good faith” with no intentions to offend any religious group.

Reacting to fatwa being issued against him over the film the musician refrained from sharing his “spiritual experiences” of working on the film as it’s something “personal” to him.

“This letter is for all those people, who have been aware of the recent events concerning me. I’m not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part of traditionalist and part rationalist.

“I live in the western and eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them. I didn’t direct or produce the movie ‘Muhammad (PBUH), Messenger Of God.’. I just did the music.

“My spiritual experiences of working on the film are very personal and I would prefer not to share these,” Rahman shared through a letter posted on his official Facebook account.

According to reports, a fatwa was issued against Rahman and well-known Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi for their involvement on the movie on the life Prophet Muhammed. A Mumbai-based Raza Academy issued a diktat asking Muslims to reject the film.

As per a news report, the group’s general secretary Mohammed Saeed Noori said: “We are against the title. People may use it in a bad manner if they don’t like the film, which will mean an insult to the Prophet.”

The musician, who is known as the ‘Mozart of Madras’, also noted that his decision to make music for the film was in good faith.

“My decision to compose the music for this film was made in good faith with no intentions of causing offence,” he shared.

Rahman, who has hit the right notes with each of his compositions with examples like “O rey chhori” and “Tum tak”, went on to add that the conflict should be solved with grace and dignity, rather than resorting to violent methods.

“We are indeed fortunate and blessed to live in a country like India where religious freedom is practiced and where the aim of all communities is to live in peace and harmony sans confusion and violence.

“Let us set a precedent in clearing conflict with grace and dignity and not trigger violence in words or actions,” he added.

It was also speculated that an event, which was schedule to be held in Delhi on Sunday, was cancelled due to the fatwa fallout.

This letter is for all those people, who have been aware of the recent events concerning me. I’m not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part of traditionalist and part rationalist

I live in the western and eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them

I didn’t direct or produce the movie Muhammad (PBUH), Messenger Of God.” I just did the music. My spiritual experiences of working on the film are very personal and I would prefer not to share these.

Mr. Noori, a member of the Raza Academy, has said in an interview featured in “The Bayside Journal”, why he believes it is important to voice a complaint:

Mr Noori: “See, as Muslims we have to do something about it since it is against our religion so that tomorrow, if and when e face Allah he doesn’t say that you didn’t do anything to stop this from happening. So we have to try”.

My decision to compose the music for this film was made in good faith with no intentions of causing offence.

In fact, the decision was based on similar point of view as expressed by Mr. Noori. What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah (Sbt), and he were to ask me on Judgement Day:

“I gave you faith, talent, money, fame and health…why did you not do music for my Beloved Muhammad (sals) film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is about kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocent in my name”.

Today there is a blur between the real world and the virtual world and I have taken aback to see that, for some years now, unethical, unacceptable and unkind remarks are made online concerning the Holy Prophet. These abhorrent comments are no doubt due to the lack of understanding. I have always felt that we must counter this reaction with love and kindness, and through the audio-visual media reach out to people who wish to broaden their understanding

We are indeed fortunate and blessed to live in a country like India where religious freedom is practiced and where the aim of all communities is to live in peace and harmony sans confusion and violence.

Let us set a precedent in clearing conflict with grace and dignity and not trigger violence in words or actions

Let us pray for forgiveness, and from our hearts bless those who suffer in the world and bless the country that we live in. To so pray is to reflect the noble and enlightened nature of our Beloved Muhammad.

Inputs by IANS