An interesting collection of concise qawwali performances from an even more interesting group of singers.
Shan-e-Rasool-o-Aal-e-Rasool (roughly translated by me as The Glory and Grandeur of the Prophet) includes performances by some famous qawwals including Abdur Rab Chaush and Yusuf Azad Qawwal, a couple film playback singers [Mahendra Kapoor and Shamshad Begum] as well as a few (to me) new names such as the delightfully named Pyare Timmu Qawwal (Jaipuri) and Master Habib Nizami.
With the inclusion of filmi qawwali this record presents a sort of qawwali – lite which most connoisseurs would not rate very highly. The messages are simplistic and the language is of the sort someone unfamiliar with High Urdu or Persian can easily understand. Case in point: title of track 9 [Allah Bahut Bada Hai]!
The music, composed mostly by one Mami Bhachu, [any information on him would be much appreciated], is consistently lively and employs a range of traditional and more modern instruments including clarinet and guitar.
What I like about this sort of qawwali is that not only is it ‘simple’ and pretty straightforward but it has lots of stylistic similarities to some Christian gospel music. The lyrics tell stories of the heroes and villains of the Faith, as well as ordinary devout people grappling with the mystery of God’s ways. The philosophy and moral lessons are easy to discern.
And finally, what makes this recording special is the variety of voices. Ismail Azad Qawwal and Shafi Niazi and Yusuf Azad each bring a clear diction and suppleness to their singing that is perfect for story telling. And then of course, there is the grand Shamshad Begum, a very non-traditional qawwal, indeed.
Enjoy with blessings.
01 Sine Mein Rahne Do Hoton peh na Lao
02 Zindagi ka Sahara Madine Mein Hai
03 Qaflia Haj ko Chala
04 Ya Mohammad Kisi Haal Mein Bhi
05 Khuda Ne Tumko Rasoolon Mein Aftab Kiya
06 Dar-e-Huzoor pe Hazir Ghulam Ho Jata
07 Hasnain ki Takhti ka Vaqya
08 Mohabbat Husain Ki
09 Allah Bahut Bada Hai
10 Mohammad ke Dularon Par