Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

I found this really neat recording of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing Allah, Mohammed, Char Yaar. The punjabi lyrics are here. This song is a Qawwali.  “Qawwali can be classified as an ecstatic ritual. One of Qawwali’s primary functions is to guide its listeners–those who understand the poetry and meaning–into a state of ecstatic trance (wajd). The music of Hindustani Sufi Muslims, it guides its listeners towards a spiritual union with the saints, with the Prophet, and eventually with God” (Ari Gold Films). Here Nusrat recites the names of the four (char) Indian Sufi saints: “Haji, Khawaja, Qutab, and Farid (Khan 1989). Khawaja is a title for Chishti, the founder saint of Chishtiyya Sufism in India (13th century), supposedly a direct descendent of the Prophet; Qutab was Chishti’s disciple; Farid was Qutab’s (see Begg). Farid, in turn, taught Nizamuddin Auliya, whose disciple Amir Khusrau is credited with many Qawwali compositions and innovations, including the use of Persian and Rekhta (proto-Urdu) languages (Thakur 275, Referenced in Ari Gold Films ), and who gave sama‘–the song–its legitimacy in the face of Orthodox Muslim opposition to music, with the words, “May GOD bless this tribe of music-makers who make even the day of retribution stand by when they perform” (Sarmadee 264). This song which Nusrat performs, then, connects the man who asked God to bless the sama‘ with a line of sainthood leading directly to the Prophet and to God. The Qawwali song affirms the spiritual legitimacy of Qawwali.” (Ari Gold Films)