Qawwali is the devotional music of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, which originated in the tenth century in what is present-day Iran. The word qawwali means literally utterance, and the qawwal, meaning a wise or philosophical utterance, is the mouthpiece of divine power. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was the best qawwali singer of his generation, and this 1995 release highlights the technical prowess and spiritual grandeur of this qawwali legend.
On BACK TO QAWWALI, Nusrat and company sing four pieces that represent themes of love (ghazals) or worship (panegyrics). "Man Atkeya Beparwath De Naal" is taken from the poetry of Shah Hussain, one of the early Punjabi mystic poets. "Mainoon Yaar Di Namaaz Parh Lainde" is a traditional prayer of love. Finally, "Maste Vila'aiy Hyderam, Dam Hama Dam, Ali Ali" and "Mohe Apne Rang Main Rang Le Nijaam" are centered on themes of spiritual guidance from Sufi saints.