Dust to Gold

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Released 17 June 2000

  1. Khawaja Tum Hi Ho (Master It Is Only You)
  2. Data Teira Durbar (Master In Your Court)
  3. Koi Hai Na Ho Ga (There Was No One, There Will Be Not Anyone)
  4. Noor-e-khuda Hai Husn-e-sarapa Rasool (The Light Of God Is The Embodiment Of The Prophet)

Liner notes

The title ‘Dust To Gold’ reflects upon Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s philosophy of life, as he considered himself a pinch of dust from a holy place. Touched by genius, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was undoubtedly, spiritually and technically, one of the greatest voices of his day. He was a great bearer of the tradition —the most significant qawwal of his generation and at the same time a great innovator— a visionary who explored a new and daring contemporary musical language.

From unique archives in Nusrat’s hometown of Lahore in Pakistan we have discovered some wonderful recordings which we are now proud to release. This is the first album of these archive recordings —a traditional qawwali session with the complete party.

A common factor in these qawwalis is that they are panegyrics (praise songs). The first qawwali Khawaja Tum Hi Ho (Master It Is Only You) is in praise of a Sufi saint whose shrine is in Ajmeer, Rajasthan; it is in Rajasthani Hindi (a sister language to Urdu) and is in the classical style where the singer takes on a female persona. The following three qawwalis are in Urdu and have simple verse structures: Data Teira Durbar (Master In Your Court) praises a Sufi saint who lived in Lahore, Koi Hai Na Ho Ga (There Was No One, There Will Not Be Anyone) and Noor-E Khuda Hai Husn-E-Sarapa Rasool (The Light Of God Is The Embodiment Of The Prophet) are in praise of the prophet Muhammad.


  • Dust to Gold, a set of recordings discovered in an archive in Lahore provides a dizzying example of Khan at his best. Backed by harmonium, handclaps and tabla, he powers his way through four electrifying trakcs, notable for the earthiness of the response singing, sudden shifts of rhythm and the hypnotic sway of the final track, Noore Khuda Husne Spape Rasool. Q Magazine (UK)
  • We will never know in what direction Nusrat's romance with the rock world would have taken him, but it's for his praise songs that he's most likely to be remembered. None are more than 17 mintues long, which makes them a perfect step up for anyone who discovered Nusrat with his last album, the ambient, user-friendly Night Song. He doesn't hold back, however, whipping his band and himself into an impassioned tsunami offering tribute to the sufi saints and Mohammed. Greatest voice of all time, agreed? MOJO (UK)
  • Khan, who died in 1997, is probably best known for his work with Peter Gabriel (soundtrack to Last Temptation of Christ). This album is a beautiful testament to the man's work. Music Week (UK)
  • this is a hauntingly beautiful farewell The Oprah Magazine (USA)



Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan lead vocals
Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan vocals, harmonium
Irshad Ali vocals, harmonium
Rahat Ali Khan vocals
Dildar Hussain tabla
Asad Ali chorus
Ilyas Hussain chorus
Naseef Ahmed chorus
Khaled Mehmood chorus

All music composed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Lyrics by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Sabar Dutt (track 1); Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Purnam Allahbadi (tracks 2, 3); Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Qaiser (track 4)

Produced by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Recorded by Shahzaad Ahmed
Recorded at Sargam Studio, Lahore, Pakistan in June 1997
Remix engineer Stuart Bruce
Remixed at Real World Studios, Box, Wiltshire UK

A Real World Design
Graphic design by Marc Bessant
Photography by Juergen Teller (front cover and inside hands) and Brett Hambling
Lyric translations by Mahmood Hashmi and Pervaiz Khan
Calligraphy by Mahmood Hashmi

All tracks published by WOMAD Music Ltd/EMI Virgin Music Ltd.

Special thanks to Mrs Naheed Nusrat Khan and to Mr Mohammad Ayub of Oriental Star.

  • Shahen Shah

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

    Released 04 June 1989

    The emotional intensity and soaring power of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice transcends all boundaries of language and religion, and has popularised Sufi music beyond Muslim peoples to audiences worldwide. Amongst Real World Records’ most emblematic artists, Nusrat was known as Shahen-Shah-e-Qawwali: The Brightest Shining Star in Qawwali.
  • A Better Destiny

    Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

    Released 22 July 2001

    Proud torchbearers of Sufi devotional music following in the footsteps of their late great uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The two brothers return with ripened, masterly robust voices and sing of romantic love and alcoholic intoxication - metaphors for spiritual adoration and mystical enlightenment.

Further reading

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