Musical heritage And Sufism

The musical heritage

Classical music of the Indian subcontinent has a rich history of being one the most developed expressions of our cultural heritage. Its foundations pre-cede 5000 years, going back to the ancient Indus civilisation. The earliest form of Indian music was based on chants or recitation of hymns, found in scriptures or Vedas, the earliest of which were the Rig Veda and Sama Veda. The music of the Vedic era was of a simple nature, yet it retained a systematic order, the basis of which is still in existence today. The earliest musical treatise, the Natya Shastra was written 2000 years ago and gave details on dance, vocal and instrumental music. In this treatise differentiation between classical music and folk music was made using the terms Marga and Deshi. The next important treatises on music of the early period were the Brihaddeshi and Sangeet RatnakarMany instruments such as harps, flutes and percussion instruments were found during the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, the centres of the Indus valley situated in present day Sindh, Pakistan Sarangdev’s Sangeet Ratnakar was written at the end of the 12th century and gave valuable information on the state of music before the coming of the Muslims. The text revealed the progression of Indian music since the Vedic era. Prabandhas had now replaced the Vedas, different scales (raags) were being used and the text also included a detailed description of musical instruments. The music was still firmly rooted in religion and often performed in temples as part of worship rituals.

Indian music underwent several innovative changes after the advent of Muslim rule beginning from the late 11th century. Islamic influence brought in its wake a changed perspective in the style and structure of Indian music, which over the course of time evolved to become a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim traditions .

Apart from being a great poet. He invented new raags by combining Persian modes with Indian raags. Sensing that music was an essential feature of the daily lives of the local inhabitants. sarod.This unique synthesis resulted in the creation of new raags and musical genres such as qawwali. naqsh and qalbana and is also credited for creating rhythmic cycles such as asool-e-fakhta and farodast. He was a strong patriot. khayal. he was also a musical genius who contributed greatly to the evolution of Indian Music. saazgiri. One cannot forget the practitioners who practiced the art with arduous devotion and achieved fame in their respective fields. It is also claimed that the Persian maqam system of classifying modes was adopted to classify raags during the time of Hazrat Amir Khusrau. and highly praised Indian culture. Niyamat Khan “Sadarang”. sarparda. Hazrat Bahauddin Zikriya Multani. khayal and thumri. sitar. Probably the biggest change brought forward by Muslim musicians has been to shift the devotional aspect of Indian music with the element of entertainment and artistic . heritage of the Indian sub-continent. tarana. customs and its people. Sufi saints such as Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. and Shaikh Pir Bodhan held regular sessions of sama or qawwali at their khanqahs to propagate Islam to the masses. He popularised the sufi devotional music qawwali. Sufis used music to spread the message of Islam across to the populace of India. Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan. Mian Tansen. Instruments such as the rabab. tabla. Mian Shori. said to have created new genres like the tarana. The first encounter of Indian music with Muslims was through Sufi saints who were attracted by traditional Hindu temple music. and zeelaf being some of his creations. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. and Siddhar Khan Dhadhi are some of the legendary names whose creative minds have had a major impact on the musical. santoor and naqqara were developed and introduced into the Indian fold. The name of Hazrat Amir Khusrau stands at the forefront of Muslim contribution towards the culture of the subcontinent. Sheikh Allaudin Lajuri.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and Nawab Hamid Ali Khan. caste or creed. literature. Heritage plays a great role in defining the existence and identity of a nation. With its roots in temple music. which are all devotional songs. which are usually expressions . The musical heritage of the sub-continent is unique in the sense that it highlights how different cultures can assimilate to create a secular art form irrespective of religion. the nation inherited a culture rich in art. music. The importance of retaining and safeguarding the musical heritage should be realized in Pakistan and it would be tragic if it is lost to the realms of antiquity One of the better known sub-genres of Sufi music is called qawwali. Dhrupad remained the popular genre of classical music until the late 19th century when it was superseded by khayal. Dhrupad evolved from an earlier traditional form known as prabandha. and ghazals. Alongside the Persian influences on Hindustani music. which has its roots in India and Pakistan. Many outstanding musicians opted to settle in Pakistan in the aspiration that greater projection would be given to the melodic arts. classical music has not been given the opportunity to prosper in Pakistan due to the lack of patronage and promotion for the musical arts and its practitioners. However. . Mohammad Shah Rangeelay. The genre was further developed and patronised by Raja Man Singh Tomar of Gwalior during the 16th century who with the assistance and consultation of leading musicians compiled a historical music treatise called "Man Kautuhal". Following the creation of Pakistan. Important musical treatises were authored by Muslims under the auspices of the rulers Many revolutionary changes occurred to music during the reign of Allaudin Khilji. Many were great musicians in their own right but were more renowned for their patronage of the musical arts.The varied styles of artistes and patronage of the arts by the rulers safeguarded musical traditions and led to the formation of gharanas. this style consists of four distinct sections: hamd. and manqabat. naat. Traditionally.value. Sultan Hussain Sharqi. special mention should be given to the development of the purist Hindu art form Dhrupad. and musical achievement. Emperor Akbar.

