Conference Center, Forest Hills of DC
4901 Connecticut Ave, WDC 20008
To better understand Sufi music, we should first explore Sufism as a whole. Different from traditional forms of Islam, it emphasizes being spiritual and earnestly searching for God in the day-to-day. It offers a personal experience with the divine through rituals, art, music, and meditation. It has spread throughout the world and has influenced a lot of other belief systems, such as Gnawa from West Africa.
Appearing in Islam towards the end of the 800s, Ascetics were against the materialism and lack of spirituality developing in Islam at that time. A Muslim saint called Rābi’ah Al-‘Adawīyah is credited with introducing a worldview of pure love for Allah into the developing Ascetic movement, and the Sufi practice was born. Sufis still follow this idea of an emotional, loving connection with God to this day.
Sufi music is at the core of this faith, with the musical performances serving as not only art but also accompanying religious traditions and sacred rituals. Some forms of Sufi music aim to put Sufis into a trance to help them find God. The words of the songs can often be divine names, or recitations of passages of the Qur’an, such as in classical styles like Qawwali and Dhikr.