Coming Soon, a special PBS show on His Highness the Aga Khan & the Ismaili Muslims: Interviews with His Highness the Aga Khan, Salim-Sulaiman, Alyna Nanji, Prof. Ali Asani

Coming Soon, a special PBS show by RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY on the Ismaili Muslims – a first for PBS to feature the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community.

But first, Ismailimail presents 3 unique interview clips over the course of next few days as a lead up to the show.

Join us here at Ismailimail as PBS speaks to Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman, One Billion Rising’s Alyna Nanji and Harvard University’s Professor Ali Asani about their values, and how their religion motivates them to do good work.

A special PBS show on the Ismailis: PBS speaks to Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman, One Billion Rising’s Alyna Nanji & Harvard University's Professor Ali Asani
A special PBS show on the Ismailis: PBS speaks to Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman, One Billion Rising’s Alyna Nanji & Harvard University’s Professor Ali Asani

The objective of the PBS RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY Series is to educate the audience about different religions and allow people of faith to explain how their religion impacts their work.

With much excitement, Ismailimail is pleased to share the upcoming interview clips and presents the first clip with Salim and Sulaiman that was recorded last year in New York, during the duo’s North American tour.

This interview clip has already been featured on Ismailimail in the past but we are featuring it again due to its timeless message to bring continuity to the  interview clips that will follow over the course of the next few days.

Salim and Sulaiman talk about how faith inspires their music and how they make faith relevant in their music for the younger generation.

 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.

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.

About Salim-Sulaiman

[Our] greatest honour has been performing in the presence of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan twice, once in Kenya and more recently in India. [We] 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 Jamati Institutional Dinner in Nairobi, Kenya – 2011 (Photo: The Ismaili/Ejaz Karmali)

Recognized for their talents throughout the industry, Salim-Sulaiman have received numerous awards.

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

Earlier & Related: Salim-Sulaiman Interviews

About Alyna Nanji

Alyna Nanji at the One Billion Rising Toronto Event
Alyna Nanji at the One Billion Rising Toronto Event

Alyna Nanji is 13 years old and just completed Grade 8. She is a Peace Tree Ambassador for promoting peace, diversity and inclusivity, and gender equality at every opportunity. Alyna has always been known to possess an acute sense of fairness, inclusion and simply put, what is right and what is wrong. Understanding cultural diversity, incorporating the pursuit of peace and inclusive education, speaking out and working against gendercide and social injustices, especially those suffered by women and children, are Alyna’s passions.

In April 2014, Alyna spoke at the One Billion Rising Movement annual event held in Toronto, As the youngest speaker at the event, Alyna spoke on the issues of Violence against Women and children.

Earlier & Related: Alyna Nanji

About Professor Ali Asani

Ali Asani with Mawlana Hazar Imam
Ali Asani with Mawlana Hazar Imam

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Ali Asani is Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures and the Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University.

He has taught at Harvard since 1983, offering courses on various aspects of the Islamic tradition including Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies, Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Cultures, Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures, Introduction to Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), Ismaili History and Thought, and Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture and Identity.

In 2002, Professor Asani was awarded the Harvard Foundation medal for his outstanding contributions to improving intercultural and race relations at Harvard and the nation. More recently, Professor Asani received the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award from the Harvard Division of Continuing Education.

Via Harvard University | Faculty | Ali Asani

Earlier & Related: Professor Ali Asani

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. The acclaimed one-of-a-kind TV show examines religion’s role — and the ethical dimensions — behind top news headlines. To complement the program’s weekly broadcast, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY offers a Web site,

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.

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

PBS logoThe 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

Earlier & Related: PBS – Religion & Ethics Weekly Series

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