LOCAL: Canadian-born Tahir Qawwal.
LOCAL: Canadian-born Tahir Qawwal. aalok photography

An evening of Muslim Sufi music with Tahir Qawwal

SUFI Qawwali is a concert of Qawwali (Sufi Muslim) music by musician Tahir Qawwal.

Sufism, according to its adherents, is the inner mystical dimension of Islam.

Sufi orders are largely Sunni and follow one of the four schools of Sunni Islam and maintain a Sunni Aqidah or creed.

Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God".

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in Pakistan, India, and parts of Bangladesh.

It is a musical tradition that stretches back for more than 700 years.

Canadian-born performer and teacher Tahir Qawwal has spent many years immersed in the tradition of Qawwali, in the homes of his teachers as well as at mehfils (musical spiritual gatherings) in Pakistan.

Sufi singer Tahir Qawwal is well-known as a Byron Shire resident for teaching classical music, his energetic performances and his sense of humour.

He is also known around the world for authentically representing the tradition of Qawwali with the blessings and guidance of his teachers in India and Pakistan

He is well respected for carrying the tradition of Qawwali music to the west, connecting people to a spiritually rich piece of Pakistan.

Tahir is also completing a documentary called Music of the Mystics, a film about the culture of Qawwali.

In the live performance this weekend, a chorus of vocalists sings praises "to the divine" in poetry and improvisation, accompanied by intricate percussion rhythms.

Joining Qawwali for this performance will be musicians from Sydney, Adelaide and New Zealand.

Tahir Qawwal said a message of peace and unity was at the heart of Sufi mysticism and music and it was important for him to bring that message to the West.

"It comes from me being completely in love with this spiritual journey, the music and the tradition it comes form," he said.

  • At the Byron Theatre, 60 Jonson St, this Saturday from 8pm. $36.30. All ages and family friendly. For details visit byroncentre.com.au.

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