Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ecstatic Sufi Music

With all of the generally negative political news coming out of places like Pakistan, I thought it would be good be reminded of some it's the beauty for a change.

This video is one of my all time favorite Pakastani artists named Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The music he played is known as Qawwali, which is a genre of ecstatic devotional music of the Sufis.

Qawwali is a exciting musical tradition that is well over 700 years old. Originally Qawwali was performed mainly at Sufi shrines throughout what is now India and Pakistan, it has also gained popularity throughout the world via the music of artists like Khan.

Often listeners, and even Qawwali musicians themselves, are transported to a trance-like state called “wajad” where they feel at one with the divine. This state is generally considered to be the height of spiritual ecstasy in Sufism, which is the main goal of the practice.

Common lyrical themes in qawwali are love, devotion and longing (of man for the Divine).

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