Tuesday, October 22, 1996

Muslim Students, SASA perform, encourage unity, peace, harmony

Muslim Students, SASA perform, encourage unity, peace, harmony
The Chicago Maroon
By Pamela Miller (Appea)

The Warsi Brothers, led by Ustad Zahir Amhed Khan Warsi, performed sacred music of Northern India and Pakistan at Goodspeed Hall.

The South Asian Students Association (SASA) and the Muslim Students’ Forum sponsored the event. Over 100 people attended.

The brothers, inheritors of this sacred musical tradition, are known as Qawwali Bacche. The performance setting is a style called Mehfil e-Qawwali: an intimate concert of Qawwali music.

“[We sing] about Sufism, unity among all people, harmony and peace,” a spokesman for the group said.

Philip Bohlamn, a professor of ethnomusicology at the U of C, introduced the program. “[Their] music becomes a gateway to something more powerful than the music itself,” he said.

The Warsi brothers’ music combines the instrumental and the vocal. The harmonium, the tabla, and the dolok are the traditional instruments for Qawwali music.

Charles Earl, a computer sciences student said, “[Qawwali] music really jumps out at you.”

“When they are singing, they are singing for 800 years of ancestry,” said Asif Dhar, a UIC first year medical student, and Former Muslim Student Forum President at the U of C. “[This] integrates a concert with [the] spiritual.”

The Warsi brothers have toured throughout the Far East and the West. They are part of the Tanrus school, one of the 12 disciples of Amir Khusrow, the founder of Hindustani and Qawwali music. The Warsi brothers are often called monumental figures in South Asian music.

“We such have them again,” said Mumtaz Dhar, a community resident. “They are not doing it for money but rather because they love Sufi music.”

Originally published Tuesday, October 22, 1996