Facts about Qawwali

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Qawwali is type of music and dance native to India and Pakistan. The music brings the singer, the dancer, and the listener closer to God. As part of the Sufi Muslim religion, Qawwali was performed at Sufi shrines and dargahs. Today it is performed for different events, including weddings. Here are some interesting facts about Qawwali.

Fact 1: Qawwali is spiritual music of the Sufi sect of Islam in Pakistan and India used to encourage devotion and instruction.

Fact 2: Qawwali music has been performed for over 700 years, back to 8th century Persia.

Fact 3: Sufism is a mystical school of Islamic thought that teaches that individuals can find God by looking within.

Fact 4: Qawwali is said to bring its listeners into a state of religious ecstasy.

Fact 5: Performers of Qawwali often work themselves into a frenzy and sometimes a kind of trance.

Fact 6: Qawwali can be traced back to the 11th century.

Fact 7: Most Qawwali are 15-30 minutes long and are written in Urdu or Punjabi.

Fact 8: The instruments used in traditional Qawwali are tabla, dholak, and clapping. In modern Qawwali, the instruments typically used are harmoniums, sarangis, and rababs.

Fact 9: Audience participation is encouraged during performance of a Qawwali.

Fact 10: Qawwali are only created for joyous celebrations.

Fact 11: Traditionally, Qawwalis were reserved for men but women partake in them today.

Fact 12: Qawwali became more known globally when Pakistani performer Fateh Ali Khan collaborated with Peter Gabriel on a world music tour.

Fact 13: Other famous Qawwali performers include the Sabri brother’s of Pakistan, Bahauddin Qutbuddin, and Aziz Mian.

Fact 14: A group of Qawwali musicians are called a party.

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