The City of Bhangra Festival 2014 is in full swing! People from all over the Lower Mainland are coming together to experience the wonderful sights and sounds of bhangra. We have lots of exciting events lined up for the next ten days—sure to be a hit is our upcoming EKTA concert, featuring Sufi mystic Saieen Zahoor.
Sufism is a dimension of Islam that emphasizes spiritual development and divine enlightenment over worldly existence. Sufi music is inspired by the devotional poetry of mystics such as Rumi, Bullah Shah, and Hafiz, and expresses themes of love and longing towards the Divine. Al-Ghazali, a 10th century mystic, tells of the importance of music to Sufi spiritual devotion: “The purpose of music, considered in relation to God, is to arouse longing for God, and passionate love for Him, and to produce states in which God reveals Himself and His favor, which are beyond description and known only by experience. These states are called ecstasy.”
Sufi music was originally mainly performed in dargahs or Sufi shrines, but has blossomed in popularity throughout Southeast Asia as well as internationally over the past years. Saieen Zahoor himself performed in dargahs, festivals, and in the streets of Pakistan for most of his life, yet was recently internationally recognized by the BBC for being the “Best Voice of the Year 2006!”
Sufism, then, truly lends to a multifaceted, nuanced understanding of Islam and Islamic tradition. Come join us on May 31, 8:00 pm at the Vogue Theatre to immerse yourself in the magic of EKTA and to experience the horizon-expanding, mind-opening power of #BhangraLove! (For tickets, visit http://northerntickets.com/events/ekta-featuring-saieen-zahoor-opening-w-naqsh-presented-by-wireless-world/)
Blog by Vanessa Power
Photo courtesy Saieen Zahoor