x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Interview with a Qawwali legend

Listen to Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan talk about his first time in Abu Dhabi, the difficulties of singing qawwali and world peace after his performance at Womad last night.

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali is a 10-person group led by Rizwan and Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan, the nephews of the late master qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Qawwali is a musical tradition with roots in Muslim devotional music that stretches back more than 700 years. Through rhythmic hand clapping, percussion, a harmonium and singing, the artists try to achieve wajad, a trance-like state where they feel at one with God. This is generally considered to be the ultimate goal of Sufism. Yesterday at the South stage on the Corniche at Womad Abu Dhabi, the brothers performed to an elated audience, out in the open air. Afterwards lead singer Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan (with his translator) talked to The National about his first time in Abu Dhabi, the difficulties of singing qawwali and world peace. If you missed them yesterday, drive out to Al Ain and catch them from 10pm-11pm at Al Jahili Fort.
Bandmembers are: Fazal Miran, Mushtaq Firoz, M Aurangzaib Mujahid Ali Khan, Zubair Ali Khan, Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan, Rizwan Mujahid Ali Khan, Asif Maqbool Chishti (vocals); Rahat Ali Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed (harmonium); Zafar Ali Khan (tabla).