The cooing of birds, the cloudburst on a hot day, the sound of a glistening thunder, a smiling rainbow, and voice of Abida Parveen, all speak in same connotations. Wholesome, fulfilling, and beyond approach. An experience one would want repeatedly. The kalam that spells bounds the audience by filling the aura with melody, melancholy, and ecstasy making one feel everything at once.
Sufism arises as a spiritual bond. It is not a tune or song to be composed on a boring Wednesday afternoon. It is an internal calling, a divinity. A purpose, that Abida Parveen knew since the age of three. Brought up as the only daughter of her parents, she recalls having no social circle but a sense of belonging into a greater gathering. Being nurtured by her father whose talk of the table revolved around Sufi saints inspired her in many ways. She was destined to become the Queen of Sufism and thus she became one.
Abida Parveen The Peace Ambassador – SAARC
A patriotic Pakistani, born in 1954 who believes that talent sees no boundaries and thus has performed quite in abundance in India, America, and UK. She was appointed as a ‘Peace Ambassador’ by SAARC in 2007. She also bagged many laurels throughout her life, but she measures her success with what she can give out to her country and not what she gets in return. She has been a recipient of the ‘Gold Laal Shahbaaz Qalandar’ Medal in 1984 and awarded as the pride of performance by the President of Pakistan.
Sufism & Abida Parveen The Sufi Queen
Sufi music is a way to praise God devotedly. It is a greater calling to confabulate with Him. Delivering the sentiment with such expressions and zeal in the presence of hundreds of audiences without hesitation shows her attachment and uninterrupted involvement with Allah. Her unfaltering energy while reciting kalams takes people to the highest levels of spirituality without any parallel. She has often addressed the media about being in unplumbed hallucinations while performing. An uncontrollable moment of realization of belonging only to God, what a bliss!
“Most people still don’t know is that 99% of kalams sung by my mother were also composed by her and she has set a world record for having composed hundreds of kalams.”Sarang Latif – The Son of Abida Parveen
Although she is associated most closely with the verses of the Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif, her qalams include inspiration from Amir Khusrau, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, and others such as Kabir and Waris Shah. Fusing in the dialects of Arabic, Persian and Urdu, she knows which chords to strike and leave people completely awestruck.
For her, Sufism is channeling one’s plea to God in a direct manner amongst many other things and her latest album Bazm-e-Rang captivates the audience in the same way. It is produced by her talented son Sarang Latif. Food for soul contributing in mending broken hearts and swooning pure magic with highs and lows in her voice, building momentum, and then breaking it. Leaving the audience in a state of trans and euphoria.
Her anomalous sense of style, donning an ajrak shawl that comes from the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai, plain kameez, and shalwar and freely moving curly hair creates an association and cultural identity. A Pandora box of knowledge who can speak about philosophy, spirituality, poetry, and connection to God limitlessly. She also claims that her journey to Sufism began due to her penchant for shrines and dargahs that she used to visit early in life with her father.
She is the foremost exponent of Sufi Music, a national hero and a shining star of Pakistan that makes us shine bright in the global sky. Her presence, body language and work is profound and one of the greatest gifts given to this Nation. Her reflective music is unique and bigger than the world which is immensely thankful for her.