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Qawwali and the love of divine

April 17, 2017

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Hamza Akram and brothers perform at T2F on Sunday.—White Star
Hamza Akram and brothers perform at T2F on Sunday.—White Star

KARACHI: The 26th generation of the Qawwal Bachon Ka Gharana of Delhi, Hamza Akram and Brothers, performed at T2F for an intimate gathering comprising the Ahl-i-Zauq on Sunday.

The potency of this classical musical tradition that depends on religious devotion, giving way to a sense of euphoric connection with the divine, has been diluted with the stamp of commercialisation; to complement modern audiences its true essence has been tapered. And Akram was pleased to inform the audience that his previous performances at T2f had adhered to the more traditional aspects of qawwali with Sunday night’s performance being no exception. A more traditional playlist was introduced.

Hamza Akram and Taimoor Akram Qawwal both performed ‘Mere Bane ki Baat na Puchho’ and ‘Allah Ho’ to the audience deeply engrossed in their performance, and the evening paid tribute to an art form that has endured and thrived, despite numerous assaults, for over hundreds of years.

Akram also spoke about the significance of T2f with regards to his career. “I have a very old association with T2f which is where I began my career from,” Akram said. “I give credit for Sabeen Mahmud for pushing me in this direction.”

Grandsons of Munshi Raziuddin, renowned qawwal and classical musician, who has trained shining stars such as the Saami Brothers in qawwali and classical music, the Akram Brothers are on the way to finding their distinct voice.

Their rendition of ‘Munn Kunto Maula’ helped cement their upward trajectory. According to Akram, as the month of Rajab is upon us, so the performance held a lot of significance.

Currently nominated for the Lux Style Awards in the category of Best Emerging Talent, Hamza Akram and Brothers are the youngest from their generation and are attempting to carry forward the tradition of the 805 year old Qawwal Bachon Ka Gharana.

Akram is also currently under training in eastern classical music by Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, and in Qawwali by Ustad Fareed Ayaz.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2017