Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Kawwal music and the Sufi tradition

The Beloved - (the Divine within and without)

The Beloved is the divine within us all waiting to be revealed as we awaken. In the Sufi tradition it is sung (Gazhal  poetry and song) about danced to,in the whirling Dervishes of Konya Turkey.

The love poem strives to come to terms with the feelings toward the divine and also the form or the divine in human form, our lover.

Historically Amir Khusro sis said to have blended the traditions of the Arab,Persians,Turks, Moghuls, and and Hindu poetic traditions to come up with the gazhal. 
see ; Amir-Khusrau 

I first was introduced to these love poems when I played with an Indian singer Mr Mike Panelli (Manek Panvelliwallah) with the Indian music society Adelaide 'Rasik Ranjanee'. In India Urdu language is used and the poets compose cuplets. The poets would have a segment each monthly meeting. 

There are differing definitions of the gazhal and also the spelling (gazal, ghazal) etc... here is one source from Iran where the famous poets Rumi and Hafez made their mark.

"In the 12th century the ḡazal is present in the dīvān of nearly all poets, whether they were poets of the court, such as Anwarī, Ḵāqānī and Jamāl-al-Dīn Eṣfahānī, or mystics such as Farīd-al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār (d. ca. 618/1221, q.v.), who developed the antinomian motives introduced by Sanāʾī. Jalāl-al-Dīn Rūmī (d. 672/1273) gave new dimensions to the ḡazal using it for the expression of mystical rapture as well as for homiletic teachings. The abundance of his imagery exceeded the conventional boundaries. Rūmī’s ḡazals have a quite unique position within the development of the form. The most outspoken poet of the antinomian ḡazal was Faḵr-al-Dīn ʿErāqī (d. 688/1289, q.v.), who seems to have actually lived the life of a qalandar.*1
The rise of the ḡazal to the dominant position in Persian lyrical poetry reached its zenith in Shiraz during the lifetimes of the two undisputed masters of the genre, Saʿdī (d. ca. 692/1293) and Ḥāfeẓ (d. ca. 792/1390). The former is often named as the poet who finally established the technical ḡazal as the standard form. He collected his poems in more than one volume, an example followed by a few later poets, notably Amīr Ḵosrow Dehlavī (d. 725/1325, q.v.) and ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492). Blending artfully the profane and the mystical strains which had been developed by earlier poets, Saʿdī excelled in the elegant formulation of the con ventional motives. Numerous lines from his ḡazals have reached proverbial status in the Persian language. " 
see http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gazal-1-history
*1 note a Qalander is a roving spiritual seeker

In the 1990's I saw Nuzrat Fateh Ali Khan (above) at Womad and one year the Pakistani community had a private concert after the WOMAD show at a small hall in the southern suburbs of 'adelaide.
The whole community was there families and all. It was an electric evening of Qawwal and the viewers listerners showered gifts of $ bills on Nuzrat and his party all night. I arrived back home in the early morning riding on a wave of sufi light.

Some years ago in the early 80's and later 90's I was in Delhi and decided to visit the Lodi Tombs area of the city.

Unknown to me this area is heavily Islamic being the site of the famous tomb and mosque of Nizamuddin Aulia a famous Sufi saint of the 13C where Hazarat Inayat Khan's Dhagar is also located. see Nizamuddin Mosque info
There I listened to talks and met people of the Dhagar Inayat and his Dutch followers. Daily there were chants or qawwal singing either in the Dhagar or at Nuzamuddin mosque next door. 

I learnt of the Chisti order see Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer and the Sufi tradition of devotion to the "beloved" 
This took me on a wide ranging journey unbeknownst to me at the time. Since then I have lived in Oman, Saudi Arabia, visited Istanbul Turkey, and the Chisti Khwaja mosque in Rajastan as well as Kashmir, and Aggra a number of times.


Hazrat Inayat Khan in the picture , bless him.

Qawwal devotional song in the sufi tradition.

Dama dam Mast Qalander

teen panina pana panee
Jhule lal, Jhule lal , Jhule lal , Jhule lal 
Chiku charinah jhule lal

Jhule lal x 3  dama dam mast qalander

History Notes 
Jhule Lal was a Sufi mystic from Sind Province.

Jhule Lal / Sayed Mohamid Usman Marwandi 
Hindu incarnation of Deva Varuna water god 
12th C died Sind family from Baghdad originally
He always wore red hence red robe of the saint.
Dama dam must qalander originally adapted from a Amir Khusro poem or ghazal

All rights Gerard Menzel 
tabla harmonium vocal

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Thank you for sharing ...Gerard

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