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Sufi qawwali music.

  Sufism, or Sufi Islam, is generally regarded as the mystical sect of Islam with a main focus on the love of Allah. To some it is not considered part of Islam because it is too mystical and incorporates the use of music and the veneration of saints into the religion. Sufi music, commonly called qawwali, is consistent with the musical sounds of Pakistan, which lies between Afghanistan and India. Because of its geographic location, Sufism has gained a tremendous amount of influence from Islam, and the religions of India. Islam’s influence upon Sufism is seen within the theology and the lyrics of various qawwali songs. India’s influence on Sufism is seen with the simple use of music and the use of traditional instruments. 

Qawwali music greatly emphasizes the veneration of Sufi saints. But to countless Muslims, the veneration of saints is committing the worst sin.  Generally speaking, Muslims believe that there is only one God, and to elevate another human to the same status as God is called shirk. Many believe that qawwali music commits shirk because of its focus on saints and the saint’s ability to intercede for the individual. Qawwali music does not only focus on saints, but it also has themes centered on Allah and the prophet Muhammad, which are less controversial within the Muslim community.

Qawwali music is particularly unique because of the relationship it creates between the performer and the audience. The audience’s reaction to the music and lyrics virtually control what the performer will do next. If the performer feels the audience is reacting positively to a specific line they will continue to repeat the particular phrase until they feel the audience is ready to continue with the song. This use of repetition is helps the audience to remember the theme of the song and the purpose of singing.

Another reason qawwali music is different from any other genre of music is the musical instruments allowed to be used. Because music is highly regulated within Islam, the instruments used within qawwali have also been limited to instruments that are culturally from the Middle East. These instruments include the harmonium, tabla, and dholak. However, recently many qawwali singers have begun to use more western instruments such as the drums and guitar.

  Qawwali music comes from a very unique religion and culture called Sufism. It relies heavily on the audience’s reaction to the lyrics, rhythm, and repetition. Today it is used in many Indian bollywood films with a secular theme, as well as several other movies such as Slumdog Millionaire.

Comments

  • Bart Heird 4 years ago

    Wow. Nice! Thanks for using my shot. I am a huge Qawwali fan. For those that have never checked it out, please make sure you don't miss the Sabri Brothers. Great stuff.

  • ali mohammad taji qawwal 4 years ago

    Dear Sir

    I AM AHSAN ALI TAJI BIOGRAPHY HISTORY OF QAWWALI ALI MOHAMMAD TAJI SUFI QAWAL .
    ALI MOHAMMAD TAJI is one of world famous QAWWALI SINGERS in Sufi Mystic/folk and semi calssical songs of PAKISTAN.
    ALI MOHAMMAD TAJI golden voice has swept audience into a trance with scintillating renderings of devotional ecstatic Sufi
    mystical Poetry with his unique style,being the only vocalist who can sing QAWWALI / AND FOLK melodies in Urdu/ Hindi/ poorvi/ Panjabi/ and Sindhi language. ALI MOHAMMAD TAJI till now perfromed EUROPE/INDIA/UAE/ SOUTH AFRICA AND UK. His beaufiful uplifting music transcends all linguisitc boundaries.
    SAQIB ALI TAJI
    SAQIB ALI TAJI is a bonafide singer, has the capability of singing classical music, including Thumri, Darda, Ghazal and Kafi. He has been performing in qawwali since the last 22 years with his father ALI Taji qawwal. He is one of the best qawwal of Pakistan .

    THANKS
    yours very trully
    ( AHSAN ALI TAJI )
    resarch and media Manager,
    WWW.QAWWALALIMOHAMMEDTAJI.COM
    ahsanalitaji@gmail.com

  • Profile picture of Samantha Gleason
    Samantha Gleason 3 years ago

    AHSAN ALI TAJI,

    Thank you very much for directing me towards another very talented Qawwali singer. He is a joy to listen to and accurately demonstrates the qualities of Qawwali music. This type of music has always fasinated me and it is extremely interesting to hear the many different people around the world who perform within this field of music. Thanks again!

    Mr. Heird,

    Thank you very much for your picture and making it available for me to use it in articles such as mine. I hope you found the information I provided to be useful as well as accurate.

    Samantha

  • Sanah Soomro 3 years ago

    hey! I am an axchnage student from Pakistan, studying in Saint Paul, Minnesota for fall semester. I was looking up online if I could find anything related to Sufi music happening in the twin cities. I love Sufi music and especially qawwali. If you are interested in it, you should definitely check out Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen's music because they are legends in this music and popular worldwide. I also need to know if there's any qawwali night happening in twin cities. I would be very grateful if you can e-mail me on soomro_sana@hotmail.com about it, as I might not come back here to check. I am thinking of planning an event in my university on qawwali if there's any qawwal (singer) in town!
    Thank you very much!
    Sanah Soomro

  • Sanah Soomro 3 years ago

    hey! I am an exchange student from Pakistan, studying in Saint Paul, Minnesota for fall semester. I was looking up online if I could find anything related to Sufi music happening in the twin cities. I love Sufi music and especially qawwali. If you are interested in it, you should definitely check out Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen's music because they are legends in this music and popular worldwide. I also need to know if there's any qawwali night happening in twin cities. I would be very grateful if you can e-mail me on soomro_sana@hotmail.com about it, as I might not come back here to check. I am thinking of planning an event in my university on qawwali if there's any qawwal (singer) in town!
    Thank you very much!
    Sanah Soomro

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