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Nusrat The Voice of Faith

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Nusrat The Voice of Faith
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Nusrat The Voice of Faith

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Item Code: NAU052
Author: Pierre-Alain Baud
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789351363842
Pages: 176 (Throughout Coloured Illustrations)
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 9.00 X 7.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.39 kg
About the book

Shahenshah-e- Qawwali Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's Voice gripped the imagination of people across the world. A man of deep simplicity, as well as someone truly of his times, he single-handedly made qawwali a global passion. With hundred of albums to his credit, and millions sold, Nusrat had an all-consuming mission to spread the message of the Sufi poets and mystics. In Pakistan and abroad, he reincarnated the ancient Sufi Culture, Steeped in mystician and devotion, with a blazing modernity. ae Dey a ie personal account of the great qawwal’s life by Pierre- Alain Baud who had intimate access to Nusrat for over a decade. Baud, who was overcome with emotion when he heard Nusrat oT me 28 first concerts in France in 1985, often travelled with the artiste and helped organize numerous show for him all over the world and in Pakistan, until his untimely death tn 1997. This insightful account is replete and enriched by conversations with the great man’s Friends, family and Collaborators. Nusrat is , in the authors's word's the result of 'generous exchanges interrupted by unexpected vocal demonstrations, stunning silences, firey looks and the magic of his personality, so close yet constantly eluding us.

About the Authors

Dr. Pierre-Alain Baud is a music lover who was closely involved with. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s life and music for over ten years. This book, first published in French by Editions Demi-Lune, received several awards and much acclaim in France. It was published in Urdu in Lahore by Sang- e-Meel Publications. Baud is currently the art director of Arts Nomades, a non-profit venture for research and cultural promotion. He ts also associated with different departments of Dhaka University and has worked with the Sindhology department of Sindh University, Pakistan. Trained in contemporary dance, he wrote his Ph.D on dance and power in Mexico. Through these diverse activities, he pursues his interest in community development issues.

FOREWORD

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Even his name resonates like a poem, and the poem metamorphoses into an initiatory journey every time one sees or hears him. A spectacular man, seated cross-legged on the ground, projecting his mad song of love towards the divine, his arm outstretched, reaching for the heavens. Variously referred to as ‘Singing Buddha’ in Tokyo, ‘Quintessence of the Human Voice’ in Tunis, ‘The Voice of Paradise’ in Los Angeles, ‘The Spirit of Islam’ in London, ‘Pavarotti of the East’ in Paris, 'Shahenshah-e-Qawwali’ (emperor of qawwali) in Lahore; over the space of about fifteen years, this ‘chosen singer’, one of God’s madmen, one of God's sweetest, shot to planetary fame. And then he disappeared, too early, leaving a thousand footprints behind. A man of superlatives: weight (impressive), octaves (six, it is said), albums (a hundred and twenty-five at the beginning of the 1990s according to the Guinness book of records, certainly twice that many by now), concerts (by the thousands), videos that can be viewed on youtube.com (in the hundreds of thousands, some of which have been watched over ten million times), google. com references (in the millions), cassettes and CDs (sold by the tens of millions). Yet a man of deep simplicity. His | all-consuming mission was to spread a message: the kind and beautiful words of the Sufi poets and mystics permeated by an Islamic consciousness made of love ‘and union. A man outside of time, snaring us in the madness of his declarations of love addressed to the divine. A man truly of his times too, open to all kinds of experiments, all kinds of fusion... He was both rooted and universal, both ~ committed and free. In Pakistan, as all over the world, Nusrat incarnated both ancient Sufi culture steeped in mysticism and devotion to the Sufi saints, along with a blazing modernity, which overwhelmed everything he encountered. Belonging to two worlds, he was an incredible go-between, a mythical intermediary between generations during his lifetime, a link between tradition and modernity, the East and the West, the sacred and the profane. Since his passing in 1997, his aura has continued to grow. A being continually in the process of evolution. Given the genius it evokes, this book’ is a very personal and modest attempt to approach the Nusratian mystery. It is written by an European citizen, who although educated far from the subcontinent, is deeply sensitive to its thousand and one fragrances, and who was overcome with emotion when he heard the gigantic yet amazingly light Nusrat during his very first concerts in France in 1985. A biography written by someone of South Asian origin would certainly be very different, like Aqeel Ruby's pioneering work published in 1992, emphasizing other dimensions of this master of qawwali. These other accounts, that | await impatiently, will be truly welcome, continuing or nuancing the words | have written. | believe other works are necessary to provide a subtler vision of the phenomenon that Nusrat was. In the : meanwhile, this is a first contribution, the written by a foreign author who resonated very closely with the artist.

INTRODUCTION

This ‘land of the pure’ has a unique destiny, far more diverse than the narrow, limited and partial image propagated by the media since 9/11. Its name is ambivalent, an acronym that evokes both purity (‘pak’, pure in Urdu and ‘stan’, land) and the union of highly varied provinces that have existed since the dawn of time: P for Punjab, A for Afghania (the current Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), K for Kashmir, S for Sindh and Tan, the tail end of Balochistan. At the crossroads of the Indian subcontinent, lran and Central Asia, since antique Mehrgarh—over seven thousand years ago—the famous towns of the Indus Valley, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, are amongst the oldest civilizations the world. These provinces have continually been crossed by conquerors, nomads and migrants. Each new arrival Left its mark: the Indo-Aryans, Darius’ Persians, Alexander's Greeks and the Greco-Buddhist empire of Gandhara, not forgetting the traders and pilgrims travelling along the northern Silk Route. Nonetheless, the most lasting influences of our times—before the European conquests—were undoubtedly those of hugely diverse Muslim peoples: from traders and the Arab, Turko-Persian and Moghol armies, to Ismaili missionaries and Sufi monks from Persia and Central Asia. Let us not forget that Islam has existed in the Indian subcontinent since the second century Hegira—or the eighth century of the Christian era—with the conquest of Sindh, and that the Muslims held political power throughout the northern subcontinent for over six hundred years, during the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.

For close to thirteen centuries, a slow inter-penetration has taken place between the Prophet's message (already interpreted in many different ways) and the ‘Hindu’ endogamous philosophical, social and cultural systems. We use the word ‘Hindu’ because originally this term was used to signify all the populations living beyond the Indus Valley. At a certain time, people spoke of Christian Hindus and Muslim Hindus because the people occupying the Indian subcontinent was So diverse.

The everyday lives of the inhabitants of the region cannot obscure the reality of these secular exchanges between Indianness and Islam and vice versa. Whether it were in terms of food, clothing, dwellings, the arts, thought and even religious rites, numerous bridges were built over the centuries leading to fabulous cultural intermingling. South-Asian Sufism that gave rise to Nusrat's Qawwali song, was to be one of these magnificent expressions. However, the political exploitation of differences between the peoples in the subcontinent by some of the Mughal sovereigns and by the British colonialists who worked on a policy of ‘divide and rule’ did not allow for a permanent closeness. At the time of Independence, faced with a secular and multi- confessional Congress Party nonetheless dominated by Hindus, a Muslim League developed, as they were concerned about the fate of the Muslims in independent India where the Hindus would be a majority. Out of this feeling of insecurity and the desire for specific cultural affirmation, was born the theory of two - separate nations; the bards were the reformer Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and the visionary poet, Mohammed Allama Iqbal, and the political spearhead, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the ‘founder’ of Pakistan.

**Contents and Sample Pages**








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