Barakah (Deluxe)

Date of release: 6 Jun, 2016

Album Cover

Tracklist + Liner Notes

  1. Awake

    Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake
    Long you have slumbered so now my eyes awake.
    Azrail’s intention is your soul to take.
    Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake
    Long you have slumbered so now my eyes awake.

    This world is not your home, soon it melts away.
    Even were all seven climes under your sway
    Throne and dominion and glory pass away
    Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake
    Long you have slumbered so now my eyes awake.

    Here is Murad your slave, all his sins erase!
    Forgive my errors and all my burden raise,
    Raise me in the shade of Ahmad’s flag of praise.
    Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake
    Long you have slumbered so now my eyes awake.

    Uyan ey gözlerim gafletten uyan
    Uyan uykusu çok gözlerim uyan
    Azrail’in kastı canadır inan
    Uyan ey gözlerim gafletten uyan
    Uyan uykusu çok gözlerim uyan

    Maqām: Muhayyer Kürdi
    Commentary: This piece was composed by a renowned 17th century Ottoman Polish scholar and musician, Wojciech Bobowski (1610- 1675) who embraced Islam and adopted the name Ali Ufki Bey. Sultan Murad IV (r. 1623-1640) employed Ali Ufki in his court as a language interpreter and musical composer. He assembled hundreds of classical Ottoman songs and applied Western staff notations to them for the first time in a work entitled Majmuah-e Saz u Soz (Anthology of Instrumental and Vocal Music). The lyrics for this particular song, which are ascribed to sultan Murad III (1546-1595), express the poet’s remorse for having slept through the dawn prayer.
    The first line of the poem reads, “Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake!”
    *The musical portion preceding the Turkish verse is a new section composed by Sami Yusuf.

    Music by Ali Ufki
    Words by Sultan Murad III
    English translation by Dr. Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad)
    *Special thanks to Dr. Savaş Barkçin for additional backing vocals.

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  2. Ya Rasul Allah, Pt. 1 (Kurdish Version)

    (Kurdish)
    Yā Rasūla l-Lāh
    O Messenger of God,
    Yā shay Medina
    O Prince of Medina

    Har kas ‘ashgta
    Don’t break the heart of the one
    Dili mashkina
    Who loves you and is crazed for you

    Bechmam Madīna, beīsem bepā wā
    I will go to Medina and openly express to the Prophet
    Arza bam bedas Rasūl-a-Allāh wā
    My inner heart-felt desire to serve Him

    [Kurdish (refrain)]
    Yā Rasūla l-Lāh
    O Messenger of God,
    Yā shay Medina
    O Prince of Medina

    Har kas ‘ashgta
    Don’t break the heart of the one
    Dili mashkina
    Who loves you and is crazed for you

    (Arabic)
    Yā Rasūla l-Lāh
    O Messenger of Allāh
    Qalbī mushtāq
    My heart is longing
    Li-l-Madīnah
    For Medina

    Yā Ḥabība l-Lāh
    O Beloved of Allah
    Kullī ’ashwāq
    All my earnings
    Li-l-Madīnah
    Are for Medina

    Li-Nabīyi l-Lāh
    For the Prophet of Allah
    Muddat bi-r-rajā’ ’ayādīnā
    Our hands are extended in hope

    Mā taruddanā yā Rasūla l-Lāh khā’ibīna
    O Messenger of Allah, our beloved,
    do not us send back empty-handed

    (Kurdish)
    Yā Rasūla l-Lāh, Bawanem, Nawet chand khowsha*
    O Messenger of God, How beautiful is your name

    ‘Araghet golah bawanem, Būnet wa nawsha
    The blessed beads of sweat from your luminous body, smell of flowers

    Har wak hājiyān bawānem, La dowr baytu l-Lāh bawanem
    Like the pilgrims who circumambulate the House of God
    O my all, my beloved
    Bīm ba dawrī to ‘azīzam,
    I’d circle around you, my dearest one,
    Yā Nabī, Yā Shafī’
    O Prophet of God, O Intercessor!

