A blog by Sara Surani

In order to creatively express Eaton’s piece on “Sufi Folk Literature and the Expansion of Indian Islam, “ I composed this musical composition. In Eaton’s article, he details how expressions of love are often epitomized through songs and music. He notes the example of the songs women sang while working, and how these songs were a form of spiritual auditory adoration. These working songs are also evocative of the Sindhi virahini poems. Much like the working songs and virahini poems, this musical composition is used to express love for God and his Prophet. This song embodies the themes of love for the Prophet and a continuous quest for one’s spiritual identity. These are themes that are reflected throughout the course, especially in the context of literature from different Islamic traditions. The song commences with a series of repeated arpeggios, each arpeggio symbolizing a constant element in an individual’s life—whether it be family, religion, or an intellectual pursuit. After a short rest, a measure of five consecutive notes is played—representing the five pillars of Islam. This segment of the song reflects the beginning of a spiritual questioning, which is then signified by an extended trill. The harmonious melody that follows the trill indicates a spiritual enlightenment and an awakening of the soul. As the soul awakens from its period of skepticism and questioning, she is reminded of her love for God. The song ends with an organized hodgepodge of upbeat chords and trills that reflect a passionate and indefinable love for God and the Prophet. This love is reminiscent of the love that is represented in Sufi literature. This love is not just a spiritual love, but also a physical love that consumes every aspect of the mind and the body. The idea that love, a feeling, can affect the soul and human physique so intensely is a matter than often makes me wonder: How can love for an eternal spirit we have never seen consume every aspect of our being? How can you define a feeling like love that transcends our physical manifestation? If love is an element of our identity, and love transcends our physical being, then can our identity transcend the physical world?

December 9th, 2015 at 11:57 pm