4 Great Qawwalis by the Sabri Brothers

Four  of my favourite qawwalis by the Sabri Brothers, all of them live and not very recent, but still brilliant:

All these qawwalis are in Urdu, except for “Phool Rahi Sarson Sakal Ban”, which is in Poorbi and may be not all that easy to understand, but it is a genuine qawwali classic; its lyrics were written by Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal-e-A‘zam (1775-1862). The melody was composed by his court musician, Ustad Tanras Khan Sahib (1770-1872). Ustad Tanras Khan was a direct descendent of Mian Samad Bin Ibrahim, who was the main student of Hazrat Amir Khusrau himself (R.A.). All qawwals belonging to the Qawwal Bachchon ka Gharana (e.g. Ustad Farid Ayaz & Ustad Abu Muhammad) are descended from Ustad Tanras Khan, and therefore also from Mian Samad Bin Ibrahim.
Something else: in the late 1980s, there was Sunday afternoon programme for Asians on the BBC called “Network East”. They regularly had “In Concert Specials”, often with Hindustani classical music, but also with qawwali. In 1989 there was an “In Concert Special” with the Sabri Brothers. You can watch and listen to the qawwalis they sang on YouTube; the image quality is not very good, but these truly are qawwali gems, that I must have listened to more than a thousand times!

Wazir Dyers

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