8 interesting things you should know about Sufi music
Sufi music, derived from Sufism, the ancient philosophical movement which has its root in Islam, is more liberal in its thoughts and views. This makes it different from conventional Islam ideologies, and therefore a philosophy in its own right. Sufi music is an expression of Sufism and a universally liked, and probably the most popular spiritual genre of music. It is especially popular in Iran, India and Pakistan, where platforms to promote Sufi music can be found in festivals, and even film music is composed and created with a Sufi influence. Here are eight things you should know about this wonderful genre of music which touches the hearts of millions around the world.
Sufi music is believed to have originated in the fourteenth century and made popular by fakirs (darveish / saints) who would sing songs praising the Supreme Power of the Lord, on their long journeys.
Since Sufism believes that it is possible for anyone to see God in the present life, Sufi music is a way or an instrument for Sufi mystics to get closer to seeing and finding God.
Sama is an important ceremony during which Sufi music is sung, where dervishes of the Mevlevi order whirl around in circles constantly to the sound of the music and go into a trance. This ritual can be seen in certain dargas and even some Indian film sequences have depicted the beauty of this ceremony.
Popular Sufi artistes include Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Azmat, Atif Aslam, Sain Zahoor Ahmad, Arif Lohar, A. R. Rahman, Kailash Kher, Abida Parveen, Sultan Khan, Harshdeep Kaur, Rabbi Shergill and Daler Mehndi.
It has a meditative effect, as it relaxes the mind with the help of the different musical instruments and the peaceful and spiritual nature of the lyrics.
Sufi music is all about spirituality and advocates love and respect towards all religions; it does not propagate any one God or religion, rather it propagates philosophies of an ideal way of living.
There are different varieties of Sufi music such as kafi, hamd naat, darood, mowlood, ghazal and the most popular of all, qawwali.
Nowadays, Sufi music is merged with other forms of music, especially Western music, to form new genres such as Sufi rock, Sufi pop, Sufi jazz and so on. This has led to a greater popularity of this ancient music in the modern world.