How many of you are familiar with the Qawwali songs? I believe many are acquainted with the basic idea while for a few, Qawwali is something strange-sounding thing. I blame it on Bollywood where only a few Qawwalis have been produced in its glorious history of more than 100 years. In 2021, if we wish to listen to a good Bollywood qawwali, we have to search for the old Hindi movies. The singers like Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Mahinder Kapoor are direly missed when we listen to the beautiful Qawwalis from the old Bollywood. It’s not that we lack Qawwali singers today. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Wadali Brothers and many more kept alive the golden tradition of Qawwali. The only element missing has been the inclusion of adequate Qawwali songs in the Bollywood movies. I’ve compiled a few Qawwali gems from our Bollywood movies. Enjoy:)
History of Qawwali
The great Indian poet Amir Khusrau (1326) is considered to be the founder of Qawwali. He composed Qawwali-genre songs for the first time to pay tribute to his spiritual guide Nizamuddin Aulia after his death. Qawwalis are basically the spiritual songs that transport the mystic towards the union with God.
1) Originally the Qawwalis were performed at the Sufi shrines in South Asia.
2) Not everyone had permission to listen to Qawwali. Children and women were forbidden to visit the site.
3) Musical Instruments were not allowed to be played while singing Qawwalis. According to the Sufi saints, “Musical Instruments are Haram!”
4) Qawwali gained popularity in the 20th century and entered mainstream music. That was the time when Bollywood created some outstanding Qawwalis.
5) With time, the form of Qawwali has been changed a lot. Now Qawwali can be performed using musical instruments along with the hand-clap rhythm. Women also sing Qawwalis in Bollywood movies, though I don’t have any idea about its version at religious gatherings.
6) In Bollywood Qawwali, there is a verbal battle between two parties, God’s praise sung at a Durgah or a flirting incident between the hero and the heroine.
The word Qawwali means the “words worthy of remembrance". The traditional Qawwalis were devoted to God's praise.
Bollywood Qawwalis are a unique way of expressing emotions in passionate words. The beat of the hands, the energy of the singers and the intense ambience take the listener to another world. I wish Bollywood can produce more Qawwalis and bring more folk singers into the limelight. We are waiting to clap in the praise:)
Trivia question of the day!
Guess the name of the movie from its plot:
"A girl and boy love each other but the boy is mysteriously killed. The girl moves to New Zealand to cope up with her loss where she meets the lookalike of her ex-lover. They then trace the boy's killer."
The one who gives the fastest and the correct answer will be given a special mention in the next post on Bollywood Gossip!
The answer to the question asked in the previous post is Mohammed Rafi and the winner is Ms Anita! Congratulations:)