The popularity of qawwali is due in part to its aesthetic appeal. Another popular sub-genre is known as kafi. tambourines. While qawwali may be made up of a larger ensemble.of the longing to be close to the divine. Many musicians that perform this type of Sufi music focus on vocal strength and purity. Sufism's central doctrine is based on a verse of the Qur'an. Singing and music are an important component of the Sama ceremony. Despite the fact that most Sufi devotional music is set in a classical style. and is generally culled from the poetic verses of well-known writers. as well as the poetry of wellknown Sufi writers. in which God says. namely the Qur'an. or Mevlevi. the two forms differ in execution. it is often reserved for important ceremonies. This style is considered classical. the term "Sufi rock" was invented by a controversial Pakistani journalist. order. or Urdu. Nadeem F. Although Sufi music is sometimes performed in public for the enjoyment of those who pass by. Though many of the artists who create Sufi rock sing in languages such as Punjabi. and may occasionally skip over the devotional material. This particular style generally blends rock music with traditional rhythms." This "Divine spark" . Though kafi is similar to qawwali in the fervor of its delivery. One of the better known of these ceremonies is called Sama. going straight into the ghazal songs. During the early 1990s. Sufism is the mystical dimension of Islam based on the esoteric. Paracha. a keyboard. which is frequently associated with the whirling dervish. and a single vocalist. Turkish. and bells. some artists have developed a more modern approach. "I created man and breathed My spirit into him. others may also translate their lyrics into English. but it may also include music made with flutes. kafi music usually consists of a few percussion instruments. or "inner-meaning" of its scripture.

The word "Sufi is derived from the Arabic word "suf. who came to be known as "Sufis. a path of devotion and love." Garments woven from wool were generally worn by early mystics. This is confirmed by another verse in the Qur'an. if by "mystic" we mean a person who strives towards intimate knowledge or communion with God. which says "from God we came. and to God shall we return. desires to return and reunite with the Universal spirit. the Sufi embarks on a spiritual journey known as the Sufi Path. which leads to none other than God Himself. each individual "spark" or "spirit" separated from the Universal Spirit. The divine form who is worshipped in Sufism is Prophet Mohammed and all schools of Sufism consider the Prophet as the manifestation of God. Universal Sufism has been defined by great Sufi masters as a way to travel to the presence of the Divine force and fill oneself with inner beauty and compassion.placed into every individual. a Sufi saint wrote a book known as the "Principles of Sufism" that defines the essence of Sufism as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God". A Sufi is a mystic. Sufism is known in Arabic as 'Tassawuf' or Islamic Mysticism. . Furthermore. This is one reason why Sufi is considered to have branched from Islam." There are other explanations and meanings of the word 'Sufi' but the one I have just given is generally accepted by most Sufis and Sufi scholars. It is a mystic tradition that consists of a varied range of ideas and practices that emphasize on the attainment of divine love and compassion of the heart. must be nurtured and cherished." meaning "wool. Sufism is basically a religion based on the truth of life. through contemplation. meditation and or "inner-vision." Sufism is said to have been originated near a place called Basra located in Iraq. In the 14th century. says the Sufi. Now." This "returning" is vital and central to the Sufi doctrine. The Muslims located in this region started off this religion as a path to reach the divine. Read about the teachings and history of Sufi religion.

