Top 5 Versions of “Tajdar-e-Haram”

In no particular order, here is my list of the top five versions of the qawwali “Tajdar-e-Haram”. You can find my full translation of the poetry here. The original by the Sabri Brothers is obviously very hard to match, but I think others have also done justice to it. Post any more versions of...

Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation of “Balaghal-Ula Bi-Kamalihi”

“Balaghal-Ula Bi-Kamalihi” is a popular qawwali most famously performed by the late Sabri Brothers, Ghulam Farid Sabri (1930-1994) and Maqbool Ahmed Sabri (1945-2011), from Pakistan. It is a multilingual naat (praise of the prophet Muhammad) that centers around a famous Arabic quatrain (rubai) by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi (1210-1292)....

A Refreshing Ghazal: “Dil Mein Ik Leher”

One example of an excellent contemporary Urdu ghazal is “Dil Mein Ik Leher Si Uthi Hai Abhi” by Nasir Kazmi, a Pakistani poet. Kazmi (1925-72) was born in Ambala in East Punjab during the British Raj, and moved to Lahore during the partition of India. His ghazals are often written in short...