Promoting Sufi music
THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Promoting Sufi music’ (Nov 15). There are two views about music in Islam. Some consider it to be unlawful. But Sufis have taken the other view and consider it as a means of reaching God.
The question arises: what is it in music which acts as a vehicle between man and God? I have put this question to many persons including knowledgeable musicians and Sufis but have not got any satisfactory answer.
Many years back I went to Bombay and had a desire to meet Pundit Narayen Rai Vyas, a great musician of India. After some efforts, I found his house.
I told him that I had come from Pakistan to meet him. He was extremely happy. When I asked him this question, he said: “When you hear music, you are so absorbed that you do not know what is happening around you. Yahee(n) to Bhagwan hai.”
I had the good fortune of listening to Bhagat Kanwar Ram when I was very young. In those days Hindus often used to hold ‘Satsang’ gatherings in Kharadher in Allah Rakha Park.
He would put ghungroos on his feet, sing the Sindhi ‘kalam’ of Shah Abdul Latif and dance.
I cannot forget the ecstacy with which he sang and danced. One would feel that he is not in this world.
In those good old days music promoted Sufi culture and values in Sindh.
Hindus participated and sang ‘kalam’ of Muslim Sufis like Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast with fervour. People of different sects and religions used to live in harmony and brotherhood. Alas! It is missing today.
DR. G. HYDER ALIDINA