A Mystical Journey Concert at SMU showcases Muslim music

From Esther Wu’s column at Dallas News

While this concert will be of great interest to followers of the Muslim faith, Rafiq Lakhani, spokesman for the council, said target audiences include non-Muslims as well.

“In today’s world, there needs to be better understanding of Islam,” Mr. Lakhani said. “And these types of international initiatives, expressing the faith through music and dance, help to change stereotypes and show the diversity that exists within the Muslim world.”

Music has always played an integral part in the religious experience – from the Jewish liturgical poems heard at the Temple in Jerusalem in biblical times, to Gregorian and Buddhist chants and gospel and contemporary Christian music.

Now, North Texans will have a rare opportunity to hear and learn more about the devotional music of the Muslim world.

“A Mystical Journey: Sufi Music and other Expressions of Devotions from the Muslim World,” will be presented at 2 p.m. March 29 in McFarlin Auditorium at Southern Methodist University.

The concert is being presented by the Aga Khan Council for the USA to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the imam or spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Another source: Star Telegram

Tickets range from $25 to $150 and can be purchased through the council’s Web site at: http://www.TheIsmaili.org/amj. For more information, call 214-274-9191.

While this concert will be of great interest to followers of the Muslim faith, Rafiq Lakhani, spokesman for the council, said target audiences include non-Muslims as well.

“In today’s world, there needs to be better understanding of Islam,” Mr. Lakhani said. “And these types of international initiatives, expressing the faith through music and dance, help to change stereotypes and show the diversity that exists within the Muslim world.”

The concert, Mr. Lakhani said, was created to share the rich diversity of religious expression in Islam that reflects different geographies, languages and traditions. Performers from Algeria, Bosnia, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan and Syria will showcase music from various Sufi and other esoteric traditions of Islam.

Rizwan Sheikh, a volunteer with the council said: “Though different in form, these acts of devotion are common in their peaceful search for the divine and represent the pluralistic traditions and mystical unity among different communities of interpretation within the Muslim world.”

The Ismaili Muslims are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse peoples living in more than 25 countries around the world, united in their allegiance to the Aga Khan as the 49th hereditary imam and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, Mr. Sheikh said.

This concert is part of a special U.S. tour with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta – all of which were sold out – and Chicago, Houston, Dallas and New York.

More than 60 internationally renowned artists will present religious music pieces known as qawwalis, ilahis, and kalams, as well as contemporary songs, dances and performances by whirling Sufis.

Among the performance groups are: The Dalahoo Sufi Ensemble from Iran; Choir Hazreti Hamza from Bosnia; Tahleelah from Syria, led by Sheikh Hamzeh Chakour, the choir master at the Great Mosque in Damascus; Houria Aichi from Algeria; Salman Ahmad from Pakistan, who founded South Asia’s biggest rock band, Junoon; Rizwan and Muazzam Khan, nephews of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan of Pakistan; and Sain Zahoor from Pakistan, an internationally acclaimed traveling folk singer.

“This program will be one of a kind, a rare opportunity, where you will see renowned artists from different parts of the world coming together on one stage to express love and devotion to God in their own way,” Mr. Lakhani said.

Dallas News

Author: ismailimail

Civil society media.   Find Ismailimail blog on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s