A look at Ghazals and Sufi music, genres of music which are the underdogs of the music world, but is the epitome of soulful and idyllic melodies.


With Queen, the Beatles or Coldplay weaving songs with lyrics that express us when words fail. With the world tapping to Punjabi songs. With K-Pop winning hearts and spreading love, Sufi music and ghazals are music for the soul, poetry for the mind and melody for our hearts. While pop music and rap music have clearly established their hegemony, songs like Arziyan, from Delhi 6, and Kun Faaya Kun, from Rockstar, would be some of the most popular examples of this genre pulling us back to our roots.

Songs by artists like Shawn Mendes and Taylor Swift gain millions of views in hours but this music, despite having the potential, does not enjoy the same audience. Not wanting to sound like my parents but, with today’s remixes, EDMs and mashups this side of the spectrum often goes unnoticed. Few, but only those lucky few who can see the beauty behind this mystical sound, are able to enjoy the way it strikes a chord. The mehfil this music creates cannot be found elsewhere.

The usage of words will sadden you over what is now left of the languages used, but it will be so exquisite that the sadness will be long gone. The delightful instruments will leave you charmed and mesmerised. While there are countdowns for hashtag Shawmila songs and speculations about release dates, where each word will be scrutinised to see what detail of their romantic lives can be squeezed out, you will never know when these songs will come out and go. This music is like the unconventional mind, which creates its own path, it finds small crevices in us and seeps in, in the moments we least expect it to.

Contrary to popular ideas, this kind of music is not restricted to being sad or emotional, and several takes of this can be found in Sufi rock, Bollywood and other music. Arooj Aftab, a “neo” Sufi artist on speaking to Huffington Post described her influence as, “A lot of Sufi stuff is about distance and time and travel.  The journey that you take as a singular self, searching for love within yourself.”

In today’s music scene where hundreds of artists are being remembered and celebrated for their creative contributions in filling the void in our hearts, and tying us all together, here is a list of one of the best music this genre has gifted the world.

Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo- Farida Khanum

“Aaj jaane ki zid na karo
Yunhi pehloo mein baithe raho
Aaj jaane ki zid na karo
Hai mar jaayenge, hum to lut jaayenge
Aisi baatein kiya na karo
Aaj jaane ki zid na karo”

Dil Jalane Ki Baat- Farida Khanum

“Humko Apni Khabar Nahi Yaaron,
Tum Zamane Ki Baat Karte Ho,
Ziqr Mera Suna To Chid Ke Kaha,
Kis Deewane Ki Baat Karte Ho,
Hadsa Tha Guzar Gaya Hoga,
Kiske Jaane Ki Baat Karte Ho”


Dum Mast Qalandar- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Rub Ne Kinne Shaan Banaye
Be Karma Te Karm Kamaye
Jehda Vi Tere Dar Te Aaye
O Na Kabhi Bhi Khaali Jaye

Ik Vird Hai Dam Dam Ali Ali”


Kun Faya Kun- Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan

Jab Kahin Pe Kuch Nahi Bhi Nahi Tha
Wahi Tha Wahi Tha Wahi Tha Wahi Tha

 Woh Jo Mujh Mein Samaya
Woh Jo Tujh Mein Samaya
Maula Wahi Wahi Maaya

Woh Jo Mujh Mein Samaya
Woh Jo Tujh Mein Samaya
Maula Wahi Wahi Maaya”


Tu Maane Ya Na Maane- Wadali Brothers


Asaan ne tennu Rab manya
Apne tan ki khaak utaari
Tab ye ishq ki manzil paayi
Meri saanson ka bole iktaara”


Arziyan- Javed Ali, Kailash Kher


“Pyaas Le Ke Aaya Tha, Dariya Woh Bhar Laya
Noor Ke Barish Mein Bhigata Sa Tar Aaya
Noor Ke Barish Mein O O O
Noor Ke Barish Mein, Bhigata Sa Tar Aaya
Maula Maula Maula Mere Maula”


Faasle Aise Bhi Honge- Ghulam Ali


Faaslay aise hongay yeh kabhi socha na tha,
Saamne baitha tha mere aur woh mera na tha

Woh to khushboo ki tarah phaila tha mere charsoo,
Main usay mahsoos kar sakta tha chhoo sakta na tha”

Tum Itna Jo Muskurah Rahe Ho- Jagjit Singh

Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
Kya Gham Hai Jisko Chhupa Rahe Ho
Aankhon Mein Nami, Hansi Labon Par
Kya Haal Hai Kya Dikha Rahe Ho”

Tera Chehra Hai Aaeene Jaisa- Jagjit Singh

“Dost mil jaayenge kayin lekin
Na milega koyi mere jaisa
Tera chehara aaine jaisa
Tum achaanak mile the jab pehale
Pal nahi hai woh bhulane jaisa
Tera chehara hai aaine jaisa”


Image Credits: Delhi Planet


Shivani Dadhwal

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