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 “Tajdar-e-Haram” that you enjoy in the comments!

1. The Timeless Original by the Sabri Brothers

Highlights: The original is always the original, and here the Sabri Brothers are at their best. The two brothers’ voices are very distinct and complementary. They show their musical mastery in this qawwali by repeatedly varying the pace and volume, taking listeners on a journey.

2. The Second Generation by Amjad Sabri & Shahi Hasan

Highlights: Amjad Sabri ventures out of traditional qawwali in this soulful collaboration with Shahi Hasan. It’s an amazing composition in its own right, with lots of overlapping vocal tracks, and the female background vocals at the beginning are really mesmerizing.

3. The Coke Studio Rendition by Atif Aslam (2015)

Highlights: Atif’s Coke Studio version is also not traditional qawwali, but it includes a wider array of instruments that enhance the song. At times, the emotion in his unique voice really comes through.

4. The Indian Masters’ Version by Sonu Nigam & Sukhwinder Singh (1992)

Highlights: This is a really cool (and rare) rendition by two of Bollywood’s most famous singers, Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder Singh. While not focusing on the raw and spontaneous nature of traditional qawwali, this version lets their amazing, highly-trained voices shine.

5. The Thunderous Tribute by Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad (2016)

Highlights: Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad paid tribute to the Sabri Brothers and Amjad Sabri through a more traditional performance. This version is loud and powerful, with excellent percussion (check out the vocals at 0:49 and the change in beat at 17:58).


11 responses to “Top 5 Versions of “Tajdar-e-Haram””

  1. Usama Nadeem Avatar
    Usama Nadeem

    For the purveyors of a more traditional and puritan rendition, I would recommend Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan Sahab and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab’s version; I am besotted with this:

    While I will concede that the Abida Khanum Ji is loath to veer out of the conventions set by the Sabri Brothers, there is a poignancy in it that I find exquisite:

    Also worth a mention I think is the somewhat modern approach of Ustad Farid Ayaz’s Nephew, Hamza Akram:

    1. Thanks for sharing! The first one with Mubarak Ali Khan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is especially rare.

  2. Muaaz Zin Maung Win Avatar
    Muaaz Zin Maung Win

    Dear Hamza, I greatly enjoyed your detailed translation of “Mere Rashke Qamar”

    I was trying to find similar translation of Ghalib’s ghazal ” nuktacheen hai gham-e-dil usko sunaye na bane kya bane…”

    Rekhta & other sites do not have full translations as well.

    Was wondering if you can point me in right direction or help translate for the benefit of non-native speaker of Urdu such as myself

    1. Thanks for your comment! That’s a great ghazal. If you go to this link:, you can click on each verse to get its translation. The Columbia professor Frances Pritchett runs that website, and she has a lot of translations.

  3. Uth gayi ik nazar Jitne khaali hain sab jaam bhar jaayenge Wuh nazar jitne khaali hain Sab jaam bhar jaaenge Tajdar-e-haram Tajdar-e-haram

  4. MOHD JAFFER Avatar

    bahoot hi behtreen site banayi hai aap ne ..bas thodi si kami reh gayi..ummeed hai woh bhi puri ho jayegi…

    1. Shukriya Jaffer sahab. Main koshish karoon ga aur tarjume aur mazaameen dalne ki.

  5. Aapne aaj hume woh diya jo arse se hum dhoond rahe the. The translations of great poets and lyricists. Aapka jitna shukriya kahein utna kam hai.

  6. Abdullah Avatar

    Hey man your website is really great, I hope you continue to update it with more posts! 🙂

    1. Thanks Abdullah – when I have some more time, I definitely will!

  7. Cecilia Avatar

    I appreciate the great help of your work to better understand and value such incredible poetry, since as a native Spanish speaker and from such a country culturally far away is not easy for me.