He preached nothing but the truth and his words of wisdom pacified those affected . He is the founder of the Chishtiya order in India. He had a massive following and even today. Some of the major religions of the world have been started over here. who was popularly known as Hazrat Nizam-ud-Din. During the time he was at his peak. there was much unrest between Muslims and Sikhs. Sufism has also been present in India since a long time and even today we find a number of Sufi followers here. Sufi saints in india India is the land of spiritualism. people irrespective of their religions are adopting his principles of Sufism.However. Sufism in its earlier stages was recited and meditated from the Quran. his death anniversary is celebrated in Ajmer at his tomb when thousands of believers gather to pay respect to this great Sufi saint. His real name was Mohammad and at the age of 20. Every year. He preached his teachings and principles in Punjab. Some of the popular Sufi saints of India have been discussed below Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti was one of the most famous Sufi saints in India. ancient Islamic scriptures have no mention of Sufism in them. He settled in Ajmer in India from where he preached the principles of Sufism to all. he became the student of Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar. His shrine located in Delhi is a popular attraction for Sufi followers. Some scholars hold the view that Sufism is the evolution of Islam in a more spiritual and mystic direction. He was born in Persia and is said to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad. Another famous Sufi saint of the Chisti order in India was Hazrat Khwaja Nizam-ud-din Auliya. He was revered saint who is supposed to have been the master of Amir Khusro. Baba Bulleh Shah was a revered Sufi saint of India whose real name was Abdullah Shah.

They also dealt with strict "obedience" to the master." and SA'DI's "The Rose Garden." and many others by Arabic and Persian authors and poets. but around 1000 AD. Syria around 1100 AD. Through his poems. They took a form of "master-disciple" instruction on correct behaviour and conduct within the order. Sufi literature flourished in the form of manuals. and also with piety and devotion to God. mystical tales and anecdotes. Sufi manuals were for the instruction and practice of new "initiates. A famous classical manual is by IBN ARABI called. who lived in Damascus. its teachings and doctrines were put into writing. Tales and anecdotes in the form of literature are really meant as "teaching tales." which is a handbook on spiritual retreat. For the next four centuries. Sufi literature and poetry As has been previously mentioned. treatises on Islamic theology. earlier Sufism was based on an oral tradition." with the purpose of driving home a moral or mystical point. His famous work called . metaphysics and mystical poetry. philosophy. he criticized the orthodox religious systems that were prevalent during his time. Classical Sufi treatises on the nature and essence of Sufism and Islamic theology were written by the famous Sufi philosopher AL GAZALLI. Some of the tales are elaborate and allegorical in their content." in various orders. "Journey to the Lord of the constant tiffs between Muslims and Sikhs. A classical example is ATTAR's "Conference of the Birds. His poems were written in Punjabi and Sindhi as these were languages that common people could read and understand. methods of "dhikr" and meditation.

