Sunday evenings are reflective occasions. A come down before the buildup begins once again. This feeling, which has both comforting and depressing aspects, goes way back for me. To a time when I was 9 or 10 and a schoolboy in the foothills of the Himalayas. The thick golden rays that filled the valleys and filtered through the trees were undoubtedly beautiful. But with them came a feeling of absolute loneliness. I realized in some unconscious way that I was entirely on my own.
Of all the types of music I enjoy, sufiana music (the music of the Sufis), is best suited to deal with the soul-ache that accompanies this time of the week. Probably because it is the music of the solitary person reaching out to the Invisible reality. As a boy I didn’t understand that what I was experiencing was a spiritual longing. The only problem was I had no way yet to find the Unseen and so I felt only the sadness.
Strictly speaking, this collection is not entirely sufi music. I’ve included spiritual songs from the Hindu and Sikh traditions as well but those are merely labels. Every track is a cry from the heart of man for God.
This a special collection. You will, of course, know a few of these artists but for the most part this is hard to find, rare music made by singers and musicians with mainly local reputations and followings. Most are traditional musicians or musicians who perform as part of their religious practice. Stand out tracks abound. In fact, every single one is a ‘cracker’. But my favorites are the opening qawwali (#1), Subuhanallah (#6) by Sindh’s Mohammad Ibrahim and the nirgun song from the Malwa region of central India (#7) sung by Sundar Lal Malwi.
01 Qawwali Of Amir Khusrou [Bahauddin Qutbuddin Qawwal & Party]
02 Mein Bhi Jaanaan (Shah Hussain)[Mohammad Tufail Niazi]
03 Unki jataan pind khech jo [Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan]
04 Piya Ghar Aaya [Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan]
05 Laali mori re (Sufi Sindhi) [Sikander & Sufi Sindhi Artists]
06 Subuhanallah [Mohammad Ibrahim]
07 Lere Naam Lere Naam [Sundar Lal Malwi]
08 Lehra (Sufi Dhadi) [Sharif Idu and Group]
09 Ali Mullah (Feat. Transglobal Underground And Natacha Atlas) [Musafir]
10 Asaan Ishq Namaz [Muhammad Jumman]
11 Allah Sain [Attaulah Khan Niazi ‘Issakhelvi’]
12 Justaju [Anandmurti Gurumaa]
14 Naam Bina Mati [Amreek Singh Zakhmi]
15 Sajjan De Hath [Abida Parveen]