Brussels, 23th, October 2017

In connection with the 70th independence anniversary of Pakistan, the Embassy of Pakistan joined hands with Bozar, the highly prestigious Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, and organized an overwhelmingly successful Sufi Night with a lecture by the Ambassador Naghmana A. Hashmi on the genre of Qawwali and enthralling performance by Pakistani Qawwali Group led by Ustad Faiz Ali Faiz. The event was attended by the Belgians as well as Pakistani diaspora in large numbers.
The performance by Faiz Ali Faiz qawwali group earned huge applause from the Belgian audience. The famous Qawwalis like Allahu; Yah Mustafa, Haq Ali Ali Maula and Dam mast Qalandar kept nearly 2000 audience spell bound who clapped and danced with the flow and rhythm of music. The Sufi music group of Sheikh Tahiri of Moroco and Indonesian Sama performances preceded the Qawwali. The response to the programme was so great that the organizers had to shift the event to bigger hall to accommodate audience.
In her lecture, on the topic ‘Origin and History of Qawwali’ Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg Mrs. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi gave detailed account of Sufi school of thought in Islam and highlighted the origin of tradition of Qawwali through Chishtiya and Suharwardiya schools of thought as an acceptable means in quest for the true knowledge and achieving closeness to the creator.
During the presentation that spanned over an hour, Ambassador Hashmi traced the history of Qawwali dating back to 9th century in the times of Alkindi and Akhwanul Safa, then Imam Ghazali and finally the contribution of Hazrat Ameer Khusro in the 13th century towards evolution of the Qawwali in South Asia in the form that is popular today. She apprised the audience of the tradition of Qawwali in Pakistan and the contribution of Pakistani Qawwals in introducing this genre to international audience while mentioning Sabri brothers, Ustad Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan and Aziz Mian Qawwal.

Ambassador Hashmi showed pictures of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan rendering spiritual music in the United Nations and also referred to Qawwali performance on the occasion of Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo. Explaining that understanding of spiritual messages, the main objective of Qawwali, which was not dependent on understanding of language of a particular area, she said Pakistani Qawwals have been able to attract massive fandom around the world. She highlighted various important concepts related to Qawwali including Ma’rifat, the search for truth and creator; Samaa, the gathering of spiritual music and Haal, the state of trance induced by spiritual Music.
Bozar is the highly prestigious and most visited cultural destination in Brussels for concerts, exhibitions and shows. The Centre for Fine Arts stands out among other cultural institution due to its vast multidisciplinary and diverse programme. These high quality international programmes have earned the Centre a reputation as the leading cultural reference.