Sufi music and dance The practice of music and dance in Sufism. is perhaps the most profound Sufi author of his time. are the "pangs of separation of the lover from the beloved. which He created. to India and Indonesia. Sufi poetry is recited by Sufis to enhance mystical awareness. Another Sufi master IBN ARABI. born in Spain around 1160 AD. and Nature God." and the "wisdom of prophecy." The other theory differentiates God from Nature." Poetic imagery both symbolic and mystical. Some Sufis consider such music conducive to "mystical ecstasy. SA'DI. It is spiritual passion (longing for God) which is the Sufi's goal." Yet other theories deal with the "Unity of Being. Two of his famous works are called "Bezels of Wisdom. Classical and modern Sufi poetry can be found from North Africa and Middle East. JAMI and RUMI. is rather contentious." and "Alchemy of Happiness"' are classic examples." the "individual soul's" desire for mystical union with the "Universal soul. RUMI."Reconstruction of Religious Sciences." They deal with theories on pantheism and monotheism. Such poetry written in the "classical era" were by Arabic poet IBN-AL-FARID. accompanied by musical instruments and performed as part of their prayers and devotions. Studies based on such works are still subjects for Sufi contemplation and meditation. and persian poets such as HAFIZ. Others [may] rejoice in the recitation of mystical poetry.either sensual or spiritual." and so on. depicts the central themes with which all Sufis are familiar with." These are some of the important themes. Hence musical concerts are a ." and"Meccan Revelations. It is by no means universally accepted by all Sufis as some Sufi orders frown upon it. such as the theory that asserts that "God is Nature." These Sufis maintain that music can arouse passion . by asserting that "God is above Nature. perhaps is the best known in the West for his monumental poetic works called the "Masnavi" and "Divan-i-shams.

" Sufi practices various practices in Sufism that form a part of this religion. • Qawwali In Sufism. the dance is performed by the Sufis from that order under strict and controlled conditions. one who engages in Dhikr has awareness of God. Qawwali is the devotional form of music. meditative music. which is common in Pakistan. • Hadhra The Hadhra basically consists of various forms of Dhikr. etc. The Qawwali is known for its worldly appeal and transcends all bounds and limitations of countries and different regions. founded by a Sufi master JALALUDDIN RUMI who lived around 1100 AD. • Dhikr Dhikr is basically about remembering God for all Sufis. This can be done through singing. The Sufi dance that is much talked about in the West. The "steps" and "motions" symbolically depict the "cosmos in motion. songs and dances that are used to appeal God and Angels." Actually. Some . that finally leads to a trance.regular feature of some Sufi orders. Afghanistan. It has similarities with the Jewish Merkavah practice of meditation used to attain a higher level of consciousness. According to Islam. etc. swirling. This dance is known in the West as the dance of the "whirling dervishes. dance. belongs to one Sufi order. Turkey. Iran. The word Hadhra is Arabic and it means "Presence". led by a Sufi master. India. It basically includes chanting of God's name and reciting sections of the Quran.

There is a belief in Sufism that all prophets must have retreated into seclusion at some point of time in order to derive inspiration and divine power. This helps in the process of contemplating the divine force. Thus. the holy ritual of whirling dance is known as Sama. the Sufis practice retreat in order to concentrate on the divinity of the Almighty. . • Khalwa Khalwa basically refers to a kind of retreat that a person can experience under the guidance of a Sufi teacher. It is basically an act of devotion that takes a person to a higher level of consciousness.of the modern day masters of Qawwali are Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Sabri Brothers. The right kind of music invokes the right kind of emotion which is elated when one does the whirl dance. In Sufis. • Sama Sama is an Arabic word which means listening.


