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Mera Koi Nahin Hai Tere Siwa - Haji Ghulam Farid Sabri & Maqbool Sabri
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Mera Koi Nahin Hai Tere Siwa
Vocals: Haji Ghulam Farid Sabri & Maqbool Sabri
GHULAM FARID SABRI was one of the most versatile Qawwali singers of modern times and, as one of the Sabri Brothers, the first to bring this devotional music, invented by medieval Sufi poets and mystics, to audiences in the West. With his younger brother, Maqbool, he composed and performed several Indian and Pakistani film scores in the Qawwali style, had recorded hits and began the poetic embassies from the subcontinent to the expatriate Indo- Pakistani populations of the United States
He was born in 1930 in the Central Provinces of the Raj and was brought up in Gwalior. The family, which had a tradition of performance, claimed descent from Tan Sen, the court maestro of the Great Mughal, Akbar, a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth. While Akbar can claim success with uniting the Hindu and Muslim kingdoms and populations of India into one enlightened Empire, to Tan Sen redounds the credit of inventing a style of classical music. Claiming descent from Tan Sen is equivalent to saying you are descended from Mozart. But the claim is more serious, because in India the musical tradition passes like sap through a family tree.
After the partition of India in 1947, Sabri's family migrated to Karachi together with thousands of other Muslims who formed in Pakistan the Mahajar community of migrants and refugees, distinct from the indigenous Sindhis, Punjabis, Baloch and Pathans. The Mahajars took with them the courtly traditions and conceits of Urdu, a language in which the central tradition of Qawwali which the Sabris began to practise, is carried on. On arrival in Karachi, the brothers, whose education was begun by their father, were taught classical style by Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan, the maestro, who is now 87 and lives in Southall, west London.
Qawwali, which literally means 'utterance' in Arabic, is usually traced back to Amir Khusro, the soldier, poet, missionary and Sufi philosopher who composed in Persian in the 13th century. This branch of Indian Sufism brought together the obsessive, trance-inducing devotional pursuits of the Hindu Bhakti cults with the mystical strains of Persian Islam and dedicated the amalgam to Allah, to the prophet Muhammad and to the saints who were for the most part Sufis themselves.
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