Dedicated to Hazrat Nizammuddin


They are the descendents of a family which has been singing qawwalis for more than 650 years. Carrying forward the legacy of their forefathers – Chand Nizami and his nephews Shadab Faridi and Sohrab Faridi – better known as ‘Nizami Bandhu’ are no longer restricted to singing in dargahs but are recognised in Bollywood too.

In the limelight since their Kun Fyun Kun in the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Rockstar became a hit, the Nizami Bandhu have been busier than ever before. They recently performed in the City too.

Kun Faya Kun takes its reference from the Quran and as a symbol of God’s mystical creative powers, as it begins with Ya Nizammuddin Auliya, Ya Nizammuddin Salqa which translates into remembering the Almighty.

“Since A R Rahman wanted to shoot this song at Hazrat Nizammudin Dargah it helped us dedicate this song to our pir,” says Chand Nizami, the eldest member. Belonging to Sikandra Gharana, the Nizami Bandhu are trained in both qawwali and classical vocal music under the late Ustad Mehmood Nizami, Chand’s father and Sohrab and Shadab’s grandfather.

Their family has been entirely dedicated to singing in dargahs and so are Chand, Sohrab and Shadab.

“We have dedicated our lives to Hazrat Nizammuddin. We live here, we sing here and Inshallah we will die here. We perform in mehfils and festivals but mainly sing in our pir’s khanqah,” informs Shadab.

As qawwalis and Sufi songs have become a part of almost every movie nowadays, the Nizamis call it the revival of Sufi qawwali which was earlier restricted to mosques, khanegahs and dargahs.

Says Chand, “Sufi qawwali was loved by a selected few earlier. Today, more people from around the world have begun listening to them. When it was restricted to religious places, naturally its reach too was limited. But today, it has reached all parts of the world. So it’s more heard and has become more popular since the last few years.”

What is the way to recognise a good qawwali? “Qawwali includes poems from Sufi
masters. It transports the audience into another plane of consciousness. The physical manifestation of this transportation is called haal. There is a point when people start swaying in a state of trance. It is very difficult for qawwals to move entire audience to haal but when it happens, it is proof that it was a good qawwali.”

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