Avishek Ghosh

Avishek Ghosh is a folk musician and independent researcher in the field of traditional folk music. He plays and teaches dotara (a Bengali folk instrument). He has research experience in folk music and mystic spiritual traditions, especially in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab.

 

‘Being a pilgrim at Ajmer Sharif

Will bear the same fruit as visiting Mecca

At the Dargah (mausoleum) of our beloved Khwaja

O naive soul, keep chanting the name of Allah’

 

The lines above are translated and quoted from a Bengali qawwali song released in 2004 in the album Bharat Tirtha sung by the late Manna Dey, who made a great contribution to the music of Indian films, in Hindi as well as numerous regional languages. Debaprasad Chakraborty was the lyricist of this song and Mrinal Banerjee the music composer. Although this song was not composed by any Sufi master or performed by any traditional qawwali singer, it can be helpful in understanding Bengali qawwali in terms of its lyrical structure, melody and musical accompaniment.

 

Traditionally, qawwali comes under the category of semi-classical music where the lead singer improvises the melody in certain ragas supported by an echoing group of singers. Apart from musical instruments like the harmonium, tabla and bulbul tarang, clapping is used in qawwali as a rhythm instrument. The above song does not have these features but due to some other characteristics, it cannot be categorized under any other genre of Bengali songs connected to Islamic society or religiosity like Karbala-Jarigan, Muslim marriage songs, Fakiri and Marfati. The song is in praise of Khwaja Baba of Ajmer Sharif (the founder of the Chishti Sufi order of India) who, according to common belief, brought the tradition of qawwali to the Indian subcontinent.

 

Qawwali is a form of oratorio performed mainly in Sufi dargahs (shrines) and khanqas (place for spiritual retreat) in the Indian subcontinent. It is the rendition of mystic verses composed by the Sufi masters. As Syed Akbar and Carla Petrivich note:

 

‘Qawwali are songs of devotion and supplication, mostly written in Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, and Sindhi. Many qawwalis use a mixture of languages, and they often sprinkled with Qur’anic verses or saying of the Prophet (hadith/qawls). Frequently, qawwalis combine various genres of devotional literature: hamd (praise of God), na’t (praise of the Prophet), and manqabat (praise of revered Islamic personalities). Traditionally qawwalis began with the word of the prophet (qawl) and were sung in Sufi shrines, but in the past hundred years or so they have become increasingly popular in household celebrations, musical concerts, commercial recordings, and even South Asian films.’ (2009)

 

Historical development of qawwali

 

The origin of qawwali is linked with the history of sama. ‘Sama’ in Arabic means audition, but in Sufi discourse, it is the act of listening to spiritual music. A qawwali gathering is generally called ‘Mehfil-e-Sama’ or ‘assembly of listening’. Qawwali was born in north India but its origin can be traced back to eighth century Persia, present-day Iran and Afghanistan. Sufism emerged in Persia against the orthodox government of the Baghdad Caliphate state in the ninth century. By establishing a new educational system, the Caliphate state created a number of scholars called Ulema who could run the government according to the orthodox Sunni ideas. The Ulemas had great political power and influence all across Persia and the Indian subcontinent throughout the medieval period of Indian history.

 

Although music was forbidden in orthodox Sunni ideas, sama became prominent in the Sufi khanqas and Sufi mystical verses started to be written in ninth century Baghdad. Rabia(d.801) of Basra, Dhu-ul-Nun (d.861) of Egypt and Mansur al-Hallaj (d.922) of Baghdad were a few of the foremost exponents of Sufi poetry. The orthodox scholars like Ibn al-Jawzi (d.1200) and Ibn Taymiya (d.1328) were against the practice of sama or any kind of music.

 

The Sufis, at the same time, had written a number of books on the legitimacy of sama in Islam. Some of the important books were al-Sarraj’s Kitab al-luma (before 988), al-Qushayri’s Risala (before 1043), Hujwiri’s Kashf-al-maḥjub (c.1050–70), Suhrawardi’s Awarif-al-maʿarif (before 1234) and al-Ghazali’s (AD 1058–1111) Ihya Ulum al-Din. Al-Ghazali was one the foremost Sufi saint-poets of Persia and the genre of ghazal, the Indo-Persian love song, had been developed after the style of poetry he initiated (Bhattacharjee & Alam 2012; Viitamaki 2008; Harder 2011).

