A Better Destiny

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

Released 23 July 2001

  1. Ay Sarwey Naz Neney Mun
  2. Chishti Balam
  3. Dil Wali Cal Karnì
  4. Nara Ya Farid
  5. Petey-Petey
  6. Qalandar Shahen Shah

Liner notes

The third album from Rizwan-Muazam Qawwali Group on Real World Records —the youngest and most exciting group of Qawwali singers to emerge from Pakistan over the last decade. The group are torch bearers in the long line of tradition in Qawwali vocal music —devotional praise and love songs based upon classical Islamic and Sufi texts.

 

The Lyrics

1. AY SARWEY NAZ NENEY MUN / HOLY FRIEND

A Naat in praise of Prophet Muhammad.

My dearest holy friend,
what’s wrong with me that I no longer have your blessings?
First you showed me signs of fidelity and captured my heart.
Then suddenly you refused to acknowledge me.
I am proud that I have been equal to your favourites and I am also proud that you have possessed me with your kindness and humbleness.
As such we are slaves who have been bought with your kindness rather than with money.
Khusru, you are held in great esteem for kissing the feet of the dogs of his valley.

 

2. CHISHTI BALAM / BELOVED CHISHTI

A Manqabat in praise of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Oh friends, my beloved Chishti took my heart away so discreetly while I was very young.
People say the Sultan has come from Sanjar but I say it is my God who has come.
I will sacrifice everything for my Khwaja and live at his feet all my life.
Khwaja is like sandalwood —a spiritual perfume so wonderful that it tied me discreetly with the string of love and then took my heart away.

Photo credit: Mark Simmons

3. DIL WALÌ GAL KARNÌ / TALK OF THE HEART

A traditional love song which can also be applied spiritually.

I want my beloved with me today so that I can talk of the feelings in my heart.
Leave your pretty portrait in the eyes of my mind so that I can see you whenever I wish.
I am forever love sick —what will happen to me?
My heart starts palpitating so fast the moment you leave my eyes.
When I see you I forget the whole world.

 

4. NARA YA FARID / RECITATION OF FARID

A Manqabat in praise of the Sufi Saint Baba Farid Ganj-e-Shakar.

We recite the name of Farid all the time.
To see him reminds us of the beauty of God.
All the Chishtis and Sabris come to his shrine and their wishes are fulfilled.
Today is Eid, the day of celebration for all followers of Baba Farid.
The blessings of Baba are calling all needy people to come to his shrine and pass through the door of heaven.
Everybody says the light of Baba’s face shines so much that even God
has started to call Farid’s name, and now God and Farid seem as one.

 

5. PETEY-PETEY / WHILE I WAS DRINKING

A Ghazal – a contemporary song reflecting on human relationships.

Something lovely happened while I was drinking.
I met a friend who had once betrayed me and now he embraced me.
‘My dear friend, what kind of drink is it that has enabled me to see God?’
Neither my hiccups nor his tears stopped.
He kept looking at me so regretfully that I found it hard to say goodbye.
Oh people —see how my prayer has been answered today while I was drinking.

 

6. QALANDAR SHAHEN SHAH / KING OF QALANDAR

A Dhamaal in praise of Shahbaz Qalandar – Patron Saint of Sindhis.

I recite the name of Qalandar with every breath.
He is so caring and generous and remains in my heart always,
awakening my dead soul and bringing me happiness.
Please pray for my interior enlightenment and for a better destiny.
All Mustts are proud that you are the one who can bless a beggar
to become an Emperor.
Bells are ringing everywhere in your name.
All the evenings become joyful in celebration of you.
Naat, Hamd, Manqabat, Ghazal and Dhamaal are genres in Urdu poetry.

Reviews

  • This may be Sufi devotional music, but it is also one of the most exhilarating improvised vocal styles on the planet. The Guardian (UK)
  • Even by qawwali standards Rizwan and Muazzam have big voices... They're at once more forceful and eccentric... and they're also lively, leaping higher and crazier... The Village Voice (USA)
  • This album stands out as something very special, reminiscent of an old master of Qawwali, yet carrying all the effervescence of the 21st century. Songlines (UK)
  • If the glut of posthumous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan releases has worn out even the most devoted qawwali fan, here's a little faith restoration. Now that he's gone, these young men may prove to be the torchbearers. News & Observer (USA)
  • The beat goes on: Nusrat's nephew strike gold...the hottest sufis in showbiz are back with more intense tributes to Mohammed and the saints... MOJO (UK)

Listen

Credits

Rizwan Mujahid Ali Khan: lead vocals
Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan: lead vocals
Rahat Ali Khan: lead harmonium
Mushtaq Ahmed: second harmonium
Zafar Ali Khan: tablas
Asif Maqbool Chishti: side singer
M Aurangzaib Mujahid Ali Khan: chorus singer
Zubair Ali Khan: chorus singer
Mushtiaq Firoz: chorus singer
Fazal Miran: chorus singer

Produced by Stuart Bruce. Recorded and mixed by Stuart Bruce and Marco Migliari at Real World Studios and Millside Studio, Wiltshire, UK in June 2000. Recording assisted by Claire Lewis. Mastered at Metropolis Mastering. A Real World Design. Graphic design by Marc Bessant. Photography by Mark Simmons. Lyric translations by Rashid Ahmed Din.

All tracks traditional arranged by Rizwan Mujahid Ali Khan and Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan, published exclusively by WOMAD Music Ltd.

Further Listening

  • Sacrifice to Love

    Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

    Released 28 June 1999

    Passionate and inventive reinterpretations of classic Qawwali devotional songs, from a fresh young ensemble led by the nephews of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
  • Love & Devotion

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

    Released 09 November 1992

    Love & Devotion brings together two of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s finest recordings, 1992’s Love Songs and Devotional Songs. They are perfect companion pieces, snapshots of a musical giant at the very height of his considerable powers, whilst the artistry of his accompanying Party is also faultless.

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