NRI Pulse


Tribute to slain Sufi singer Amjad Fareed Sabri


Atlanta, GA, June 30, 2016: On June 22nd, Amjad Fareed Sabri, a well known Sufi singer, was assassinated in Karachi,Pakistan. He was on his way to a local television station to sing a Sufi kalam in praise of the Almighty, to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when his car was showered with bullets. He was only 39 years old.

The Sabri clan is known world-wide for rendering Sufiana kalam in Qawaali style for many generations. His late father, Ghulam Fareed Sabri, and late uncle, Maqbool Sabri, were known as the original Sabri brothers. They are known for qawwalis like ‘Aaj rung hai ree maa’, ‘Bhar do jholi meri’ , Ya Muhammad etc etc). Now Amjad and his younger brother, were singing the praises of Allah and Prophet Mohammed in same ‘qawwali’ style – a devotional traditional form of singing sufiana kalam.

The radical organization, which took the responsibility for the murder, claimed that Sabri  was killed for blasphemy. The Sabri brothers were known as a bridge between Islam and the western world. They have experimented with new techniques and also with western instruments like the saxophone. There are extremist groups, which are against the use of music in the faith.

 Sufism: There are different claims behind the origin and forms of Sufism. Also, the etymology of word ‘Sufi’ has different scholarly opinions. But, one thing every school of thought agrees, is that Sufism stands for inner reflection and invoking soul-consciousness. And, it is attained by singing the attributes of the Almighty in musical notes. Music is integral part of Sufism.

Music is used during congregation in pretty much of all the faiths. The Tasawwuf or Sufism is the inner mystical dimension of Islam. In Sikhism, all the 6000+ hymns are written and sung in 30+ ragas (musical notes). In Hinduism, the various bhajans and hymns are sung in various northern and southern ragas. In Christianity and Judaism, the music is widely used during the mass.

Music invokes the mood, softens the soul and breaks the walls of ego, thus opening to the vastness of life and beauty in the creation. Music amalgamates heart with heart, soul with soul, humans with the creation and ultimately with the Creator.

One can assassinate a man, but not the music in him.

Fanatic mind may have quarantined a quwaal, but not the Qawwali.

Extremists may have silenced a Sufi, but not the Sufism.

Amjad Fareed Sabri, will be heard again singing (Aaj Rung Hai Ree Maa), recorded for Season 9 of Coke Studio, featuring sometime in August 2016.

Raini Chadi Rasool ki

So Rung Maula ke Haath

Jin Ka Chola Rung diya

So dhan dhan-wa kay bhag

Aaj Rung Hai Ree Maa, Rung hai ree

Mere Khwaza ke ghar Rung hai ree

Eh ree Sakhi …..Mere Mehoob kay ghar Rung hai ree

Aaj Rung Hai Ree Maa, Rung hai ree

Senior Sabri Brothers singing Aaj Rung Hai Ree Maa :

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