Videos

Here are some samples of devotional or spiritual Sufi songs. Modern interpretations can be found as you scroll down. Use the sliders on the right hand side of the videos to scroll through examples organized by region. Even though we catagorized these Sufi music styles by region, we are interested  in the borderless hybridity of philosophies and music forms.

 

Senegal

The Mouride brotherhood (yoonu murit in Wolof, الطريقة المريدية, Aṭ-Ṭarīqat al-Murīdiyya is a large Islamic Sufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal.

The followers are called Mourides, from the Arabic word murid (literally “one who desires”), a term used generally in Sufism to designate a disciple of a spiritual guide.The Mouride brotherhood was founded in 1883 in Senegal by Cheikh Amadou Bamba. (Wikipedia) The videos below are examples of Qasidas  or “praise songs” and Dhikrs originally developed in Persia but re-interpreted and re-imagined for the local SeneGambian context.

 

South Asia

The Ginans (Urdu: گنان, Gujarati: ગિનાન) are a vast corpus of devotional literature in the form of lyrics and hymns worshiping and praising God, and has been the living tradition of Nizari Ismailis particularly from South Asia. The word is Hindustani, and derived from the Sanskrit word jñāna (“knowledge, wisdom, gnosis“). 

 Pir Sadardin was an early pioneer of this form of literature. It was originally an oral rendition mostly by Pirs, first among whom to come to South Asia was Pir Satgur Nur in the 12th century.  Ginans drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources such as the Quran, but also included the works of Persian Sufi masters. We have also included a Kaul/Kol in this slidedeck and a few other South Asian Singers such as the up-and-coming Sanam Marvi.

Near and Middle East

The qaṣīdaᵗ (also spelled qaṣīda; in Arabic: قصيدة, plural qasā’id, قــصــائـد; in Persian: قصیده or چكامه, chakameh), is a form of lyric poetry that originated in preIslamic Arabia. Well known qasā’id include the Qasida Burda (“Poem of the Mantle”) by Imam al-Busiri and Ibn Arabi‘s classic collection “The Interpreter of Desires”. Here are examples from Central Asia. 

The classic form of qasida maintains a single elaborate metre throughout the poem, and every line rhymes. It typically runs more than fifty lines, and some times more than a hundred. It was adopted by Persian poets, where it developed to be some times longer than a hundred lines. We have also included Ghazals. Early Arabic ghazal revolved around two broad themes: the celebration of wine, women, and song; and lament over lost love. By the time the ghazal passed into Persian from the early eleventh century onward, this second theme had come to have mystical overtones: separation and suffering were at the heart of love, and the faithful, longing lover was even a kind of martyr.

 Modern

Sufi music has influenced and been influenced by many regional and modern styles. Here are some examples.