 

Among the different Sufi orders of medieval Persia, sama became an important practice within Mevleviya and Chishtia orders. In the Indian subcontinent, the practice of sama or qawwali had been introduced and nourished mainly by the Chishti saints. According to common belief, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti initiated the practice of sama in India after he reached Ajmer Sharif from Sistan of Afghanistan. He came to India with his disciple Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, who became a famous saint during the reign of Sultan Iltutmish (d.1236). Iltutmish erected the famous Qutub Minar in Delhi in memory of this holy saint. It is believed that Qutubuddin died in ecstasy while listening to music in a sama gathering.

 

Hamiduddin Nagauri, another disciple of Khwaja Moinuddin, was an ascetic-scholar who performed sama in the royal court of Sultan Iltutmish. Fariduddin Ganj Shakar (better known as Baba Farid) wrote a number of Sufi poems in Punjabi and was a disciple of Qutubuddin. Baba Farid travelled all over the Indian subcontinent including the eastern part of Bengal to preach Islam. One of the most remarkable successors and disciples of Baba Farid was Nijamuddin Awliya of Delhi. However, the traditional form of qawwali seems to have been developed in the Sufi courtyard of Nijamuddin Awliya.

 

Amir Khusro, the great poet and musician of the royal court, was a disciple of Nijamuddin Awliya, and was credited as being the father of the qawwali tradition. Khusro made great contributions to Indian poetry and music. He also introduced and incorporated many Persian ragas into North Indian classical music. Apart from his Persian Divan, he wrote a number of poems in different vernacular languages. He is also credited as being the creator of Khariboli poetry and inventor of musical instruments like the sitar and the tabla.

 

Burhan-ud-Din Garib, a disciple and successor of Nijamuddin Awliya and a friend of Amir Khusro, introduced the tradition of qawwali in Maharashtra after he reached Khuldabad from Delhi (Newell 2007). Another important successor of Nijamuddin Awliya was Nasiruddin Chirag-e-Delhi. Banda Nawaj Gesuderaj, a disciple and successor of Nasiruddin Chirag, travelled to Gulbarga of present day Karnataka. Gesuderaj introduced qawwali in Karnataka and authored numerous books in Arabic, Pesian and Urdu. Baba Bulleh Shah, a disciple of Shah Inayat Qadri of Lahore, made a great contribution to Punjabi poetry. According to Anuradha Bhattacharjee and Shadab Alam:

 

‘Both Amir Khusrau and Baba Bulleh Shah have expanded the repertoire of Sufi verses and music in some languages of the Indian subcontinent, namely, Punjabi, Braj and Purbi. Further expansion has taken place from adaptation of their verses and music into other languages of the subcontinent, namely, Deccani, Urdu and Bengali.’ (2012)

 

Qawwali: Across the borders of Bengal

 

Qawwali in Bengali language, better known as Bangla qawwali, is one of the religious musical traditions popular among a small section of Bengali speaking Muslim and Hindu communities in West Bengal.  It seems that Bengali Qawwali has not been well discussed and researched in the academic field. So far, to the best of our knowledge, no scholarly literature or research work has been found on this particular art form. Md. Enamul Haq, in his pioneering work on the history of Sufism in Bengal, Bange Sufi Probhab (2012), pointed out that music (sama) and ecstatic dance (halqah) became prominent in the Sufi khanqas of Chishtia and Suhrawardiya orders in medieval Bengal. According to him, the indigenous Bengali people were unfamiliar with this kind of ecstatic music and dance before the arrival of the Sufis. (Haq 2012)

 

Bengali Muslims are the second largest Muslim community after the Arabs. According to researchers, this is the result of the large number of conversions to Islam in medieval Bengal. Both Enamul Haq and Richard Maxwell Eaton (1993) have pointed out that the Sufis played a crucial role in this. According to Haq, the indigenous Bengalis received the Islamic tradition from the Sufis and not from the Muslim rulers who, despite their repeated attempts, failed to reach the heart of the common people. Eaton showed that the early Sufis were instrumental in forest clearing and formation of agricultural land, apart from their religious and political duties. Ahmed Sharif, on the other hand, discussed the amalgamation of Islamic Sufi tradition with indigenous Buddhist, Nath and Hindu cultures, which gave birth to the syncretic folk-religious cults like Pir, Baul and Fakir.

