How did Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan die? What you may not know…

How did Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan die? What you may not know about his health issues

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997) lived merely 49 years before he left this world with a legacy in Qawwali, Ghazal and Sufiana Kalam that remains unmatched till date.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s death was very untimely and shook the world of music in South Asia. He was touring across the world and his collaboration with western artists such as Peter Gabriel and Eddie Vedder had made him an acclaimed musician admired from US to Japan.

Legendary artists such as Noor Jehan, Mehdi Hassan Khan, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle along with many others paid their homage to the extraordinary artist. There was also an element of disbelief around Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s death as he was merely 49 years and many of his own mentors were still alive.


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Childhood Photo circa 1960s

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Childhood Photo circa 1960s


Although Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s death was unexpected, there were concerns around his health for a long time.

As narrated by his friend and renowned Journalist Hassan Nisar:

Nusrat Sahib had eating disorders from early age. Once we were strolling in Faisalabad (also called Layalpoor) along with other friends. Nusrat Sahib suddenly got extremely hungry and called all friends to stop at a restaurant.

Hassan Nisar and friends cautioned him that they don’t any money. However, Nusrat Sahib’s hunger pangs got out of control and he stayed at restaurant and had dinner alone, despite no money.

When the restaurant owner found it, he kept Nusrat Sahib as hostage until his friend go to his family and inform them to bring money. Nusrat Sahib’s family arrived there, paid the restaurant, and took Nusrat sahib back.


Hassan Nisar also mentioned that they used to call Nusrat Sahib ‘Pervaiz’, which actually is his real name, something very few people know.

His photo from childhood above shows he was suffered from obesity since as a child. Due to obesity, Nusrat Sahib developed kidney and liver issues in his 40s.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan face a failure of both kidney and liver and died of cardiac arrest on11 August 1997 in London Cromwell Hospital. This happened while he was on his way to Los Angeles for treatment.

His body was moved back to his native city Faisalabad, and his funeral was a public affair.

Even today, Nusrat Sahib’s tomb attracts music artists all over the world who visit his last resting place to pay their gratitude the greatest Qawwali who ever lived. Below photo is Hans Raj Hans visiting his grave and layng flowers.







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