AR Rahman's Mother Passes Away in Chennai; Composer Pays Tribute

She was reportedly suffering from age-related ailments.

1 min read
AR Rahman and his mother Kareema Begum.

AR Rahman's mother Kareema Begum has passed away in Chennai reportedly due to age-related ailments. The celebrated composer shared a photo of her on Twitter in her memory, prompting an outpouring of condolences from fans and members of the entertainment industry.

In an earlier interview, Rahman, who was very close to his mother, said that it was she who convinced him to leave school in class 12 and pursue a career in music. "She has music instincts. Spiritually, she is much higher than me in the way she thinks and takes decisions. For instance, her decision of making me take up music. She made me leave school in Class 12 and take up music. It was her conviction that music is the line for me," he told Chennai Times.


Kareema Begum is the wife of music composer RK Sekhar who passed away in 1976 when Rahman was nine years old. After his father's death, Rahman's mother used to rent his father's musical equipment to make ends meet. However, when asked to sell them, she refused to do so saying that her son would take care of the equipment.

In Nasreen Munni Kabir's book AR Rahman: The Spirit of Music, the composer described his mother as being "spiritually inclined". He said she chose to embrace Sufism in 1986 after taking care of a seer Qadri Saaheb when he was unwell.

She is survived by her daughters AR Reihana, Ishrath Qadri and Fathima Shekhar, besides AR Rahman.

(With inputs from Chennai Times)

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