Qaul se qawwali tak ka safar : The origin of Qawwali

If its Thursday night it has to be qawwali sessions at the Dargah of Hazrat Qutub Sahab or Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya .
But what is a qawwali?
Its a genre which has its origin in India and is most popular in the sub continent.
Sufi ‘sama mehfils’ always used music as a means of inducing trance – ‘haal’.
Those who go into state of ‘haal’ trance and dance are very popularly known as the Whirling Dervish.
There are various stories about the origin of qawwali. I give one below.
Be as it may it was developed by Hazrat Amir Khusrau from the Prophets qaul.
It is narrated that Hazrat Amir Khusrau went to the khanqah of Hazrat Bu Ali Shah Qalandar , who asked him to sing something in praise of Amirul Momineen Hazrat Ali.Hazrat Bu Ali Shah was a famous Chisti sufi saint.
H Amir Khusrau obeyed Hazrat Bu Qalander and set Rasool e Khuda, pbuh s qaul to music
Note : Qaul literally means a saying and this name is bestowed to the sayings of the Prophet pbuh.
The most popular qaul of the Prophet
“Man kunto maula,
Fa haza Ali-un maula ”
”whoever accepts me as a maul (master), Ali is his master too”.
was set to music by the genius Amir Khusrau on the spot. He added the famous tarana

“Dara dil-e dara dil-e dar-e daani.
Hum tum tanana nana, nana nana ray
Yalali yalali yala, yala ray ”

to give body and soul to the music and help to induce a trance.

I have 13 versions of Man Kunto Maula and my favourite versions are by Aziz Mian, Abida Parween, Ustad Shujaat Hussain and Abbas Ali Khan.
Amir Khusrau was entrusted with the work of developing Qawwali as a complete form of music and he selected 12 young students whom he called qawwal bachcha. It is through them that he presented Qaul Qalbana and other forms of Qawwali.
Munshi Raziuddin and his sons Farid Ayaz and Abu mohamed are descendants from those qawwal bachchas
Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammed
Famous scions of the Qawwal bachcha also include Ustad Bahauddin Khan Qawwal and Ustad Meraj Ahmed Nizami

Comment List

  • Saeeda Haider 08 / 03 / 2015 Reply

    Thank you ever so much for the information These are such marvellous and historical sufi songs original and unique If you have written some thing more on this subject would be highly interested Please let me know

    • Rana Safvi 08 / 03 / 2015 Reply

      Shukriya. On this site itself you will find a lot about Sufi saints.

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