Music and poetry.20.000 people. Their heads. circa 1994. allowing Sufi Sheikhs (masters) to perform magic and miracles. Upon my first encounter with the western world ten years ago. Ibn al-Arabi. honoring God through the methodical repetition of phrases from the Qura’an and through various ways of saying God's name. and their minds seem to link with one single source. moving in an enchanting trance. What is this music? What culture does it represent? Why is it so appealing to an audience that at large. which they believe is possible through disciplined renunciation. I was intrigued by the fact that why is this message of Sufi music so popular. This land is famous for its Sufi scholars and their teachings. when I landed in New York.” By imagining the face of God.” is ritually translated for Sufis into dhikr. . the art form that defines a culture. In this state. or “doing what is beautiful. the great theoretician of Sufism. This is a scene from a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan concert in NYC. that it is even recognized by people who don’t even share and understand the basics of the culture it represents? This question was of prime interest to me when I decided to write this report A closer look at the birth of the Sufi music would reveal that its purpose was to preach and spread the message of Islam through a medium that’s universally liked and acceptable. not even understand the lyrics of the song? These are the questions that fueled my curiosity to write this report: Sufi Music. A major part of my child hood was spent in the Pakistani province of Sindh. listening to one rhythm. The area also possesses a legacy of Sufi music that I grew up listening to. Since then. a Sufi can mediate between the divine and material worlds. I was surprised to see a devout following and a fan base for the music. Sufis emphasize a personal and direct experience of God. a Sufi attempts to “unveil” this image and perceive God's unifying presence in the world and within the self. the music sprouting through the traditional instruments and amplified via the Boss speakers. Scholars claim that the Qura’an's call for ihsan. the sole media through which the Sufi culture spread its message. asserted that the ultimate goal of these rituals is “assuming the character traits of God. and a yearning for paradise. and is. humility and love toward God. Thus the significance of the Sufi Music is pretty much apparent as it was.

Qawwali's roots can be traced back as far as the 8th century in Persia. It is a lively and very energetic type of spiritual music that draws heavily upon the emotions of the performer and his/her interactions with the crowd. This freedom and fusion helps to give Muslims more of an opportunity to express themselves in a manner in which they would otherwise not be able to due to the sometimes strict regulations of other Islamic sects. The qawwali music that is known today was created and . Indian Sub Continent have also been the epicenters for Sufi music. The philosophy of the Sufi culture defines Allah (God) as a loved being. this music is of a certain importance to the followers of the Sufi sect. S Qawwali is very interactive and many times in concerts the audience becomes very engaged in the performance and emotionally n spiritually attached to it. the Sufis write poems and songs that are sung upon the rhythms of the music. Sufism is the heart of Islam that is based on mysticism and the mystic tradition of Islam. and to gain His love and to show and express one’s emotions for the divine.Its role within the culture is also of great importance. It is an extremely diverse tradition and encompasses many of the forms of Islam and fuses them to be a combination of traditions. which is called Chishty Sufi Qawwali / Sama. but this is not the qawwali that we think of today. Sufi's are provided the opportunity to create art. With more liberal and a focus on meditation and interactive worship. Qawwali is the genre of Sufi music that is generally associated with Chishty Sufi Order of which Ajmer Sharif has been the blessed seat from last 900 across the Indian SubContinent . The meditation is about coming to terms with yourself and becoming one with Allah. because it acts like a bridge between human and the divine. Therefore. write poetry and perform music. The central theme and idea behind Sufism is based heavily on meditation and finding the Truth. Indian Sub-Continent have been the hotspots for Sufism. This diverse and rich mystical aspect of Islam also has a rich musical tradition that is central to worship and expression within Sufism.

