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Kaabe Wali ..

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Kaabe Wali ..

Kaabe Wali: The Sufi Song of Love and Devotion

Kaabe Wali is a popular Punjabi qawwali that expresses the longing of a lover for the beloved, who is metaphorically referred to as the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam. The song is based on the Sufi poetry of Bulleh Shah, a 18th century mystic and poet who challenged the orthodoxies of his time and advocated for a universal love of God.

The song has been sung by many renowned qawwals, such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Hamsar Hayat Nizami and others. The lyrics describe the journey of the lover to the Kaabe Wali Gali, or the street of the Kaaba, where the beloved resides. The lover faces many obstacles and hardships on the way, but remains steadfast in his or her devotion. The song also conveys the message that the true Kaaba is not a physical structure, but the heart of the lover where God dwells.

Kaabe Wali is a song that transcends religious boundaries and appeals to people of all faiths and backgrounds. It is a song that celebrates the power of love and the beauty of spirituality. It is a song that inspires people to seek the divine within themselves and in others.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia and the history of Qawwali stretches back more than 700 years, particularly in areas with a historically strong Muslim presence, like southern Pakistan, and parts of North India[^3^]. The style is rare, though not entirely obscure, in North and West Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Kashmir.

The word Qawwali is derived from the Arabic word qul or qaula, meaning uttering or speaking. Subsequently, qawwal in Arabic refers to a person who speaks loudly or is a storyteller[^2^]. Qawwali singers are also called qawwals, who perform in groups of eight to ten people. The main singer is accompanied by one or two side singers, one or two harmonium players, and percussionists who play the tabla and the dholak. The singers also clap their hands in sync with the rhythm.

Qawwali music is based on the principles of Hindustani classical music, such as raga and tala. However, it also incorporates elements of folk music, such as regional languages, dialects, melodies, and rhythms. Qawwali songs are usually composed in Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali, or Braj Bhasha. The lyrics are mostly derived from the poetry of Sufi saints and mystics, such as Rumi, Hafiz, Amir Khusrow, Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain, and Kabir. The themes of Qawwali songs include praise of God (Hamd), praise of Prophet Muhammad (Naat), praise of saints (Manqabat), love songs (Ghazal), and mystical expressions of devotion (Kafi).

Qawwali music has produced many legendary singers who have mesmerized the audiences with their powerful and passionate voices. Some of the most famous qawwals of India include:

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: He is widely regarded as the greatest qawwali singer of all time and one of the most influential musicians in the world. He was born in Faisalabad, Pakistan in 1948 and belonged to the Qawwal Bachon ka Gharana. He had a remarkable range of vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours. He popularized Qawwali music in the international arena and collaborated with many artists from different genres, such as Peter Gabriel, Eddie Vedder, Michael Brook, and A.R. Rahman. He died in 1997 at the age of 48.

Aziz Mian: He was another prominent qawwali singer from Pakistan who was known for his unique style and expressive delivery. He was born in Delhi, India in 1942 and migrated to Pakistan after the partition. He was also a scholar of literature and philosophy and often incorporated his poetic and intellectual insights into his qawwali lyrics. He was famous for his long and improvised performances, sometimes lasting up to 10 hours. He died in 2000 at the age of 58.

Sabri Brothers: They were a duo of qawwali singers from Pakistan who were renowned for their harmonious and soulful singing. They consisted of Ghulam Fa


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