The annual world sufi festival, Jahan-e-Khusrau, is back, with prominent international artists such as Pakistani singer Abida Parveen and Mercan Dede from Montreal, Canada, joining hands with Indian names to entertain music lovers, while also seeking out new audiences.Calling it a celebration of mystics, filmmaker-painter Muzaffar Ali, who has designed and directed the 12th edition of the three-day festival, says participants of the event are not competing with films. "We are not trying to compete with Bollywood. Bollywood and Sufism are two different things. Jahan-e-Khusrau is the celebration of mystics. It is a platform where artists from various parts of the world come together to promote the unique culture that we share with each other," says Ali.
For Shafqat Ali Khan, Pakistani sufi singer and the voice behind popular movie numbers Mitwa from Kabhi Alvida ne Kehna and Yeh Honsla from Dor, Sufism is not just music, but a message about humanism, where there is no place for hatred. "Poetry was written by Sufis, and when Hazarat Amir Kushrau gave music to it, then it become Sufi music. Sufism means loving humans. You can’t hate anyone in Sufism," says Shafqat Ali Khan who hails from Lahore. "India needs to realise there is so much more than just Bollywood music. We tend to forget that India has a wealth of music," says singer Sonam Kalra, who will be performing on the final day of the festival at Akbar ki Sarai and Humayun Tomb.
This year, the Jahan-e-Khusrau festival, coincides with the 709th Urs of the sufi saint Hazart Nizamuddin Aulia. “Every year, we present 10 or 15 new kalams (sufi lyrics). This year too, we are trying to do the same. This year, there is a Fakari Kalam written by Hazrat Raaz Niyaz, which will be sung by Shafqat Ali Khan. There is a poem on Holi as well, ‘Jab phagun rang jhamakt’ written by Nazeer Akbarabadi, among others,” says Ali.
Other artists performing at the fest are Astha Dixit, Deveshi Sahgal, Pernia Qureishi and Sonam Kalra from Delhi; and Nazeer Ahmad Warsi and a group from Hyderabad.
The fest will also travel to Dilkhusha Palace in Lucknow on March 8-9.
Catch it here
What: Jahan-e-Khusrau, a Sufi festival
When: March 1 till 3
Where: Ruins of Arab ki Sarai, Humayun Tomb, Nizamuddin.
Timings: 6.30 pm onwards
NEAREST METRO STATION: Jangpura on the Violet Line