Hip Hop Qawwali

The term Sufism comes from a western connotation that was created out of interactions between the many charismatic ways Muslim express their faith and the west. Contrary to western belief, Sufi’s were not truly missionaries yet still played a pivotal role in conversion and development of vernacular languages. Especially for modern day Iran, Pakistan, and India, Sufi’s stretching and twisting languages, have shaped the development of modern day Farsi, Gujarati, and Urdu(etc.) literature. Their use of symbols, allegories, and metaphors as a way to express their experience, in human language, has left a profound effect on not only these languages but on the readers, themselves.

When we look at the Christi orders of India and Pakistan, their Qawwali music plays a huge role in music rituals. Through it, like in any other Sufi music, the theme of the “Day of Alast” or the primordial covenant between God and the uncreated souls of humanity when God demanded:

“Am I not your Lord” (Qur’an 7:172)”

They seek to once again find that intertwined love and connection between our souls and God. The beautiful sound of music, through its aesthetics, stirs our souls and reminds humanity of their creator. Specifically, the Christi Qawwali performances, as mentioned in Ersnt’s The Shambala Guide to Sufism chapter “Sufi music and dance”, are:

“a highly structured ritual that is performed at Sufi shrines on the death of famous saints and on other religious holidays” (187)

I hoped to mash a famous Qawwali “Chadhta Suraj” by Aziz Naza with a hip-hop beat which could be relatable to the youth of today. With this idea, I hoped to merge cultures and people from nay ages together to create a sound that is hip and spiritual at the same time. The Qawwali describes humanity’s attachment to the material world and reminds us we can take nothing with us to the grave:

Excerpt of Lyrics of Qawali Chadhta Suraj Dhire Dhire with English translation:

huye naamwar benishan kaise kaise

Look how the world forgot the names signs of famous people

Zamin kha gayee naujawan kaise kaise

Once who were heroes look now they are in graves, the grave has eaten them

aaj jawaani par itranewale kal pacthhtayega

Today Oh Man Proud of your youth tomorrow you will repent, regret

aaj jawaani par itranewale kal pacthhtayega

Today Oh Man Proud of your youth tomorrow you will repent, regret

chadhta suraj dhire dhire dhalta hain dhal jayega

The rising sun will set slowly, Sun will set

Slowly rising upwards Sun will slowly move to downwards

chadhta suraj dhire dhire dhalta hain dhal jayega

The sun, which is rising slowly, will finally set

dhal jayega dhal jayega

will finally set will finally set

dhal jayega dhal jayega

will finally set will finally set

Tu yaha musafir hain, yeh saray panee hain

You are just a guest, visitor, here this world is just an illusion

Continued…….

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