Ramadan serves as that one month that allows you to detox spiritually! And for those who would usually be hooked on their favorite music throughout, this one month allows you to hum and chant verses of Islamic significance. I am talking of the onset of naheeds and naats. Where your usual music notes would consist of heavy support of musical instruments, nasheeds present themselves as soulful renditions which emphasize just the voice sans strings, brass, or any other popular music equipment. While poetry has always had a stronghold in stories from the Prophet’s era, it has become quite evident that such kind of soulful takes bring on reverence which inspires a person and makes them reflect in so many ways. And when we look at how Ramadan is taken on so beautifully in the aesthetic sense by our artists, the plethora of powerful renditions are quite evident. It was Atif Aslam’s ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ which stole the hearts as he crooned to the lyrics with such impeccable style. Coke Studio paved the way for many such artists to bring their religious flair of devotion to their craft. Abida Parveen is yet another artist who continues to win hearts with her distinctive yet enigmatic voice as she takes on the awakening spirit of Ramadan with her choice of qawalis. And the number of listeners just keeps on increasing every year. For it is our yearning to connect with our religion- even if that requires us to embrace the voices of artists of every generation.
However, one name which always defines the beauty of Ramadan is the late Junaid Jamshed. The popstar of the nineties who had a complete change of heart, made use of his serenading voice to present the blessings of the Lord around us. His religious oeuvre presented amazing numbers, which to this day are haunting yet so beautiful to listen to. That is what defines our stance on our religious identity without having to sacrifice our pop culture. Just recently, Pakistan’s superstar Ali Zafar released his rendition of Iqbal Azeem’s naat, Faslon ko Takalluf – a kalam that is special to him. Expressing his thoughts on social media while sharing his rendition to explain his process and motivation. “The holy month of fasting and cleansing our mind, body, and soul is here. The opportunity to connect and reconnect on a deeper level with our creator is here. I’m humbled to share with you my rendition of Fasilon ko Takalluf, a naat that not just brings nostalgia but also speaks to the spiritual beauty of visiting Mecca and Madina,” he wrote. And truly, the way the words are sung, the way the lyrics make you contemplate our purpose in life- an artist’s job is done when it manages to leave that kind of effect. And with the commitment of our artists, spiritual vibes are very well-attained every Ramadan. As Ali stated, ‘It’s a reminder that we’re all pilgrims on a greater journey, seeking something far beyond ourselves.’ Sometimes that soulful nudge is all we need to let off the tangible world around us and ponder upon what truly matters.
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