He can be credited. not only with the creation of qawwali. After which his music has reached all across the globe. It transports one into inner world. the celebrated disciple of Nizamuddin Awliya composed qawwalis and Nizamuddin would listen to these qawwalis and fall into a trance. In fact orthodox Ulama considered them to be heretics. He had got the title of Ustad ( Master ) from the Dargah Ajmer Sharif after performing live for hours during his lesser known days . Khusrau was a great poet as well as musician.the disciple of great Sufi master Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya . Sufism is an interesting and a deeply mystical Islamic tradition that centers around this lively and passionate music that has inspired many The orthodox Ulama considered music as haram (forbidden) but music was an integral part of Sufi Islam. Hazrat Amir Khusraw Dehlvi Chishty who is one of Indian Sub-Continents most famous sufi poets and composers. but also with the creation of modern Hindustani Classical Music. Moreover the Ulama jockeyed for positions in king court and maintained their distance from the poorer masses denouncing them as “impure and bad Muslims. Qawwali's cultural arms have also spread to areas other than the epicenter of Qawwali music. They held these Sufi saints responsible for . Khusrau. It is so soothing to the human soul. Qawwali music is an integral part of Sufi culture and worship and has become a way for Muslims to express themselves through the arts. which is Indian Sub-Continent. The most famous of all the Qawwali musicians was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. More the Sufis acquired popularity. more they came to be opposed by the orthodox Ulama. and his influence on modern Qawwali is unmatched.founded in the 13th century in India by a sufi man named Hazrat Amir Khusraw Dehlvi Chishty . Qawwali became the powerful instrument of inducing spiritual trance. The Sufis developed a special genre of music known as qawwali.

Since Sufi Islam lays stress on spiritualism. Also. the Wahabi Islam. Abdul Wahab. Sufi singers like Abida Parveen and Nusrat Fatehally have made Sufi singing tremendously popular and their cassettes and CDs sell by thousands in the market.keeping them and polluted with un-Islamic way of life. Abdul Wahab played same role in Arabia as in 19th century India. as pointed out above. It is interesting to note that poor masses never accepted narrowly interpreted Wahabi Islam but readily accepted Sufi Islam with all its openness and liberality. To both these classes Sufism acts as a soothing balm and much more so the Sufi music. till today remain shared sacred spaces. Thus Sufism becomes popular both for idle classes in modern society as well as to poor suffering masses. There . Consumerism of modern capitalist society brings more tension rather than happiness in life. narrow and lay stress on and denounce any deviation for rigid dogmas as kufr. Sufism appealed to the poorer masses. played by founder of Arya Samaj Dayananda Saraswati. denounced visit to dargahs and mausoleums and gave slogan for back to the Thus there is direct clash between Wahabis and Sufis. Thus Sufi dargahs. The fast and tense pace of life in modern societies makes sufism a soothing balm for the soul. As bhakti always attracted lower caste Hindus throughout ages in history. Wahabi doctrines are rigid. opposed Sufi Islam and denounced it as kufr (unbelief) and all those Muslims who visit Sufi mausoleums as kafirs. Instant pleasure of modern consumerism cannot provide inner and lasting happiness. Dayanand denounced idol worship and gave slogan for back to Vedas. The Sufi music because of its strong appeal to heart and soul is becoming so popular. They also denounced the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud (Unity of Being) as un-Islamic as it demolished religious boundaries between Muslims and Non-Muslims. rather than on rigid dogmas it is becoming more acceptable in western countries despite their hatred of political Islam. founded by Abdul Wahab in 18th century in what is now known as Saudi Arabia (Najd).

are also groups like Junun from Pakistan. or God's remembrance. a wandering Sufi from Persia. "Mawlid Annabawi. And it is this spiritual appeal of Sufi music. It is a tool for the believer to get closer to God. Thus Sufi Islam which is opposite of political and legal Islam. Dhikr is also considered as a form of meditation to connect to God and draw the divine energy into the world of matter. "Mawlid. dissolving the physical realm into the spiritual one by polishing the heart and enhancing the spiritual aspect of the human being over the physical being. doctrinaire orthodox Islam. Dhikr. which stirs our soul." praising and blessings of the prophet are what Sufis concentrate on. Depending on the different "Tariquats" or "schools of thought. Sufi music is not only based on God's remembrance and on the prophet." (Nasrabadi in Attar: Tadhkirat. Rumi is a Sufi poet and his poetry is full of spirituality and wisdom. In USA Maulana Rums Mathnavi (long epic poem) is selling briskly. is much more appealing to the people than rigid. Maulana Rum was a great scholar and an Alim but one spiritual encounter with Shams Tabriz. Sama'a is food for the soul. Sufi music reaches the soul of the mystic Muslim and awakens the soul's consciousness. transformed Rumi completely. Certain schools use the vibrations emanating from this purpose to transcend the physical realm into the spiritual one. each experience is different and no one session is similar to the other. However not all schools emphasize this. which combine Sufi music with todays pop appeal. From this space. is the expression of love one has towards the prophet." it is done out loud or within the silence of the heart. Whether it's singing. or for others it could also be to embody His qualities and to testify to God that He delivered the message He was entrusted to deliver. listening or whirling." for some. 793) Sound and music occupy an important place in the life of most Sufis. For Sufi mystics. transcending the . Rumi gave up his high status as an alim and began to roam around madly in love with Shams Tabriz and it was in this state of total involvement with Shams Tabriz he composed his Mathnavi.

