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is the traditional form of urdu poetry/Islamic song found in India and Pakistan.  The word qawwali is derived from the Arabic word Qaol which means “axiom” or “dictum”.  A Qawwal is one who sings qawwali, or the dictums of the prophets and praises of God.  The Qawwali is closely linked to the spiritual and artistic life of northern India and Pakistan.

#Nusrat Fateh Ali Khans‘ works are the best example of  Qawwali.

 

yaa Khudaa jism meN jab tak ye mere jaan rahe
tujh pe sadqe, tere mehbuub pe qurbaan rahe
kuch rahe yaa na rahe, par ye du’aa hai ke “Ameen”
nizaa ke vaqt salaamat meraa iimaan rahe

O Lord! Till the time there is life in my body
it should be devoted to you and an offering to your beloved [Muhammad].
It doesn’t matters if I have anything or not, but I pray “Ameen”
that at the time of death, my faith is safe.

Note: “Ameen” is the name of the poet.

taaziim se letaa hai Khudaa naam-e-Muhammad
kyaa naam hai ai salle-alaa naam-e-Muhammad
Allah kare usko haraam aatish-e-dozaKh
jis shakhs ke dil pe likhaa ho naam-e-Muhammad

God remembers the name of Muhammad with deference
such is the name of Muhammad, peace be upon him.
May God prohibit the fire of hell
on anyone whose heart is written the name of Muhammad.

jis dil meN Muhammad kii muhabbat nahiiN hotii
us par kabhii Allah kii rahmat nahiiN hotii
meraa ye aqiidaa hai agar zikr-e-Khudaa meN
ye naam na shaamil ho ibaadat nahiiN hotii

On the heart that doesn’t love Muhammad
Allah never has mercy.
It is my belief that while remembering God
if this name [Muhammad] is not included then prayers wouldn’t be answered.

rabb ne farmaayaa merii qudrat kii hadd ko’ii nahiiN
aur mere mehbuub kii rahmat kii hadd ko’ii nahiiN
jab malak samjhe nahiiN to aadmii samjhegaa kyaa
Amina ke laal kii azmat kii hadd ko’ii nahiiN

God said that His power has no limits
and my beloved’s [Muhammad] mercy has no limits.
When even angels couldn’t understand then how can men understand?
The greatness of the son of Amina has no limits.

Khudaa kaa nuur tujh meN huu-ba-huu hai
Khudaa pinhaaN magar tuu ruu-ba-ruu hai
terii azmat kaa andaazaa ho kis ko
Khudaa hai aur Khudaa ke baad tuu hai

The light of God is reflected in you
God is hidden but present are you.
Who can imagine your greatness, when
there is God and thereafter you.

Shams-ud-duhaa Badr-ud-dujaa terii baRii tauqiir hai
suurat terii shaah-e-umam, Allah kii tasviir hai

O the bright sun!, O the moon in darkness!, you are revered greatly.
O the king of mankind!, your face is an image of God.

aisii suurat terii kamlii vaale*

Such is your appearance, O the blanket draped one!
Note: Prophet used to drape himself in a black blanket sometimes. Hence, the salutation.

Allah ne paas bulaa hii liyaa*
bin dekhe Khudaa bhii rah na sakaa

Eventually God called you to Him
even He could not resist seeing you.

Note: Refers to the journey of Prophet to God, called as ‘meraaj’ or the ascent.

tumhaaraa saanii risaalat-mu’aab ho na sakaa
tumhaaraa ko’ii kahiiN bhii javaab ho na sakaa
rasuul aur bhii aaye jahaan meN lekin
ko’ii bhii saahib-e-ummul kitaab ho na sakaa

There is no one like you, O the respected Prophet
[and] there is no answer to you, anywhere.
Other messengers [of God] came to this world too
[but] nobody could become the one with the book for mankind.

meraaj* meN Jibriil se kahne lage shaah-e-umam
tuune to dekhe haiN hasiiN, batlaao to kaise haiN ham
ruuh-ul-Khudaa kahne lagaaa, ai naazniiN haq kii qasam

On the night of ascension, King of the people [Muhammad] asked Jibriil [Gabriel]
You have seen the beautiful ones, tell me how am I?
The soul of God replied, O the beautiful one, by God!

Note: Refers to the journey of Prophet to God, called as ‘meraaj’ or the ascent.

mere sohne kamlii vaalaRyaa, teraa aashiq kul zamaanaa ve
tere husn kii kyaa taariif karaaN, rabb aap teraa diivaanaa ve

O my beloved draped in blanket! The whole world loves you.
What to say of your beauty, even the Lord is mad in your love.

royaa shab-e-hijraaN meN bahut ashq bahaayaa
itne meN musavvir ko zaraa rahm jo aayaa
naqshe ka’ii tasviiroN ke saamne vo laayaa
bola, ke ye Yusuf haiN, ye Isaa haiN, ye Musaa
maine kahaa inmeN se kisii par nahiiN shaidaa
jab saamne laayaa vo shabiih-e-shah-e-vaalaa
be-saaKhtaa us vaqt zubaaN se merii niklaa

Cried in the night of separation and shed tears in plenty.
Then the painter had a little mercy
and brought [before me] some sketches.
He said, this is Yusuf [Joseph], this is Isaa [Jesus] and this is Musaa [Prophet Moses].
I replied that I am not possessed by anyone of these.
When he brought the image of the King [Muhammad]
my tongue started reciting spontaneously

duniyaa se kyaa, roz-e-jazaa unkaa hai mujhko aasraa
maiN huuN Ghulaam-e-mustafaa kaisii merii taqdiir hai
vallail ho yaa kah-kashaaN, zulf-e-nabii par hai fidaa
ismeN baNdhe haiN do-jahaaN, kitnii hasiiN zanjiir hai

What have I to do with the world when I have his refuge on the Day of Judgement
I am the slave of Mustafaa*, how lucky I am!

Note: Another name of Prophet Muhammad.

dushman bhii kahte haiN yahii, kyaa baat hai sarkaar kii
na aaNkh meN qahr-o-Ghazab, na haath meN shamshiir hai

Even his enemies accept too, what to say of the Master [Muhammad]
Neither his eyes are violent or [filled with] anger, nor there is a sword in his hands.

Courtesy: https://nfalikhan.wordpress.com/tag/urdu-qawwali/

This qawwali is in praise of Prophet Muhammad. Such poetic compositions are known as “naat”. Prophet is addressed by many titles, two of them are Shams-ud-duha and Badr-ud-duja. 

Also there are lines that are generally meaningless and are used for rhythmic chanting by Sufis.

you can find Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing this qawwali 

https://www.google.co.in/urlsa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjkxai8g5rMAhWDkZQKHarzB7cQtwIIIDAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DDNc6Vvokizo&usg=AFQjCNH4bsbPhZ3AJupi8NG9xydfSGZCVQ&sig2=Mph8sRV3wAoy9i8NyFOSPQ&bvm=bv.119745492,d.dGo

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