Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution

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"The story you are about to read is the story of a light-bringer....Salman Ahmad inspires me to reach always for the greatest heights and never to fear....Know that his story is a part of our history."
-- Melissa Etheridge, from the Introduction

With 30 million record sales under his belt, and with fans including Bono and Al Gore, Pakistanborn Salman Ahmad is renowned for being the first rock & roll star to destroy the wall that divides the West and the Muslim world. Rock & Roll Jihad is the story of his incredible journey.

Facing down angry mullahs and oppressive dictators who wanted all music to be banned from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Salman Ahmad rocketed to the top of the music charts, bringing Westernstyle rock and pop to Pakistani teenagers for the first time. His band Junoon became the U2 of Asia, a sufi - rock group that broke boundaries and sold a record number of albums. But Salman's story began in New York, where he spent his teen years learning to play guitar, listening to Led Zeppelin, hanging out at rock clubs and Beatles Fests, making American friends, and dreaming of rock-star fame. That dream seemed destined to die when his family returned to Pakistan and Salman was forced to follow the strictures of a newly religious -- and stratified -- society. He finished medical school, met his soul mate, and watched his beloved funkytown of Lahore transform with the rest of Pakistan under the rule of Zia into a fundamentalist dictatorship: morality police arrested couples holding hands in public, Little House on the Prairie and Live Aid were banned from television broadcasts, and Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers proliferated on college campuses via the Afghani resistance to Soviet occupation in the north.

Undeterred, the teenage Salman created his own underground jihad: his mission was to bring his beloved rock music to an enthusiastic new audience in South Asia and beyond. He started a traveling guitar club that met in private Lahore spaces, mixing Urdu love poems with Casio synthesizers, tablas with Fender Stratocasters, and ragas with power chords, eventually joining his first pop band, Vital Signs. Later, he founded Junoon, South Asia's biggest rock band, which was followed to every corner of the world by a loyal legion of fans called Junoonis. As his music climbed the charts, Salman found himself the target of religious fanatics and power-mad politicians desperate to take him and his band down. But in the center of a new generation of young Pakistanis who go to mosques as well as McDonald's, whose religion gives them compassion for and not fear of the West, and who see modern music as a "rainbow bridge" that links their lives to the rest of the world, nothing could stop Salman's star from rising.

Today, Salman continues to play music and is also a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, traveling the world as a spokesperson and using the lessons he learned as a musical pioneer to help heal the wounds between East and West -- lessons he shares in this illuminating memoir.
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About the author

Salman Ahmad is a Pakistani rock star whose band Junoon has sold over 25 million albums. A medical doctor by training, Salman currently travels the globe as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, spreading a message of harmony and reconciliation between the West and the Muslim world. He was a featured performer at the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, alongside musical superstars such as Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge and Annie Lennox. He currently teaches a course on Muslim music and poetry at the City University of New York’s Queens College campus. Salman spends his free time moving between Pakistan and Rockland County, New York, with his wife Samina and their three sons.

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 12, 2010
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Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
Music / Religious / Muslim
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 This Booklet is available in English as well as in Spanish. It is full color and is especially designed as a Da‘wah tool to built the bridge between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is an excellent effort to promote the understanding about Muslims and Islam and has been declared as one of the best Da'wah material available. Booklet carries the following topics:


What is Islam? Is Islam a new Religion? What is the distinctive Feature of Islam? How does Islam relate to Mankind?


Who are the Muslims? What are the Pillars of Faith? Why Muslims use the word ‘Allah’ instead of ‘God’? How does someone become a Muslim?


What is Prophethood in Islam? Who is Muhammad? What is Sunnah? What does Islam say about Torah and Bible? How Islam views Judaism and Christianity? What does Islam say about Original Sin? What does Islam say about Jesus?


What is the Qur'an? Does Islam recognize Science and Technology?


What is Worship in Islam? What are the Five Pillars of Islam? What is the Ka'bah?


What are Human Rights in Islam? What is Jihad in Islam? What is Islamic Dress Code? How does Islam view Family Life? What is the Status of Women in Islam? What is Marriage in Islam? Why is More than One Wife permitted in Islam? What does Islam say about Parents and Elderly? What does Islam say about Food? What does Islam say about Intoxicants and Gambling? What Islam say about Business Interaction?


What is the concept of God in Islam? What is the concept of Life in Islam? What is the concept of Life after Death in Islam? What is the concept of Sin in Islam?

 It's not easy to find happiness, even
demanded more sacrifice. It was three to four years early. I sought happiness
to answer Allah Almighty,
then inspired me to create this book. The ones in this book is my journey to
find happiness and peace of the world and the life hereafter.

Why do I say the answer to my prayer Allah is making
this book?

One night in February, I sat in front of the house while enjoying a cigarette,
about one o'clock in the morning; I ask Allah why not my intention to grant
thee Allah is? I sat pensive and that's when there is a desire to make the
book. I think any book? Child development books or what books? Then I
answered hearts travel book you now live. Starting from it book was

This book is a journey of a humble servant
of Allah SWT, imperfect and stained with sin and guilt. I tried to share the
experience, but do not attempt to teach or preach because my knowledge is still
very little like a drop of dew on a vast ocean.

Religious knowledge which I had only a few
letters and memorizing the Qur'an were very little, but I tried to read the
Bible and listen to the glorious every day.

I am trying to practice
Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim, although I do not practice it every day. Almost
all the sins I have ever done. Arrogance and hubris I have ever done. I
treasure the world almost won, but instead of feeling happy, I'm getting hungry
with all those hungry people who think like sea water to quench thirst.

Through the journey of Allah slowly
happiness begins to rise within me. Hopefully the experience I have gained
additional experience may be a provision for me personally and my brothers who
read this book. Insha’Allah.

In writing this book I found the book at the
Scholastic bookstore called "The Know Himself, Who Know the
Lord" Masterpieces "Jalaluddin Rumi". His writing is
very inspiring to me to immediately write graffiti on my experience on a trip
seeking Allah SWT

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