Salim-Sulaiman Interviews (3 of 3): Bollywood Duo talk to PBS – Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on how faith inspires their music

Over the last 2 days we have shared with our readers Salim-Sulaiman’s interviews – conversations with an 11 year old and with Ismailimail that touched on some interesting themes. Themes ranging from music to sports to service; Mawlana Hazar Imam to youths to musicians to change makers; sentiments that speak of love, of giving and of wanting to make a difference – all unified by the common element of music.

SS-PBS interviewHere we bring you a couple of interview clips from PBS – Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, an interview that Ismailimail coordinated during the tail end of Salim-Sulaiman’s North American tour. We are grateful to PBS – Religion and Ethics Newsweekly for making this exclusive footage available for our readers.

In this final and last in a series of three interviews, Salim and Sulaiman talk about how faith inspires their music and how they make faith relevant in their music for the younger generation.

Salim-Sulaiman Interview with PBS - Salim

PBS: Tell us about the story behind Allahu Akbar?

SALIM: Sitting in the studio one day just a couple of months before Eid, I thought about the prayer which is the Azan, the Muslim prayer, which is Allahu Akbar.

And we thought why don’t we you know, and we’ve always heard Allahu Akbar as a prayer call. We thought why don’t we just convert that into a song and just kind of touch, you know, people in this generation, you know, especially the youth who are sort of disconnected from the tradition and the culture, the Islamic culture and their own traditional culture.

We thought we’d make a song which is the prayer, which is the prayer call, Allahu Akbar but present it in a more contemporary and make it sound now.

Salim-Sulaiman Interview with PBS

PBS: To you, what is important about faith?

SALIM: Faith and you know, keeping the prayer tradition was very important. It was important to pray in the mornings and the evenings and keeping that as a strong tradition, you know, every day.

SULAIMAN: But more than anything else, I think it was the whole concept of giving. We were always taught to give and we do that through our music as well. When we get the love from all these audiences and all the fans, we like to give that love back.

Salim-Sulaiman’s North American Tour has been of a success of epic proportions in terms of the impact it has had in inspiring different interest groups.

– An Inspired Fan


Coming Soon ... 3 Unique Interviews: Salim-Sulaiman speak with an aspiring Astronaut, Ismailimail & PBS
3 Unique Interviews: Salim-Sulaiman speak with an aspiring Astronaut, Ismailimail & PBS

About PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Series

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly is an American weekly television news-magazine program which airs on PBS and delivers one-of-a-kind news coverage from around the nation and the world. The program explores the top moral questions facing the country and profiles notable people and groups in the world of religion and ethics.

PBS-Religion and Ethics logoSince its debut in 1997, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY has set itself apart from the mainstream media by providing distinctive, cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world. Hosted by veteran journalist Bob Abernethy and produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, the acclaimed one-of-a-kind TV show examines religion’s role — and the ethical dimensions — behind top news headlines.

Correspondents Saul Gonzalez, Fred de Sam Lazaro, Tim O’Brien, Deborah Potter, Betty Rollin, Lucky Severson, David Tereshchuk, and Judy Valente, along with managing editor Kim Lawton, travel around the nation and the globe to explore how issues of faith, religion and ethics shape both national and international events. Newsmakers, scholars and policy analysts also provide insightful perspectives in roundtable discussions from the show’s studio in Washington, DC – in the same building as Reuters news agency.

Winner of more than 115 industry awards — including the Sigma Delta Chi, the Gracie Allen, the Chicago TV Fest, New York Festival and CINE Golden Eagle — the program has been hailed by the Religion Newswriters’ Association for setting “a national standard for balanced and fair coverage of religious topics.” Phil Mushnick with The New York Post says, “Week after week, R & E similarly delivers, helping restore one’s faith in, of all things, television.” And Charles Honey of The Grand Rapids Press writes, “As far as news stories go, there are none better.”

RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY . . . has become a respected voice in the conversation about American religion and culture.”

PBS logoTo complement the program’s weekly broadcast, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY offers a Web site, The Web site features individual show transcripts, streaming video of weekly reports, full transcripts of interviews with notable guests, related articles dealing with significant issues in religion and ethics news, a list of related resources and an online pressroom featuring downloadable versions of the program press kit, as well as detailed summaries of individual stories. Audio and video podcasts of the program are also available.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American non-profit public broadcast television network with 354 member television stations. Since the mid-2000s, Roper polls commissioned by PBS have consistently placed the service as America’s most-trusted national institution.

Via PBS | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Related PBS – Religion & Ethics Weekly Series at Ismailimail Archives:


About Salim-Sulaiman

Their greatest honour has been performing in the presence of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan twice, once in Kenya and more recently in India. They have also had the privilege of performing in the presence of Princess Zahra.

Kenya, 2011 - Mawlana Hazar Imam with music artists Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, who performed in his honour at the Kenya Jamati Institutional Dinner (Photo: The Ismaili/Ejaz Karmali)
Mawlana Hazar Imam with music artists Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, who performed in his honour at the Kenya Kenya, 2011 – Mawlana Hazar Imam with music artists Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, who performed in his honour at the Kenya Jamati Institutional Dinner (Photo: The Ismaili/Ejaz Karmali)

Salim-Sulaiman have been composing music for over a decade having scored for movies including Rab Ne Banadi Jodi, FASHION, Roadside Romeo, Iqbal, Dor, Heroine, Chak De India, and many more.

The versatile duo has scored for a string of Bollywood movies, composed for several Indi-pop sensations including Viva, Asmaan, ShwetaShetty, Jasmine and Style Bhai among others, composed and produced hundreds of TV commercials.

Recognized for their talents throughout the industry, Salim-Sulaiman have received numerous awards including the 2004 Screen Award for Best Background Music for Bahoot; the 2005 Screen Weekly Award for Best Background Music for Dhoom; the 2005 Technical Award for Best Background Score for Ab Tak Chhappan; the 2007 Zee Cine Technical Award for Best Background Score for Krrish; and the 2014 Mirchi Music Award for Best Indi-Pop Song of the Year.

Incorporating cinematic, folk, Electronica and Sufi influences to their music, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant are among India’s most respected composers. Recently they composed the musical Merchants of Bollywood, as well as their much awaited Hollywood film Sold which is rapidly gaining attention at numerous film festivals.

They have been nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards and collaborated to remix songs with Lady Gaga.

The duo has enthralled audiences across the world with their live concerts, particularly during their performance at the FIFA World Cup 2010 opening ceremony. In addition, Salim-Sulaiman have been part of numerous television shows including their role as celebrity judges on Indian Idol.

Via Pennant Media Group | Iconic Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman to take part in first ever North American tour this November 2014

Related Salim-Sulaiman at Ismailimail Archives:


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