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Aug 09 2013

Sufi Music

Perhaps you know about Sufism. And how Sufism was replaced by Islamic fanaticism in the Indian subcontinent.

Listen to a Sufi song. My favourite.


This song is about Bulleh Shah, the Sufi poet who was asking to demolish temples and mosques. He was against all religious rituals. And very fond of alcohol. Once upon a time he was respected by people of different faiths.

If Bulleh Shah were alive today, he would have been killed by radical Islamists.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    If I admit to a purely linguistic desire to know, would you be willing to tell me what language that is?

    Beautiful song, lovely singer. Amazing use of melisma.

    1. 1.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Urdu. She is Abida Parveen, very famous Sufi singer from Pakistan.

      1. CaitieCat, getaway driver

        Thank you! I thought the sentence structure reminded me of something (a long, long-ago course in Sanskrit, with some similar structures) I’d heard. Very lovely song, really appreciate you bringing this to us. :)

      2. DsylexicHippo

        Are you sure it is Urdu? It sounds more like Punjabi to me (albeit, a Urdu-influenced version of Punjabi which is how I’d imagine the language would be in Pakistan).

        1. Taslima Nasreen

          You may be right.

  2. 2
    Sanjay

    Yes I agree these beautiful melodious songs would be a sure thing of Islamists target and their singers shame on them.

  3. 3
    Not You

    By yr kind information, the fact is, there is not at all similarities, between the two…(i think u hv nt studied abc of Sanskrit).

    1. 3.1
      CaitieCat, getaway driver

      Yes, obviously you’d know more than I do about what I learned, so I’ll just leave it there. Have a nice day.

        1. Not You

          Most of your collected data are some ppls personal point of view only. Becoz, vry vry vry few (similarities) directly or indirectly proportional to almost nothing.

          1. Taslima Nasreen

            Go learn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urdu

        2. CaitieCat, getaway driver

          Thanks, Taslima. I should say that I was being sarcastic; I’m a linguist and translator, so I was quite confident I knew what I was saying, but I do appreciate the backup. I just didn’t want to derail the thread with a long discussion of linguistic stuff that was off-topic from the song.

          The similarities I was able to note came from the fact that I’m a professional translator of three languages, that the video includes two overlapping English glosses for the Urdu words, and from my linguistics studies, which trained me to have a good ear.

          I was able to tell, by the pattern of repeated words, or lines in the song speaking the same idea about two different nouns (“tear down the mosques, tear down the temples”, comes to mind). The latter allowed me to quickly recognize which were the words for “mosque” and “temple”, for instance. Other lines showed me the use of negation and other functional words, and the use of these very common words (not the exact words, but recognizable variants), which I remarked, reminded me of those I learned in my brief exposure to Sanskrit.

          These are all basic to linguistic analysis: find minimal pairs and see how they’re different, or find sentences that vary in only one aspect, and see how they’re different, et c..

          Any road, sorry for the derail, ma’am; I look forward to the next time you feel like bringing some fascinating and beautiful music to our attention. Thanks!

        3. Not You

          After surffing in your suggested web link which comprises of boring long text of massages,(but which might be according to you are newer to me) i have found that there is nothing new to learn. As all these facts are already present in my mind!

  4. 4
    kraut

    I started listening to Sufi music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Sabri brothers years ago, when the album Mustt Mustt was published.

  5. 5
    trog69

    Wow. I just purchased an exquisite pair of speakers, and I’ve been listening to music I hadn’t heard in years, but I never thought I’d be listening so intently to Sufi music. Thanks for broadening my learning experience! What a wonderfully expressive and poetic rendition.

  6. 6
    Joe Z

    I first heard about Sufi music a few years ago from a documentary called Sufi Soul. My favorite part of the movie was the Qawwali song performed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. It was just so joyous.

    I’m heading to Youtube to listen to more of Parveen’s work.

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