A quite evening at home, dimly lit, experiencing piece and pure tranquility as the legend Abida Parveen sang “Gar Yaqeen”. This is a routine setting of my time with my Creator. The connect is almost impossible to explain but can be felt by those who belong to the soil and spend a lifetime in search of the sacred bond between the loved and the beloved. Quite often I find myself juggling with the words of Baba Bhullay Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Maulana Rumi, Sultan Bahu, ever so amazingly recited by legends like Abida Parveen, Pathanay Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Allan Faqeer and others, quietly listening with eyes closed, trying to absorb the essence of every single word, trying to feel the soul, the soil on which these legends treaded, the secrets of life, the relationships and the divinity within. Such was the evening, intense, enchanted, lost and never wishing to be found.
Amidst the peaceful chaos, a friend, who knows me well, sent me a link of a song to which my response was obvious. “Thank you, I will check it later…” However, the insistence was such that I had to stop what I was listening to and click the link. It was a sufi medley by Abdullah Qureshi. It started with a thank you note in a very mature, deep voice in perfect and slightly accented English.
At this moment, I thought to myself… Sufi??? As my limited imagination could not relate to the way those words were spoken to a Sufiyana Kalam… A few seconds more and it was as if I was struck by lightning. The medley commenced with Baba Bhullay Shah’s poetry, each word stemming from the soul, smelling of the soil, the most perfect of pronunciations. The strength, the power of each word could be felt. I listened to the whole medley many times, over and over, each time sinking in deeper and deeper, each time, connecting at a different level, each time higher. The voice communicated to be of one like that of a Bedouin who has spent a lifetime amidst the sands of the deserts, one who knows of untold stories, one who has befriended the higher ups, one who has transformed into a being sought after. It was not possible not to find out more about this great voice which has etched the soul.
A simple search put me through to Abdullah Qureshi Page and it was no surprise to note more than 100,000 fans. I wondered briefly why I never heard of him before. The pictures, however, puzzled me. It was almost impossible to relate to the voice I heard and the pictures of Abdullah I saw. Did the voice not belong to a faqeer of age who has seen life up close and embraced its ups and downs? Was the voice not one which has been molded over decades of search? Utter disbelief!
Upon communicating with Abdullah, it was learnt that he is a young man belonging to NUST Class of 2015 who will be turning 21 on August 6 of 2014. A bright, humble young man who indeed reflected on belonging to the soil. After communicating with Abdullah, I stand corrected. Seems that there is no correlation between your age and the level you may reach in terms of understanding the mysticism, the bonds, the belonging. Abdullah’s thoughts can be summarized by his own words:
There are so many good people in this world you can't even imagine! Its like every other person is so awesome!—
Abdullah Qureshi (@AbdullahQureshi) April 09, 2014
Abdullah Qureshi’s sufi medley now makes an integral part of my evenings, my time with my Creator, right alongside of some of the greatest, including Abida Parveen, Pathanay Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and others.
One of my close friends, a die-hard fan of the legendary Abida Parveen expressed concern over my inclusion of Abdullah Qureshi in the league and my response was simple. Did any of those legends know in their teens on what path they tread and what will they become?
This is a small representation of how Abdullah is taking over hearts and souls:
Kudos to Abdullah and his partners, Ussayd Khan, Tabbish Mahmood, Syed Hasan Haider. It is indeed a blessing to be able to reach souls and leave a mark. May they all reach the heights made just for them.
I request all the readers to take time out and listen to Abdullah’s Sufi Medley. All compliments, comments may be shared directly with him. He tweets at @AbdullahQureshi.