     

    Dastgāh: Shūr (Avaze Abū ‘Atā)
    Commentary: This beautiful song comes from the Kurdish Qadiri zawiyas (Sufi centers) of Western Iran. It is a traditional devotional piece expressing love of the Prophet and longing to visit Medina. The original words are in Kurdish but additional verses in Persian, Turkish and Arabic have been added. The traditional khānghāh daf rhythm of “Ḥay Allah, Ḥay Allah” is incorporated into this piece with a time signature of 10/8.
    *This section (till the Kurdish refrain) is an entirely new composition added by Sami Yusuf with words by Payam Azizi.

    Words by Mohamed Azizi (Kurdish)
    Additional Kurdish words by Payam Azizi
    Arabic words by Dr. Imed Nsiri.
    Music: Traditional Islamic (from Kurdistan region)
    Additional composition by Sami Yusuf

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  3. Ya Rasul Allah, Pt. 2

    Ṣallū ‘alayhi shafī’ l-’ummah
    Send salutations upon him, the intercessor of the Muslim nation

    Bi dhikri r-Rasūl tushḥadhu l-himmah
    By mentioning the messenger we sharpen our zeal

    Yā Rabbi bi-jāhin Nabī ’azihi l-ghummah
    O God, for the sake of the prophet, clear the adversity

    Ṣallū ‘ala l-Hādi l-Bashīr*
    Send salutations upon The Guide and Bearer of good tidings

    Ḥabībī l-Badri l-Munīr
    My beloved the luminous full moon

    Shafī’ī ‘inda l-Qadīr
    My intercessor with the All-Powerful

    Ṣallū ‘alayhi
    Send salutations upon him!

    Ṣallū bi-’aḥla l-kalām
    Send salutations upon him with the sweetest of words!

    Ṣallū ‘ala l-badri t-tamām
    Salutations upon him, the full-moon

    Rasūlī, khayri l-’anām
    My messenger, the best of mankind!

     

    Dastgāh: Shūr
    Commentary: This is the second part of “Ya Rasul Allah”. We split the song over two tracks for easier listening.
    *This is a new section (till the refrain) composed by Sami Yusuf with words provided by Dr. Imed Nsiri.

    Words by Dr. Imed Nsiri
    Music: Traditional Islamic (from Kurdistan region)
    Additional composition by Sami Yusuf

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  4. Fiyyashiyya

    A humble slave am I of an almighty Lord.
    No work is too hard for that One who’s adored.

    But though I’m a beggar who cannot afford
    To claim any strength, sure and strong is my Lord.

    He says, where He wills, when He wishes a thing,
    just “Be”, and it is, by the might of a King.

    The ruler whose edicts and wise rulings bring
    All blessings and grace by the might of a King.

    I haven’t got the force,
    No strength between my sides
    Why feel such remorse
    when the Maker provides?

    I haven’t got the force,
    No strength between my sides
    Why feel such remorse
    when the Maker provides?

    Ana ‘abdu Rabbī lahū qudratun
    A humble slave am I of an almighty Lord.

    Yahūnu bihā kullu ’amrin ‘asīr
    No work is too hard for that One who’s adored.

    Fa-’in kuntu ‘abdan ḍa‘īfa l-quwā
    But though I’m a beggar who cannot afford

    Fa-Rabbī ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr
    To claim any strength, sure and strong is my Lord.

    Minnī ash ‘alayā wa ana ‘abadun mamlūk
    I’m but a humble slave, what should I worry about?

    Wa-l-’ashyā’ maqaḍīya mā fi t-taḥqīqi shukūk
    All affairs are ordained, of this there is no doubt

    Rabbī nāẓir fiyā wa ana naẓarī matrūk
    My Lord sees everything, while my sight leaves much out

    Fi l-’arḥām wa l-’aḥshā’ min nuṭfa ṣawwaranī
    In the womb, He formed me from a drop

    Ana mā lī fiyāsh, ash ‘alayā minnī
    I haven’t got the force, No strength between my sides

    Aqliq mir-rizqī lāsh, wa-l-Khāliq yarzuqnī
    Why feel such remorse when the Maker provides?

