How to learn and sing Qawwali: answer FAQs

How to learn and sing Qawwali: answer FAQs


Qawwali, a soulful and devotional music form originating from Sufi traditions, has captivated audiences with its mesmerizing melodies and profound lyrics. In this article, we will explore various aspects of Qawwali, including how to sing it, its religious significance, and its appropriateness during Ramadan. We will also delve into the history of Qawwali, shedding light on its origins and evolution.


Aaj Rang Hai - Hazrat Amir Khusrow

Aaj Rang Hai – Hazrat Amir Khusrow

Who Invented Qawwali?


The exact origins of Qawwali are shrouded in history, but it is believed to have been developed in the late 13th century in India by Hazrat Amir Khusrow, a Sufi poet, musician, and scholar. Khusrow is often credited with blending Persian, Arabic, and Indian musical elements to create Qawwali as a form of devotional expression within Sufi circles.


Nusrat Fateh Ali teaching Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali teaching Rahat Fateh Ali Khan



How to Learn Qawwali?

Learning Qawwali requires dedication and a passion for Sufi music. Here are some steps to begin the learning process:

a. Find a Mentor: Seek out experienced Qawwali singers or qawwali parties to learn from. A mentor can guide you in understanding the nuances of Qawwali singing and its spiritual significance.

b. Study Classical Music: Familiarize yourself with the basics of classical music, as Qawwali draws heavily from classical vocal techniques.

c. Practice Devotion: Understand the spiritual essence of Qawwali and immerse yourself in its Sufi themes to evoke the emotions required for authentic performances.



How to Sing Qawwali?


Singing Qawwali requires a unique blend of vocal expertise, musical skill, and spiritual devotion. It is traditionally performed in a group known as a “qawwali party” led by a “qawwal” (singer). Here are some key aspects of singing Qawwali:

a. Vocal Technique: Qawwali demands a strong command over classical vocal techniques. Qawwals often employ intricate vocal improvisations, known as “sargam,” to create melodic patterns that resonate with listeners.

b. Emotional Expression: Qawwali is a deeply emotive form of music, and singers must connect with the spiritual essence of the lyrics to evoke feelings of devotion and love in the audience.

c. Call and Response: Qawwali typically involves a call and response pattern, with the lead singer initiating a verse and the rest of the group responding in unison. This interactive element adds to the spiritual fervor of the performance.




Is Listening to Qawwali Haram?

The permissibility of listening to Qawwali depends on individual religious interpretations. In Islam, music, in general, is a topic of scholarly debate.

In both Sunni and Shia jurisdictions, Ulama believe that Sema/Sufi Music is allowed as long the listener engage in the act solely for the ‘Remembrance of Allah.‘ Sama has been practised by so many great notable Muslims scholar, including Maulana Rumi.

Whirling Dervishes, a ritual attributed to Maulana Rumi, one of the greatest scholars of his times, is all about praise to Allah and Prophets, before the whirling begins.

Also for Qawwali, the lyrics sung must be free from any indecency and verses are also basically the Zikr of Allah and Prophet Muhammad SAW.



Can We Listen to Qawwali in Ramadan?

Ramadan is a the month of Zikr and Sama, if done rightly, is indeed a Zikr and remembrance of Allah. What better time to remember Allah and Prophets than Ramazan!.


Where can I download the best Qawwali? has the Largest collection of Qawwali songs to download in MP3 format [100+ MP3 and more]. 




Qawwali is a deeply spiritual and captivating form of music. Whether one chooses to sing or listen to it depends on individual religious beliefs. For those interested in learning Qawwali, finding a mentor and immersing oneself in the art’s devotional aspects are essential. And while its exact origins may be uncertain, Qawwali remains a cherished tradition that continues to touch the hearts of millions.




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