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What is Qawwali and Sama


What is QAWWALI (Sama)? “Sama” or “Qawwali” is an essential part of the Urs Celebration and which has been a most important feature of the life of the Sufies of Chishtia Nizamia sect in India. A Sufi Saint Hazrat Jamaluddin Hansvi says “Sama” provides serene consolation to the hearts. It moves the hearts of divine lovers who dive deep into the ocean of love.

 The famous Sufi Saint Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar said, “Without doubt, Sama is the way of divine lovers who feel enjoyment when there is mention of their beloved God (Almighty Allah).

 A learned author Mr.W.B.Begg describes ‘Sama’ in his book on Sufism. He says “Sama” is indeed a most fascinating method of preaching the tenets of Sufism. It is enchanting and serves as a guide and teacher through the Sufistic songs whose theme is always love and peace. This particular type of concert is claimed by Sufies to be the means whereby a Sufi’s observations and personal experiences are transcended to the spiritual plane. In this state, individual consciousness merges into universal harmony, ‘Sama’ gives a stimulus to man’s spirit whereby invisible and latent forces of nature, which lie dormant, come into immediate play and create a tendency of forgetfulness of ‘Self’ in the ‘subject’ under the spell of musical hypnotism. “Qawwali” therefore plays a most significant part on all ceremonial occasions of Chishtia saints, specially during their annual Urs anniversaries and Thursday gatherings at their Dargahs and Shrines. Recitation of Qawwali helps purification of thought and action. These poetical songs have come down from reputed Sufi saints and poets, and are highly popular and thought-provoking both among the Sufis and laymen.Qawwali concerts are magnetic in nature and touch the delicate cord of the human heart which being ethereal and impressionable, is the main centre of man’s spiritual awakening. Great Sufis not only introduced it for their own development but also patronized it to spread the gospel of their noble teachings in order to capture and mould the hearts of the people to prepare them to receive the Divine reflections gracefully. Thousands of Muslims and non Muslims attend the Qawwali Mehfils (congregation) and listen to the songs with rapt attention in India. Some time the “Sama” or Qawwali create ‘Wajd’ (Ecstasy) ‘Haal’ on the audience.

“Wajd” is a state of unconsciousness aroused by the spell of Qawwali. In some rare cases, the ecstatic ‘subject’ of a Qwwali Mehfil never regained his normal condition but actually expired in the state of ‘Wajd’. The most note able of such deaths was that of famous Sufi Saint Hazrat Khawaja Qutabuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki of Delhi who expired in a state of ‘Wajd’.


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