Sufiana Qawwali : Sher Miandad and group ( Pakistan)
from the Sufi tradition and shaped by the Amir
Khusrau, qawwali is a popular form of devotional
music that goes back nearly seven centuries. Some
scholars believe it to have originated before
the birth of Prophet Muhammad. Sufism –
a mystical school of Islam – believes it
is possible to reach the Ultimate during one’s
life and experience Him in both silence and sound.
Qawwali is, perhaps, the vocal form of this remembrance,
or dhikr. The word ‘qawwali’ comes
from the Arabic ‘qaol’, which means
axiom or dictum; and a qawwal is one who sings
the Prophet’s dictums and praises of God.
Both religious and romantic, qawwali is sung in
a simple, unpretentious style and is the traditional
form of Islamic song found in India and Pakistan.
Sher Miandad and
his brothers Faiz Fareed Ali Raza and Fakhar-uz-Zaman,
hail from an illustrious family of qawwals in
Punjab. They are a rare mix of traditional devotional
qawwali and a fine understanding of modern music.
The grandson of the noted qawwal, Din Mohammad
Dina, and cousin of the great Nusrat Fateh Ali
Khan, Sher Miandad began singing in 1996 and soon
rose to the top. He brings from Pakpattan Sharif
the soul of Punjabi poetry – Baba Farid
Gunj Shakar – whose verse moves the heart
of its listeners even today. The group performs
regularly at the shrine of the Sufi poet. They
have also performed for PTV and Radio Pakistan
and at the World Performing Festivals in Lahore.
Their fusion programme with Swiss and Syrian musicians
led to a novel music project called Sufi Moon.
There have been Sufi Moon performances with Sher
Miandad in Geneva and other European countries.
The group has also performed in Mela Festival
in Oslo in 2003. The singer-composer has performed
at Switzerland, England and Singapore where the
Bulle Shah award was conferred upon him in 2002.
Sher Miandad has a keen following in Europe, America