I have become you and you become me, in my body is your soul May none say hereafter that you and me are different beings.
Divinity becomes definable with poet-mystic Hazarat Amir Khasrau. The poet, his poetry his emotion his surrender to the Almighty coalesces in the seemingly simple lyrics to present a throbbing and grand celebration of God.
Understating Khusrau is as easy as understanding a child and as difficult as understanding a sage, His Pir, Hazart Nizamuddin Aulia, passed on the Sufi tradition light from the heart to the heart and till this day the name of Hazart Amir Khusrau us entrenched in our cultural and spiritual history as a poet, philosopher and mystic who had received the Ultimate Blessing.
His poetry has layers and layers of meaning, nuances that may apply to people from all walks of life and from everycorner of the earth. His poetry provides the base to thirsty wanderers to rejoice and mediate on the fundamental mystery of life. Khusrau’s poetry reveals his vision of the Almighty –his love, submission and anguish, his changing forms to capture every of God’s omniscience –as a women as a supplicant, as a beloved or even as a friend.
In his poetry, Hazrat Amir Khusrau created Sama or Divine music, music that eased assuaged hungry hearts and souls. He sought the truth like a soldier restless for divine light looking and finding rays of pure, lilting joy. And blessed with this divine sensitivity, Khusrau’s couplets have stood the test of time to draw our belief that this will reveal the light this will take us to the path.
Khusrau’s poetry spans from earthy Hindi to sophisticated Persian imagery. He has probed into Indian Raags and created imaginative blends with Arabic and Iranian Usuls and Maqaams. Truly his eyes of love watered by the tears of submission, are unparalleled in Sufiana Kalaam.- a term used for devotional songs sung in praise of the Sufi saints. His love for the Almighty was utterly simple and totally profound at one and the same time.
The word Sufi comes from the Arabic word suf, which means pure. Sufis are called so because their inner world is purified and enlightened by the light wisdom, unity and oneness. In sufi music, the songs of the poet-singer invariably alternate between the moods of the lover and the saint the beloved.
Early in 2001, an event to commemorate Hazrat Amir Khusrau was conceived and the one and only Sufi mystic from South Asia Begum Abida Parveen was the incomparable experience of conversing with God. Thus the concert Jahan e Khusrau was born –where Begum Abida Parveen and Tunisian Sufi singer Lotfi Bouchnak
Early in 2001 and event to commemorate Hazrat Amir Khusrau was conceived and the one and only Sufi mystic from South Asia Begum Abida Parveen was the only choice to be the bridge who could make mortals live through the incomparable experience of conversing with God. Thus the concert Jahan e Khusrau was born where Begum Abida Parveen and Tunisian Sufi singer Lotfi Bouchnak.
No one can express Sufi mysticism and its depth as mellifluously as Begum Abida Parveen. A Sindhi from Larkana, Abida started her singing career as a little girl. Her father was a singer who encouraged young Abida to become the disciple of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan. After the maestro’s death, Abida Parveen has taken his taken place as the undoubted numero uno. As the queen of Sufi mystical singing she’s at her best with sufiana kalaam, be it in Hindi, Urdu Punjabi, Sindhi or Saraiki.
Her inspiration is the Sufi saint Shah Abdaul Latif an 18th century poet and composer who blended folk music and classical raga in a style known as kafi Begum Abida Parveen primarily sings the structured, poetic kafi as well as the soulful ghazal genre of singing and improvisational qawwali style.
When she sings there is a wild masti about her as she raised her hands exulting to an visible God. Her singing is an exquisite adventure into the music the table the lyric melody, the improvisations, the note arrangements passed down rom older generations that hint at secrets from the beginning of time, different from anything ever experienced.
At the festival Jahan e Khusrau, Begum Abida Parveen and Tunisian Sufi Mystic singer Lotfi Bouchnak share the honours to immerse themselves in pure and pristine poetry.
Steeped in Tunisian Nuba nad Oriental musical heritage Lotfi Bouchnak trained in folk, Tunisian Maluf, Andalusian and Sufi music. He has worked and trained with leading Tunisian composers Ali Sriti, Mahomed Azzouz, Saleh El Mehdi and Fethi Zghounda. His abiding and strongest influences have come form his association with Arab artistes like maestros Ahmed Sidqui, Saeed Makaoui nad Heni Snouda. From the opening bars to the end, his voice soars and pierces through the range of tenor, baritone and bass lending remarkable authenticity and mood to the music. His collaboration with Begum Abida parveen has brought the conventional that that ‘One who dies for the love of Truth, dies a Sufi’. And Sufis never die.