Sufi Poetry and Music
Sufis across cultures and languages have used poetry and music to express their longings for the Beloved.
Sufi poetry is delivered in song, music, written and spoken form in cultures across the world.
The Persian poets Rumi, Hafiz, Abu Sa’id Abu-l-Khair, Farid al-Dun Attar, Iraqi are still as relevant today as they were when they were originally penned. Their poetry speaks directly to the heart of the seekers and lovers everywhere.
In Sufism, it is love that guides and paves the seekers’ path to union with God. Through the intoxication of love, Sufis learn to let go of their ego and open their heart to the truth that binds all creation. In reaching for the essential nature of this divine love, the Sufi poets evade fixed ideas, embrace paradox and turn to intricate metaphor and allegory. These ring more true than the everyday reality that blinds us to the ineffable experience of love and the divine.
Sufi spiritual music, or sama, is like the sun: it caresses and inflames, melts and burns.
Most religious and spiritual traditions use the voice and select musical instruments as expressions of, and connections to the sacred. The vibratory experience of attunement with the sacred is created not only through the intent of the musician, but through the sincerity and the vulnerability of open-hearted listening.
In the words of Hafiz: “People say that on hearing the song the soul entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was song.”
Sufi music has been part of the ritual practice of sama’ from the tenth/eleventh century (if not earlier). A sama’ session usually starts with music and singing of poetry and gradually builds up to chanting of a name or phrase (remembrance of God). This is under the direction and attention of a Sufi master. Although there is a difference between Sufi music as ritual practice and Sufi music as performance, there is no question that in both instances the sacred is the focus of the production and its guiding force. To Listen to Sufi Music