    Allāhumma ṣalli ‘ala l-Muṣṭafā, ḥabībnā Muḥammad ‘alayhi s-salām
    O Allah, send your blessings on The Chosen One
    Our beloved Muhammad, Peace be upon him

    I’m safe in the shade of his all-knowing height
    And no strength have I — His all power and might.

    So glory to God, his bounty shining bright,
    All gratitude and praise are His due and His right.

    He says, where He wills, when He wishes a thing,
    just “Be”, and it is, by the might of a King.

    The ruler whose edicts and wise rulings bring
    All blessings and grace by the might of a King.

     

    Maqām: ‘Ajam
    Commentary: Written by the Moroccan poet Sidi Othman ibn Yahya Cherki (known as “Sidi Bahloul Cherki”) in the 17th century, the qaṣidah (ode) “Fiyyashiyya” became a standard classic of the Maghrebi genre of malhoun— a genre of Sufi music popular amongst tradesmen in the urban centers of what is today Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Sidi Bahloul was a member of the Harraqi zawiya of Tetouan in northern Morocco, and his poetry, especially this qaṣidah, continues to be chanted by the members of his Shadhili-Darqawi-Harraqi Tariqah to this day. It has become one of the best-known and loved traditional songs amongst Moroccans from all walks of life. The inclusion of tanbour and daf gives this new arrangement a Persian or Khorasani touch. We have also added English lyrics to the song (English lyrics and translation provided by Dr. Tim Winter).

    Words & Music: Sidi Othman ibn Yahya Cherki (Traditional Moroccan/Islamic)
    English translation by Dr. Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Tanbour performed by Seyed Ali Jaberi
    Dafs performed by Seyyed Mohammad Jaberi
    Recorded @ Crosstown Studios & Andante Studios

  5. Ya Nabi

    Wa ṣalli ‘ala l-Hādī, ḥabībī jaddi l-Hasanayn
    Salutations upon our Guide, the beloved, the grandfather of Hasan and Hussein

    Rasūlī ma’danu l-jūdi, Imāmu l-Ḥaramayn
    My prophet, the quintessence of generosity,
    the Imam (leader) of the Two Holy Mosques

    Nabīyinā khayru man yamshī ‘ala l-qadamayn
    Our prophet is the best of those who walk on two legs

    Yā ‘āshiqīn ṣallū ‘ala sayyidi l-kawnayn
    O You who love him, send salutations upon the master of the two worlds

    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihī, wa aṣḥābihi l-mayāmīn
    Salutations of God upon him, his family, and his blessed companions

    Yā Nabī
    O Prophet

    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihī wa-‘ala aṣḥābihi
    Salutations of God be upon him, his family and auspicious companions

    Lā mithluhū ’aḥadun, lā mathīla lak
    You have no match, no one can compare

    Yā Rasūlī, yā Habībī, yā Malādhī, yā Bashīrī
    O my prophet, O my beloved, O sanctuary, O bearer of good tidings

    ’Anir ṭarīqī bi-jāhi Ṭāhā
    Enlighten my path O God, for the sake of Taha

    ’Ataytu ḥimak ’arjū riḍāk
    I came to Your sanctuary, hoping for Your approval

    Ṣalli ‘ala l-’Amīn
    Salutations upon The Trustworthy

    Sayyidī, Sayyidu l-’awwalīn wa-l-ākhirīn
    My master and the master of the first and the last

    Yā Nabī
    O Prophet

    Ṣalawātu l-Lāh
    Blessings of God

    Wa Salāmu l-Lāh
    And His Peace

    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alayhi
    Be upon him

     

    Raag: Kafi
    Commentary: This song, written in honor of the great Indian saint and founder of the Chishti order, Mu‘in ad-Din Chishti (d. 1236), was composed by the Sabri brothers from a compilation of poems and melodies of the Chishti order. The music and lyrics have been modified in this rendition: the words are sung entirely in Arabic about the love for the blessed Prophet (pbuh), his household and companions.

