Qawwali performance in Khuldabad is an almost exclusively male affair. Men sing and play the instruments, make up the audience, and offer money to the qawwal as he sings. Plenty of small boys hang around the Dargah during qawwalis, as well as at other times, to run errands or sit quietly and listen. Taj Muhammad, the singer who led qawwali performances several times for us in January of 2003, left Khuldabad as a young teen to study and live

Taj Muhammad with Harmonium
with a respected qawwali teacher in Bombay. His Khuldabadi family had recognized his gift as he sang with the local qawwali performers as a boy, and so supported his move to Bombay to learn with a master, an ustad. When we met him in January 2003, Taj Muhammad was in his sixties, still singing the somber and spirited melodies praising early Sufis saints in a clear voice.
Afternoon Qawwali
Taj Muhammad
The qawwal, a professional singer of Sufi devotional songs who has learned from teachers and other qawwals in this completely oral tradition, leads a small group of men performing with him by singing verses for which they provide the antiphonal or chorus-like response.
Impromptu Afternoon Qawwali 8 January 2003
In Taj Muhammad's qawwali performance, his songs inspired listeners to remember the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the lives of early saints of the Chishti order like Nizam ud-din Awliya, and the Deccani saints, Zar Zari Zar Baksh and his brother Burhan ud-din, both disciples of Nizam ud-din Awliya.

Afternoon Qawwali
8 January 2003
Recording Impromptu Qawwali 8 January 2003

Hear the Qawwals

Qawwali Music 30" Preview Download
Instrumental Introduction  [mp3] [wma] [mp3] [wma]
Honor to the Prophet, the Saints, and the Teacher "Allah Hu" [mp3] [wma] [mp3] [wma]
Praise to the Prophet Muhammad, to the Imams Hasan and Hussein [mp3] [wma] [mp3] [wma]
Honor to the Prophet Muhammad [mp3] [wma] [mp3] [wma]
 The music can be played by Windows Media Player or any multimedia player such as WinAmp.
 To download, please right click on the link and choose "Save Target As"

Performance Outside the Dargah, January 2003
Afternoon 7 January 2003 Qawwali Taj Muhammad
Mark Recording

In January of 2003, we recorded an afternoon of qawwali singing at the Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah lead by Taj Muhammad. Dr. Mark Nelson, ethnomusicologist, recorded the qawwali music.
Afternoon Qawwals
Dargah Shrine at Night
Mark, Sayeed and Friend
Evening 2 January 2003
Evening 2 January 2003
Taj Muhammad with Singers
Sayeed and Friend Listening   Khuldabad sign

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