 

Persian had been the official language of Bengal during the Muslim rule for six hundred years. Bengali Sultans —especially Hussain Shah among them — were great patrons of Bengali literature. Arabic and Persian were the languages of Islamic scriptures and religiosity. The local converted Muslims were unfamiliar with these foreign languages.

 

However, Nur Qutub-e Alam (d. 1416 AD), the famous Chishti saint-poet of Gaud, made the first attempt to integrate Bengali language in his ‘Rikhta’ style of poetry — in which the first line of a couplet was composed in Persian and the second in Bengali. Shah Muhammad Sagir authored the first romantic ballad ‘Yusuf Julaikha’, which was actually a translation of a Persian romance by Jami. Apart from the romantic, heroic and elegiac ballads, the Sufi poets of medieval Bengal composed a lot of religious literature including hamd, naat and ghazal in order to disseminate Islamic philosophy to the local people. Annemarie Schimmel describes it thus:

 

‘Mystical theories were also expressed in the Bengali language as early as the seventeenth century, when a mystic called Hajji Muhammad described, in his Nurnama, "The Book of Light," the problems of wahdat al-wujud and wahdat ash-shuhud and the different types of light mysticism. However, the higher mystical literature was usually composed either in Arabic or Persian, and many of the mauluds in honor of the Prophet are written in one of these languages’ (1975)

 

The incorporation of Arabic and Persian words like Allah-Khoda, Nabi-Paigambar, and Pir-Murshid had become prominent in this period (fourteenth to eighteenth century) in Bengali literature. A number of ballads called ‘Dobhasi puthi’ had been composed in that mixed language by the Sufi poets like Alaol and Syed Sultan (Sharif 1969). Kazi Nazrul Islam ((AD 1899 – 1976), the rebel poet of Bengal, used this language more successfully in hundreds of his Islamic songs ranging from hamd, naat, marsiya and ghazal in Bengali. His songs are classified as a distinct genre of Bengali music –‘Nazrul Geeti’.

 

However, none of the previous scholars has discussed in detail about the practice of sama or qawwali in medieval Bengal. Haq showed that kirtan, a devotional music of the Vaishnavas of Bengal, was highly influenced by the music and the dance of the Sufis. It is evident that, through this cultural assimilation, the Indo-Persian concept of sama merged with the various genres of Bengali folk music. Thus, it can be said that the present form of Bengali qawwali came into being in a much later period of history.

 

Qawwali in Bangladesh

 

I heard the term ‘Bangla qawwali’ for the first time in a Baul-Fakir ashram (place for spiritual retreat) in Nadia. Arman Fakir, a renowned Baul singer, performed a song in praise of Allah, composed by his master, the late Gani Pagol, a Chishti saint from Bangladesh.

 

The song is as follows:

‘All the lovers of the God and the Prophet

From djinns, humans and angels

Sing ‘ghazal’ (love songs) in ecstasy. 

Gani, the Lunatic is singing ‘Bangla qawwali’

In praise of his master Madan, the Moon.

Allah Hu Allah, Allah Hu Allah’

 

Although the term ‘Bangla qawwali’ appears in the last couplet of this verse, it has no similarity with the traditional qawwali in terms of its music and context. Even though, the zikr/dhikr or the repetition of ‘Allah Hu Allah’ has a connection with qawwali, the melody and style of performance had much resemblance with Baul, Fakiri and Marifati songs. Dotara and dhol, the two traditional folk musical instruments of Bengal, were used as accompanying instruments. When asked about the structure of this song, Arman Fakir said:‘We cannot sing like the Qawwals, because we belong to the Fakiri musical tradition. We use our own melodies which sound more appropriate in Bengali qawwali.’

 

Similar debates can be found among the researchers on Maijbhandari music, the Sufi devotional music of Bangladesh. Hans Harder, in his book Sufism and Saint Veneration in Bangladesh: The Maijbhandaries of Chittagong (2007), has discussed the music of Maijbhandari order, the indigenous Sufi order of Bangladesh. From his discussion, it can be assumed that the Maijbhandari songs certainly have some connection with the Indo-Persian concept of sama and qawwali. However, in his opinion:

 

‘Maijbhandari songs do not have the typical alternating singing between a soloist and an echoing group…Qawwali has more explicit leanings towards North Indian classical rāga music, whereas Maijbhandari songs are decidedly a part of Bengali folk traditions. … In their structure, Maijbhandari songs bear more similarities with the famous Baul song tradition … The main differences consist in the institutional establishments such as dargāh and dāʾira sessions in the case of Maijbhandari songs, which are mostly absent for Bauls,  and in a semantic affiliation to the Maijbhandari saints to which the Baul tradition(s) afford(s) no direct parallel (2011).'

