Pickled Politics would like to wish our Muslim readers “Eid Mubarak”, as today marks the end of Ramadan (or “Ramzan”, as we South Asians pronounce it).
Some suitable music to mark the occasion:
A live performance of an extract from “Man Kunto Maula”, by the Pakistani singers Atif Aslam and Riaz Ali Khan. Dedicated to Ali, this devotional song was written by the Indian Sufi poet and musician Amir Khusrau in the 13th century; it is regarded as the first qawwali in Indian history. Amir Khusrau, the Sufi Muslim saint Nizamuddin Auliya’s most famous disciple, is widely regarded as one of the founders of North Indian classical music as an organised art form. Atif Aslam is the younger singer in the video below; he often contributes to the soundtracks for Indian films, and has become very popular during the past couple of years.
Nizamuddin Auliya himself was a disciple of Fariduddin Ganjshakar (known as “Baba Farid” or “Sheikh Farid”), a Muslim saint who is regarded as the founder of Punjabi Sufism. Hundreds of verses from Farid’s hymns and religious poetry were included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scriptures of Sikhism; the final version of the Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. Both Nizamuddin and Farid are famous for their humanitarian message of compassion towards everyone and for promoting the concept of the inherent unity & equality of mankind; they are still revered by huge numbers of Indians from all backgrounds, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and Nizamuddin’s shrine in Delhi is similarly visited by numerous Indians from multiple faiths.
Amir Khusrau is also buried at the shrine complex, as is Jahanara, who was the favourite daughter of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal) and was also the sister of the Mughal crown prince Dara Shukoh. A photo of Nizamuddin’s shrine is displayed at the top of this article. You can watch a 10-minute extract from the Channel 4 series “Sufi Soul” via Youtube here, which includes the historian William Dalrymple’s interview of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the nephew of the late great Sufi Muslim singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; the video includes a clip of Rahat performing a more traditional version of the aforementioned qawwali by Amir Khusrau at Nizamuddin’s shrine. The video also includes some scenes from the shrine along with an inspiring interview of an elderly Muslim gentleman there.
A wonderful clip of one of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s huge concerts in conjunction with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall in October 2009 can be seen via Youtube here. The video consists of Rahat singing a qawwali dedicated to the historical Sufi Muslim saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, who cited Ali and Rumi as his role models. The saint was a close friend of Farid, and is similarly revered by both Muslim and non-Muslim Indians for promoting friendship and understanding between people of different faiths.
Once again, Eid Mubarak and Ramzan Kareem.
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Filed in: History,Muslim,Religion