Sufism is a way of life

Sep 18, 2012, 09:06 IST | Gauri Pradhan

Abida Parveen was groomed in Sufi music since the age of three.

It’s enough to say that Sufism is a way of life for the singer. The great singer, whose forte is Kafi, has been judging the ongoing music reality show Sur Kshetra on Colors lately. She tells CS what Sufi music is all about :

Promotional Feature/Editor: Janhavi Samant

Sufi ki kahani
Sufi music has been born from the dargah. It’s the legacy of the elderly and saints like Hazrat Sultan Arafin and many others. All these great men have these books that are all based on 30 raagas. Their life stories have been given a place in these books. The rendition has been given place here. So these renditions are different at different places. For example, at the Dargah of Hazrat Maulana Rumi in Istanbul, only basuri plays. These are basically the slogans of every dargah. It’s believed that the sounds and the ragas are His blessing. Whoever sings in this Universe, sings because it’s God’s gift. This world has come to existence with God’s voice, and that’s what’s circulating around. Every thing has a sound and a vibration.

A common message
When Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti came along, he recited the Qawwali. The aim was to send across a good and solid message to upgrade the souls of all human beings. ‘Sound’ is like a legacy that you hand down to someone. Kafi is a sufiyana kalaam. Kafi and Kalaam are conversations between the prophets and the God. The word Kafi means complete. So it includes singing as well as classical rendition. But even if the styles are different, every Kafi gives out the same message. 

Saintly words
Plus, saints’ words and poetries are not their own, they are just their conversations with the Lord that are etched in their hearts. So, every saint’s dargah has its own different rendition. Dohas are read in different styles at different dargahs. So every dargah’s message is the same but in a different rendition. Most of the other saints recited dohas or nasrs which are dialogues with the Lord. For example, Pir Murshid Sain has recited a nasr which is divided into 144 volumes. These have even been translated into English.

Filmi tales
Sufi music is all about the love you feel for anyone. When it was formed, the saints wanted to express their love for God. But Sufism basically aims at spreading love. So today when Sufi music is used in films to portray love, I think it’s fine. 

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