 

Another reason why such songs (like Maijbhandari or the song above by Gani Pagol) cannot be read directly into the qawwali tradition is that these songs are not rendered in the sequence of Qawl-Hamd-Naat-Manqabat, which are mandatory aspects of qawwali performances. Therefore, Harder classified the Maijbhandari music as a segment of Marfati Gan, a distinct genre of Bengali Sufi folk music. The present song of Gani Pagol cannot be classified as Maijbhandari or Marfati either. Thematically, it is more similar to hamd or the praise of Allah, which is an important part of qawwali. The main difference is that while Maijbhandari songs are centered on Maijbhandari saints, Marfati songs mainly deal with love and esoteric practices of Dehatatwa similar to Baul and Bhatiyali songs. However, in terms of melody, musical accompaniment and presentation, there is hardly any difference between these musical genres.

 

Qawwali in West Bengal

 

In the present scenario of West Bengal, qawwali performances take place in Sufi dargahs, households and religious celebrations across districts like Medinipur, Howrah, Bardhaman, Bankura, Purulia, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Paraganas. Ghutiyari Sharif of South 24 Parganas, Dargah of Mastan Shah at Mehmanpur (Budge Budge, of North 24 Parganas), Dargah of Sadir Baba (Sadiruddin Chishti) at Enayetpur(West Medinipur)and Pagla Baba Mazar at Tollygunj (Kolkata) are a few of the Sufi shrines that host qawwali performance every Thursday-night and in the annual celebration of Urs (death anniversary of the Sufi saints).  

 

The singers (known as qawwals) who perform in these shrines are generally well-conversant with both Urdu and Bengali qawwalis since both Urdu and Bengali speaking Muslim communities inhabit the surrounding areas of many of these shrines.  Another reason is that the qawwals and the composers of these areas take their inspiration directly from the traditional as well as popular Urdu qawwalis. In an interview taken for the current research, Qawwal Naser Jhankar of Arambagh (Hooghly, West Bengal) explained: ‘People do not really encourage us to sing in Urdu, as most of the people do not understand it.  After all we are Bengali and everyone understands the Bengali songs.’

 

Poets, compositions and performance 

 

A team performing Bengali qawwali generally comprises of three to five persons. The lead singer plays the harmonium.  Since the Bengali qawwali groups consist of fewer artists, the sound of clapping is replaced by tambourine or a small pair of cymbals. The other instruments used in Bengali qawwali are mainly the tabla, the dholak and sometimes the bulbul tarang nowadays. The separate seating arrangement for men and women corresponds to the traditional environment of any Islamic gathering including qawwali.   

 

Naser has been performing Bengali qawwali for the last thirty-five years. He is quite a popular singer among the listeners of Bangla qawwali. A number of his Bengali qawwali albums, namely Pir Na Khoda, Belayeter Badshah Maula Ali and Zinda Koran have been released by Blaze Audio Video, an undistinguished local recording company. These kinds of CDs and VCDs are commonly found in the surrounding shops of the Sufi shrines. Titles like ‘Jhankar’, ‘Lalkar’,and ‘Bachcha’ are some of the common stage names used by the qawwals. However, about the origin of ‘Bangla qawwali’, Naser gives no clear evidence:

 

‘As far as I know, Khadem Qawwal, the most famous qawwali singer of his time, was the first one to popularise qawwali in Bengali language. He was from Bargachhiya village of Howrah district…Many years ago, I have seen him only once in a concert when he was about 75-80 years old. He was sharing the stage with another famous qawwal, Munna Jhankar. He is still remembered by the audience and contemporary qawwali singers for his contribution in popularising Bengali qawwali.’

 

It can be presumed that Khadem Qawwal was possibly alive during the middle of the twentieth century. It is also from around this time that qawwali in general started to become a popular form of Indian entertainment through commercial recordings and films.

