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Amir Khusro’s lasting tryst with love

PRANAV KHULLAR writing here
At the heart of the Sufi mystical experience lies the Zikr or remembrance of God.

In its musical expression through the Qawwali , it has become synonymous with the name of Amir Khusro, whose musical idiom facilitated a unique synthesis of the Persian and Hindu-Braja cultures. His prodigious literary and musical experimentation is a unique effort at creating a universal Sufi language of Love and he forged a new mystical Sufi consciousness. This could have been a forerunner of the Nirguna Bhakti movement.

Khusro’s compositions are rooted in the theme of separation from the Beloved, a metaphor for the God within. His verses bring out the intense Sufi longing to merge into this state of mind. His Qawwali music touches that inner space in every listener, transporting him to a different dimension beyond the outer world of duality. […]

October 29th, 2008|Arts & Culture, Personal, Sufi poetry, Sufism|1 Comment

Sufi Qawwali – Mehr Ali and Sher Ali

Sher Ali, Mehr Ali, Qawwali SingerSadi has written a wonderful post here – I am cross posting it here.

Couple of nights back (24, April, 08) came an unanticipated opportunity to watch and listen to two of great contemporary pakistani sufi Qawwali singers at famous UCLA Royce Hall. The concert was titled, Qawwali Music of Pakistan: Sufi devotional music.Among the audience was both americans and sub-continental audience. What was striking, is Qawwali’s ability to transcend language with its sheer power and captivating devotion. The nature of improvisation makes each Qawwali, even if its sung by the same group of singers, very unique and every new listening is a new experience.Sometime the depth of the verses, fused with the presentation takes audience to an otherly high which was felt last night too. At times there were goosebumps and surges with the strong emotion that is created in Qawwali performance. The Sufi Qawwalis are considered as zikr or Divine remembrance if listened with spiritual understanding and depth.:: What is Sufi Qawwali? | Qawwali is derived from the Arabic word qaul, literally meaning “saying” but has taken on the meaning of “belief”or “credo” in South Asian languages. Qawwali is spiritual in essence; it is the devotional music of the Sufis to attain trance and mystical experience – originating in the 10th century and blossoming into its present form from the 13th century onwards. […]

April 30th, 2008|Arts & Culture, Music, South Asian Art, Sufi poetry, Sufism|8 Comments

Sufi Zikr – inspiration for a painting

This is a painting that I revisited and converted its earlier abstract form into a calligraphic experiment. Now the challenge was that in addition to the lack of training in oil painting, I was also a novice in calligraphy. Anyway, the image inside Rumi's tomb that I posted on this blog earlier as well as the three attributes of the Almighty helped me in putting this together. The letters in the centre are Hu (affirmation of the Divine presence and a Sufi chant) and its mirror image.