His songs are mostly in Persian and based on well-recognized Persian poems, although a few are in Pashto and English. Zahir composed and performed rock and pop music, in a similar style to Elvis Presley. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest persons in Afghan culture and history.
While his father was abroad he brought him a mandolin and young ahmad zahir’s love for music grew. He would master the instrument along with the accordion, harmonium, and organ and sing to any family member willing to listen.
His debut song “Ay Bulbuli Shorida” was performed at Hibibia High School and his schoolmates awarded him title of “Bulbul-e-Habibia” (Nightingale of Habibia). While in high school, Ahmad Zahir, Omar Sultan, Nabil Meskinyar, Farid Zaland and Akbar Nayab formed a band called “Amateurs of Habibia”
By the late 1960s, Ahmad Zahir began to fully contribute to this new musical movement. Blessed with an extraordinary voice and acute musical instincts, Ahmad Zahir directed Afghan music to new depths.
He also had the opportunity to work with the best individuals in the Kabul music scene such as the late saxophonist Ustad Ismail Azimi, trumpeter Ustad Nangalai and composers Naynawaz, Taranasaz, Mas’our Jamal, along with others.
Zahir became a star in the years just before Afghanistan descended into more than 30 years of war. It was a happier time, though the government was rapidly becoming unstable. As the son of a former prime minister, he moved easily among Kabul’s cultural elite.
Ahmad Zahir passed away on his birthday and as he left this world his daughter Shabnam was born. According to reports Days before his birthday Ahmad Zahir received an anonymous message that his life is in danger and there is an attempt on his life.
On Wednesday, Jauza 23, 1358 (June 13, 1979). The day of his birthday, Ahmad Zahir along with Mahboobullah Mahboob (Pacha) and two of his guests decide to take a trip up Salang Pass.
There are many mixed views from critics for why he was killed, but according to his son Rishad Zahir, Zahir “was assassinated by the order of a communist general named Daud Taroon, who used one of Zahir’s best friends as an accomplice to carry out his orders”.
Ahmad Zahir left behind two children, Ahmad Rishad and Shabnam whom currently live in United States along with Ahmad Zahir’s sister, Zahira who is the personal hair stylist of Presidents Bush, Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and other dignitaries.