Sufism is the heart of Islam that is based on mysticism and the mystic tradition of Islam. It is an extremely diverse tradition and encompasses many of the forms of Islam and fuses them to be a combination of traditions.
The central theme and idea behind Sufism is based heavily on meditation and finding the Truth.
The meditation is about coming to terms with yourself and becoming one with Allah. With more liberal and a focus on meditation and interactive worship, Sufi’s are provided the opportunity to create art, write poetry and perform music.
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.
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. Indian Sub Continent have also been the epicenters for Sufi music, which is called Chishty Sufi Qawwali / Sama.
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 Sub-Continent . 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.
Qawwali is very interactive and many times in concerts the audience becomes very engaged in the performance and emotionally n spiritually attached to it.
Qawwali’s roots can be traced back as far as the 8th century in Persia, but this is not the qawwali that we think of today. The qawwali music that is known today was created and founded in the 13th century in India by a sufi man named Hazrat Amir Khusraw Dehlvi Chishty – the disciple of great Sufi master Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya . Hazrat Amir Khusraw Dehlvi Chishty who is one of Indian Sub-Continents most famous sufi poets and composers. He can be credited, not only with the creation of qawwali, but also with the creation of modern Hindustani Classical Music.
The most famous of all the Qawwali musicians was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
He had got the title of Ustad ( Master ) from the Dargah Ajmer Sharif after performing live for hours during his lesser known days.
After which his music has reached all across the globe, and his influence on modern Qawwali is unmatched.
Qawwali music is an integral part of Sufi culture and worship and has become a way for Muslims to express themselves through the arts.
Qawwali’s cultural arms have also spread to areas other than the epicenter of Qawwali music, which is Indian Sub-Continent.
Sufism is an interesting and a deeply mystical Islamic tradition that centers around this lively and passionate music that has inspired many.