Sindhi Soul: Manzoor Ali Khan

Manzoor Ali

On the other side of the subcontinent, 2200 kms from Bengal, in the desert interior of the Pakistani province of Sindh you’ll find the spiritual cousins of the Bauls. Trade between the Arab settlements of Muscat, Oman and the Arabian peninsula and this part of South Asia was long established by the time the new faith, Islam, began to dominate West Asia. It was in Sindh in the northwest and along the Malabar Coast in the south west (modern Kerala) that this religion of ‘submission and peace’ first took hold in southern Asia.

In Sindh an exceedlingly rich and distinctive culture that encompassed literature, philosophy, architecture and music bound the Sindhi speaking peoples together in a unique, syncretic embrace. And at the foundation of this culture lay an indigenous mystical spiritual attitude and practice that often saw what we now refer to as Hindus and Muslims sharing and participating in and creating and sustaining a way of life and belief that prioritised the simple ‘heart of man’.

In an ancient post I provided some more information on this particular spiritual realm which you may want to visit.

Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan whose collection I share today is one of my personal favourite singers of sufiana lokgeet. His voice is clear and supple. His songs, like those of the Bauls of Bengal, strip away the exterior trappings of ‘religion’ and take you directly to the heart and soul of the matter. Pure love. Pure intention. Peace and beauty.



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