It polishes the heart of the believer for God's reflection to be purer and clearer. to be able to dissolve into God's light and power." it could be done in a musical rhythm. Although the role of music is a controversial topic in Islam." the "spiritual couplets" written over 700 years ago by the famous Sufi poet and sage Jalal Al-Din AlRumi: "Listen to the reed. how it complains and tells a tale of separation pains. At Sufi meetings. I want a bosom torn my separation. with or without instruments. The essence of Sufism and the connection it has with music is poignantly expressed in the opening words of the "Mathwani. ." for the Sufis it is a path to further spiritual development and a medium through which the human soul may approach the Divine. is a daily practice of contemplation and meditation with focus and concentration solely on God alone. my lament has caused man and woman to moan." It is the symbol of the human soul that has to be totally void so that it can resonate. it must be empty and pure to be a channel and a recipient for the Divine. condemned by some "Mullahs. for all Sufis.physical world and connecting to God as a soul is sometimes achieved A deep spiritual connection is established and the Sufi releases all the worldly attachments. to explain the pain of longing. This reed flute of the Sufis carries a very important symbol through its emptiness: for the human soul to approach and connect to the Divine. music and dancing play a very important role. Dhikr. Whether vocal or as a whisper or silently in the heart. Dhikr is often mentioned in the Koran and for the Sufi it is a main component of the religious and spiritual practice. "Ever since I was cut from the reed bed. Depending on the "Tariquat. just as songs praising the Prophet Mohamed (MPBUH). The main instrument of the Sufis from the East (Iran/Anatolia/Uzbekistan/ Pakistan) is the "Nay. Sufi music is easily qualified as "soul music" for Muslim mystics.

the movement of the ocean under all kinds of weather: sunny. stormy. hence the longing to reunite and "melt" into the Divine's love. is the "Bendir" or frame drum. infinite. Turkey/Anatolia. It is used to bring about a repetitive sound which often takes the listeners into a trance. the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the mountains of Pakistan and Iran. the diversity of Sufi music is enriched by all the cultures it crosses in Egypt. Another instrument often used by Sufis. is also a core subject of Sufi lyrics and music. repetitive movement." Al-Rumi's poetry also refers to the longing each devotee feels. Musa Dieng Kala of Senegal. especially in the West such as Morocco. the Ahl-Al-Haqq of Kurdistan. endless.Everyone who is far from his source longs for the time of being united with it once more. The Gnaouas and the Issawas of Morocco. to mention a few. Al-Kindi and Hamza Shakkur of Syria. and Sohrab Fakir from Sindhi province in Pakistan. yet under the surface calm and powerful in a very subtle way. Just like our world. are our contemporary contributors to the tradition of Sufi music which dates back to Bilal the friend of the Prophet . Persia. Syria. It sounds like a melody following the rhythm of the "life pulse" in all its different stages. African Sufi music uses recurring sounds combined with rhythmic tones. Palestine. The pain of separation from its source. or as some may also say. One cannot talk about Sufi music without referring to its main lands: from the sun of Africa. Uzbekistan and India. God. it forms one unity yet integrated in its diversity.