Skip to content

Tag: South Asian

Qawwali Music: The Most Popular Traditional Music in the World

Nowadays, many traditional kinds of music have been popularized worldwide. So, many people have new music genres to enjoy. One of the fastest-growing music genres is the Qawwali. Riyaz Qawwali is the qawwali group that is bringing this music to the world. The music is catchy yet mystical. Let’s learn more about Qawwali Music here.

Qawwali Music

True Meaning in Qawwali Music

Pakistani Sufi singer Shafqat Ali says, “Sufi songs are much more about ibadad (prayer) to God. The idea of Sufi songs is to connect with God through songs. The lyrics of Sharing His Love for Humanity, Sufism is a clinic of praise to the Almighty. Sound is a broad concept that expresses love for the beloved. The power of love is indefinable. Music is a means of meditation and also the most beautiful. When you listen to good music, you become still, without trying. When you sing with music, you become still, without trying. You finally relax. You enter a deep peace. You are awake, alert, and, in a subtle way, drunk. Osho seems to be referring to Sufi Qawwali songs.

History of Qawwali Music

“Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened,” wrote the fantastic Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi, “don’t open the door of the study and start reading. Sufis believe in observation through dance and song. That’s why music is central, because it’s so close to meditation, as Osho points out. In North India, Sufi practitioners such as Bulle Shah, Baba Farid, and Shahbaz Kalandar wrote ecstatic poems that are popular today as Sufi and folk songs, especially in the form of Qawwali.

Qawwali is a brilliant musical tradition that dates back more than 700 decades. It was originally performed primarily in Sufi shrines in the subcontinent but has gained fame in the mainstream as well. A lead singer includes a group of fans who sing and clap along, accompanied by several musicians. The performers and audience are often transported to a land of “wajad” where they feel intoxicated by the existence of God.

Famous Singers of Qawwali Music

‘Mast Kalandar’, the qawwali of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Kalandar, is probably the most famous and popular of them. It is called the “national anthem” for getting qawwalis and is sung in all Sufi song concerts. The late Pakistani Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan popularized qawwali in the West after the Sabri brothers became famous qawwali singers. In the 1970s, India’s Shakila Bano Bhopali was probably the most famous qawwali singer, who toured many nations entertaining NRIs. Today, Abida Parveen has brought this famous group together.

How Qawwali Music Become More Popular

Movies have popularized Qawwali like the timeless “Barsat ki Raat”, “Mughle-e-Azam” had memorable Qawwali that are remembered till today. But a Punjabi pop singer, Hans Raj Hans, has also made a name for himself as a singer. He is a fantastic devotee of Osho and studies and listens to his own voice for inspiration.” These singers revive qawwali with a contemporary twist. Conventional qawwali lasts for an hour or more, as in the case of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who puts listeners in a trance-like point with his art and admissions. They manage to reach people who are available for the last phone call. Sufis uses music as a medium, as in qawwali, to say the eternal message; and when it is sung with fervor, it brings us closer to the Ultimate.…

Read more