 

Safiuddin Husaini alias Khokon Qawwal, a ‘Sajjadanashin’ (hereditary administrator) in the dargah of Mastan Shah Baba, suggests that qawwali in Bengali was introduced by the Bengali-speaking disciples of Urdu-speaking saints who came to Bengal from outside. They introduced the ideas and emotions of Persian and Urdu poetry in the Bengali language.

 

Naser Jhankar is a disciple of the late Sadiruddin Chishti Chirag-i-Marfat, a Chishti saint, whose shrine is situated at Enayetpur in Mednapore district. Sadiruddin composed numerous qalaams (verses used in qawwali) in both Urdu and Bengali. The ‘sijranama’ (spiritual genealogy) of Sadiruddin shows that he was the spiritual descendant of Nasiruddin Chirag-i-Delhi, a disciple and successor of the great Nijamuddin Awlia.  The Bengali verses or qalaams of Sadiruddin consist of hamd, naat, manqabat and ghazal. Khokon Qawwal mentions that these songs have never been published in any form. Only the close disciples and qawwals have some of these in their personal collections. 

 

According to Naser, Sadiruddin was the greatest composer of Bangla qawwali of his time, and his compositions are performed by many qawwals with great respect to this day.  Apart from Sadiruddin Chishti, some of the notable composers of the past were Piyara Irfan Chishty, Selim Chishti Nizami and Abdul Karim. Abdul Karim, according to Khokon Qawwal, was the unparalleled composer of Bangla Qawwali in both Aam and Khas concerts. He says:‘There is a saying in Urdu that someone who does not know the qalaam of Hajrat Bedam Shah Warsi is not a qawwal. Similarly, in Bengal if someone does not know the qalaam of Abdul Karim he is not a Bangla Qawwal.’

 

He also states that Gulzar Sipahi and Bachchu Kader are two of the well-known contemporary lyricists who composed numerous verses, some of which have been published in CDs and VCDs. 

 

Khokon Qawwal describes the different themes within qawwali in more details. According to him, a qawwali performance starts with hamd in praise of God, followed by naat in praise of the Prophet and qawl in praise of Ali-Mushkil Kusha respectively. After that, manqabat is sung in praise of the Walis (friends of God). The songs are based on different themes like ‘muzahidana’, the songs of chivalry, ‘rindana’, which deals with ‘sharab’ (wine), ‘saqi’ (wine-provider) and ‘botal’ (the container of wine) and ‘Arifana’, which is on the esoteric knowledge.

 

According to Naser, there are two types of presentation and performance in qawwali depending on the audience and the stage. They are called ‘aam’ and 'khaas’. The ‘aam’ concerts begin with hamd composed in Urdu or Hindi, whereas ‘khas’ concerts start with naat followed by qawl or ‘Maula Ali’r Shaan’ mainly composed in Bengali. In his opinion, a cheap and popular form of romantic duet qawwali is performed in aam concerts, while khas concerts are held only in Sufi dargahs where qawwali is performed in its ‘pure’ form in front of the true admirers of this music. Khokon Qawwal further explains:

 

‘Actually, there are many types of songs popularly known as qawwali. For example, chhed (the popular romantic duet songs), the songs used in films and the songs performed in the dargahs -- all of them are called qawwali. There are audiences for all types of songs.’

 

In a khas concert, where I was also present, Naser Jhankar began his performance with a hamd composed in Bengali. Although the melody of the song was an imitation of ‘Allah Hu’, a qawwali popularised by the legendary Pakistani qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the lyric is not directly translated from the original. The song is as follows:

 

‘Wherever I look, I see you

Residing in every being, it is you 

Allah Hu Allah Hu Allah Hu

You made this world a marketplace of love

You play a divine sport with yourself

You hide yourself in the guise of man and woman

You play hide and seek with yourself

Wherever I look, I see you

Residing in every heart it is you 

Allah Hu, Allah Hu, Allah Hu’

 

The song was followed by a manqabat in Bengali in praise of Sadiruddin Chishti composed by Sajid, a contemporary lyricist and disciple of the saint. The first couplet, repeated throughout the song is as follows:

 

‘Why do I frantically search for Allah outside

When behind the veil of Mim, resides my master Sadir Baba?’

