Here come two intoxicating and mesmerising Qawwali tracks from Rohail Hayat’s Coke Studio. Qawwali is a Sufi musical tradition that stretches back more than 700 years.
The roots of Qawwali can be traced back to 8th century Persia (today’s Iran and Afghanistan). During the first major migration from Persia, in the 11th century, the musical tradition of Sema migrated to South Asia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Amir Khusro Dehelvi of the Chisti order of Sufis is credited with fusing the Persian and Indian musical traditions to create Qawwali as we know it today in the late 13th century in India.
Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammed belong to the Qawwal Bachchon ka Gharana. Their lineage descends directly from that of Mian Samat Ibrahim, a disciple of Amir Khusro, the renowned 13thcentury poet and musician. Centuries later, these brothers are still proudly rendering the ancient art form and are widely considered to be one of the best qawwal troupes in the world.
Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammed have worked hard to win the respect of listeners both young and old alike. In 1973 when Fareed Ayaz decided to form his own qawwali troupe, his father Munshi Raziuddin left his partner Manzoor Niazi and joined his son’s party along with Abu Muhammed. The early years were not easy, but they persevered, combining their integrity to the art form with sheer hard work. Gradually the troupe started garnering acclaim as listeners began appreciating both the depth of their kalaams and their remarkable skill.