KARACHI, July 8: A qawwali and classical music evening was held in memory of the late Munshi Raziuddin Qawwal on the occasion of his fourth death anniversary in a hotel here on Saturday night.

One of the most outstanding exponents of the art-form, Munshi-ji, as he was known to admirers, was not only a musician par excellence but was also well-versed in the Arabic language, hence the honorific before his name.

The qawwali session was kicked off by the late qawwal’s sons, led by Abu Mohammad and Farid Ayaz, who have become accomplished performers in their own right. They started off — as most traditional qawwali mehfils do — with the glorious Qaul. The performers delivered an asthai (first part of the composition) before launching into the actual Qaul, improvising liberally.

As was the style of the father, which has been adopted by the sons, the actual performance was interspersed with explanations about the material that was being delivered. This practice is a little jarring for purists but seems to be appreciated by others less well-versed in the mystical arts.

Farid Ayaz said that his father deplored the methods of certain classical musicians who adopted a somewhat raucous style, adding that Munshi-ji was of the opinion that “any performance that lacks sweetness is not worth delivering”.

Following the brief speech, the qawwal delivered a couplet paying homage to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), after which the party launched headfirst into the Qaul. The nearly half-hour performance was freely sprinkled with couplets and quatrains in honour of Hazrat Ali, including Ali Imam-i-Man Asto, Manam Ghulam-i-Ali and Hazrat Bu Ali Shah Qalandar’s Hayderium Qalandarum, as well as a few lines from Mowlana Rumi.

Following the rousing rendition of the Qaul, the qawwal party launched into Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s Khabaram Rasida Im Shab, saying that any session of qawwali could not be complete without a mention of the celebrated mystic.

Farid Ayaz and company were followed by a classical performance featuring Indian performer Madhup Mudgal.—QAM

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