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CH – Raga CDs of the Months (08/2016): Ragas in Sufi Music.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on August 22, 2016

Ragas in Sufi Music
– Sufiana Kalam | Words of Sufi Sages

Schalal ad-Din Rumi (Wikipedia)

1207-1237: Schalal ad-Din Rumi (Wikipedia)

First scriptures about sufism and practices had been written in 1st centurey AD.  The golden era of sufism war between the 13th and 16th century. It had been it’s zenith.

In Western countries the sufism is associated with the dancing dervish (Turkish Mevlevi Order) going back to the Persian theologian, poet, advocate and sufi mystic Schalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273).
The dervishs put themselfs into ecstasy by their rotations. This ritual exercise is called dhikr, in commemoration of God. Its an intensive worship of Allah with  renunciation of the worldly.

Music herefore can be part of spiritual exercises. Sufi Rumi described already in the 13th century that music, dance and poetry are helpful for concentration on the divine and renewing the soul. With singing accompanied by instruments God is called. It is sung about the love for God and the prophet Mohammed.

dates of broadcasting…

22nd August 2016 – 04:00 pm EST (10:00 pm CET) @ Radio RaSA (CH)
(21st February 2011 – 11:00 pm (CET) @ TIDE Radio)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Etymologically sufismus probably has its roots in suf (wool) and safa (purity) . With the entrance into the sufi order a woolen robe is overhanded to a Sufi  within an initiation ritual.

Pure Sufis  turn away from an earthly life keeping free of any seductions and emotions like pride, arrogance, envy or wrong hopes for a long life. It’s the fight against the despotic ego to reach an-nafs al-safiya, which is the “pure soul” as the highest level, always beyond that of the prophet.  More important than self-abandonment is love. Living a life truthfully, the heart free of hate and reisting against culinary allurements. The love for God is the postulate for the reunion with God which is possible already this life. Sufism is the inner relationship between the loving one, the Sufi and the beloved God.

The Arabean, Islamic world and different cultures from South and East Europe had influenced each other ove rmany centuries alternately, e.g. between the 6th and 12th century in the muslim oriented Spain. In the modern Europe the term sufism was known lately in the 19th century. The Indian musician and mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan founded the International Sufi Order, in 1917 in London. At the end of the 20th century the sufi orders increasingly became accessable for non muslims. It is defined as a “universal  sufism” without any direct link to the Islam, where all religions are welcome.

In sufi music on the Indian sub continent the vocal in Qawwali style is an expressive form. In Arabean  Qaul means “expression of the prophet”. The Qawwali is established in Muslim regions like North and West Pakistan, Punjab, Hyderabad and same in Bangladesh and in Kashmir.

Amir Khusrow surrounded by young men. Miniature from a manuscript of Majlis Al-Usshak by Husayn Bayqarah (Wikipedia)

Amir Khusrow surrounded by young men. Miniature from a manuscript of Majlis Al-Usshak by Husayn Bayqarah (Wikipedia)

As Lyrical form of the Qawwali  mostly is used the Ghazal. The content expresses the emotional desire for the reunion with the divine and the joy at the love of God. The origin of the Qawwali is rooted in the 8th century, in the Persian area (nowadays: Afghanistan and Iran). The Qawwali form as we know it today matured in India in the late 13th century. The Sufi Amir Khusro Dehelvi linked both Persian and Indian music traditions. Amir Khusro belonged to the Chistiya Sufi Order.

Since the Turkish conquest in South Asia all over the Indian Sub continent established a multiplicity of  Sufi Orders, from Delhi to South India: Moinuddin Chishtiya, Nagshbandi, Suhrawardiyah and Qadiriyaah.

By modern medias the sufism experiences world wide interests, especially from non muslims. These days everybody can obtain an opinion about sufism by himself. The first scriptures  about sufism from the 1st century (‘Kashf al-Mahjub of Hujwiri ‘ and ‘Risala of Qushayri’) are available in English translations.

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