 

The melody of the song is reminiscent of a romantic Hindi song from the movie Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se released in 1978. Apart from these popular tunes, the Bengali qawwals also incorporate traditional Bengali themes and tunes of Baul and Bhatiyali music. I was invited to a qawwali gathering during the celebration of Urs (death anniversary) in the dargah of Mastan Shah Baba. The qawwals performed mostly Urdu songs. The only song in Bengali was performed by Khokon Qawwal.  The song started with a nagma (musical prelude in qawwali) followed by a short a cappella verse. The theme of the song is very common in Indo-Persian as well as Bengali devotional music:

 

‘Some search in temples and some other in mosques

Some search in Kaba and others in Kashi

Some look for him in battle, some in lonely forest

But I know he resides in the true lover’s heart.’

 

Naser Jhankar says, ‘Qawwali means ‘qawl-e-Wali’ or the sayings of the holy saints. I do not find any actual difference between Urdu and Bengali qawwali because the very essence of qawwali is one. Whichever way it is expressed in whichever language it speaks of the same essence.’

 

While verses of different lengths (ranging from short to long)and metrical schemes such as qasida, ghazal and qita are used in Persian and Urdu qawwali, Bengali qawwali contains a minimum of three to five verses preceded by a refrain, similar to all other genres of Bengali folk music. Since Khusro, the art of singing qawwali has been passing through generations for the last seven hundred years by the hereditary musicians known as 'qawwal bachche'. But, Bengali qawwals are mostly self-taught as there is no institution and method of teaching.

 

The traditional Urdu qawwalis are usually based on particular ragas of North Indian classical music, while Bengali qawwali does not really follow the raga system and is performed, instead, in a simple repetitive melody without any great improvisation. Thus Bangla qawwali, despite all its relations with North Indian qawwali, may only be perceived as an evolving genre of Bengali folk music, yet to take shape into a distinct, self-sustaining musical system. Its popularity is growing in leaps and bounds, especially in recent times. Its practitioners and admirers are spread all over the urban and rural areas of West Bengal. Thus, Bangla qawwali is undoubtedly playing a pivotal role in uniting people from different religious and cultural backgrounds in West Bengal.

 

References

 

English

 

Akbar, Syed and Petrivich, Carla. 2009. ‘Qawwali songs of Praise’, ‘Devotion and Praise: To Allah, Muhammad, Imam, and Elders’, Chapter 5. Barbara D. Metcalf, ed. 2009.Islam in South Asia in Practice. Princeton University Press.

 

Bhattacharjee, Anuradha and Alam, Shadab.(2012). ‘Origin and Journey of Qawwali: from sacred ritual to entertainment’. Journal of Creative Communication 7,3.

 

Eaton, Richard. 1993. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier,1204-1760. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Eaton, Richard. 2009. ‘Forest Cleaning and Growth of Islam’ – ‘Belonging’, Chapter 28. Barbara D. Metcalf, ed. 2009.Islam in South Asia in Practice. Princeton University Press.

 

Hans Harder, 2011. Sufism and Saint Veneration in Contemporary Bangladesh: The Maijbhandaries of Chittagong. Routledge.

 

Newell, James Richard. 2007. ‘Experiencing Qawwali – Sound as Spiritual Power in India’. Thesis: Vanderbilt University.

 

Schimmel, Annemarie. 1975. Mystical Dimension of Islam. University of North Carolina Press.

 

Viitamaki, Mikko. March 2008. ‘Text and Intensification of its impact in Chishti Sama’. Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Helsinki.

 

Bangla

 

Haq, Enamul. 2012.Bonge Sufi Probhab. Ananda Bhattacharya, ed. Vivekananda Book Store.

 

Sharif, Ahmed. 2010. Baoul O Sufi Sahitya. Barrabazar Dhaka: Annesha Prokashon.

 

Sharif, Ahmed. 1969. Banglar Sufi Sahitya. 1st edition. Bangla Academy. Dhaka: Samay Prokashon.

 

Sharif, Ahmed. 1962. Madhyayuger Kabya Sangraha. Dhaka: Bangla Academy.

 

Online video references

 

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk7DJyiAXcY – ‘Ajmer Sharif Tirthe Gele’, Bangla qawwali by Manna Dey.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvaQ4QgkmzU –‘Aj Mehfil Kabar Nishana’, Bangla Qawwali by Arman Fakir.
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X40knqgChm8&list=LLUtO_jR7dZ_X6mmwzrksMzg – ‘Tawheeder Sharab – The Wine of Union’, a documentary film on Bengali qawwali.