The Sabri Brothers

Pakistan's foremost and best-loved Qawwali ensemble, the Sabri Brothers, thrilled audiences all over the world for over 30 years.

With stunning virtuosity, brilliant exposition and tremendous power, they convey a subtlety and sensitive beauty in their singing, led by the soaring voices of Haji Ghulam Farid Sabri, whose periodic refrain of ‘Allah’ between songs was to become a Sabri signature, and his younger brother Haji Maqbool Sabri.

Both were internationally respected for their raw, energetic, highly original style in delivering popular numbers from the traditional Qawwali repertoire, and a distinctive percussion style. This, in combination with a direct and magnetic live presence, made for a wholly unique musical experience – to which thousands of aficionados will testify.

Many consider the Sabri’s instrumentally more adventurous, rougher and more soulful than Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Party. Whichever, the stature of both in Pakistan is colossal.

The Sabri Brothers made music as a conduit for divine expression, summed up in the vision of the Beloved evoked when singing ‘Kali Kamaliya Wale’:

 

"The wish that keeps me alive is you/ The world that we live in is you/ O the beloved one of Allah, you have come to show us the way/ The right way/ The way of peace, of love, of humanity/ The way to God."

Ghulam Farid Sabri died on 5 April 1994 in Karachi following a heart attack.

Maqbool Ahmed Sabri died on 21 September 2011 in South Africa, also from a heart attack.

 

More content

Bowers & Wilkins Live: WOMAD 2017

You heard it before you saw it, pulsing from inside the whopping great tent that –even at WOMAD, w...

Obituary: Clarence Fountain

Clarence Fountain, founding member and longtime leader of the iconic gospel group Blind Boys of Alab...

The Seven Steps to Mercy: Track by Track

Iarla Ó Lionáird takes us through the tracks on his debut solo album, released in 1997.

Meet Rokia Koné: the Rose of Bamako

The latest single by Les Amazones d'afrique features the outstanding Malian singer Rokia Koné, whos...