    Words by Dr. Imed Nsiri
    Music: Traditional Islamic (Indian Subcontinent)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  6. Come See

    I am walking, burning, burning,
    Love has stained my heart with yearning,
    Neither crazy nor discerning –
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    Gel gör beni beni aşk neyledi
    Derde giriftar eyledi

    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    One day like the winds I’m blowing,
    One day like the roads I’m going,
    One day like the floods I’m flowing.
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    Take my hand and keep me staying –
    Take me else, to You conveying,
    No more tears, for laughs I’m praying.
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    Walking round with Majnun’s madness,
    Seeing Her in dreams my gladness,
    Waking up again in sadness.
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    I am Yunus, poor and stricken,
    From my exile my steps quicken,
    Head to toe I hurt and sicken.
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    Ben yürürüm yane yane
    I am walking, burning, burning,

    Aşk boyadı beni kane
    Love has stained my heart with yearning,

    Ne akilem ne divane
    Neither crazy nor discerning –

    Gel gör beni aşk neyledi
    Derde giriftar eyledi
    Come, see, what love has done to me.
    Come, see, what love has done to me.

    Maqām: Segāh
    Commentary: “Ben Yürürüm Yane Yane” is a Sufi song that is popular throughout Turkey and the Balkans. The poem was written by the poet and Sufi mystic, Yunus Emre, who lived in central Anatolia in the 13th century, and it has been sung in the ceremonies of many different Sufi orders in Turkish-speaking lands for hundreds of years. Yunus Emre’s poetry conveys the human longing and love for the Divine, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for composers of Sufi music today. This English rendition, a direct translation of the original Turkish, has been slightly modified from the original melody (introductory music composition and arrangement only) and is sung partially in the original Turkish. English lyrics and translation provided by Dr. Tim Winter.

    Words & Music: Traditional (words by Yunus Emre)
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  7. Mast Qalandar

    Dam mast Qalandar mast mast
    The drunk Qalandar*, in his drunken state**

    Iko vird hai dam dam Ali Ali
    (Has) Only one chant – Ali, in every breath

    Sakhi Lal Qalandar mast mast
    The generous red-robed Qalandar, in his drunken state (a reference to the  12thcentury sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar)

    Jhoole Lal Qalandar mast mast
    (Another reference to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar)

    Akhi ja malanga tu Ali Ali Ali akhi ja malanga
    Oh my brother, keep saying Ali, Ali, Ali; keep on saying

    Akhi ja malanga sach ape mun len ge
    Oh my brother, Go on saying, they will (themselves) accept the truth

    Aj ne te kal saray Ali Ali can ge
    If not today then tomorrow everyone will repeat Ali, Ali

    Rab ne kinne shaan banaye
    God has blessed countless (people)

    Be karma Te karm kamaye
    He has even blessed the wretched

    Jeda vi Tere dar Te Aaye
    Whoever comes to your doorstep

    O na kaddivi khaali jaye
    Never returns empty-handed

    Shana uchiyaan teria Peera
    Oh teacher (referring to Ali) with lofty grace

    Hovan door haneriyaan Peera
    May the darkness (within me) be purged, Oh teacher

    Aasan he ba teriya Peera
    I have pinned my (very many) hopes in you, Oh teacher

    Soon arzaa aj meeriya Peera
    Grant my requests today, Oh teacher

     

    Raag: Kafi
    Commentary: This song, which has been popular in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, is based on a poem by the Chisti Sufi and musical genius, Amir Khusro, which was later modified by the great Panjabi Sufi poet Bulleh Shah. The song’s lyrics honor and revere (but do not worship) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, to whom virtually all Sufi orders trace their lineage, as well as the famous 12th century Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.
    *A Qalandar is a type of wandering Sufi or dervish who would often live in the wilderness and wear tattered clothes. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was one such Sufi.
    **Drunkenness here refers not to intoxication from alcohol, but to the ecstatic state of remembrance of God. As the famous verse of the Egyptian Sufi poet Ibn al-Farid says:
    “In remembrance of the beloved, we drank wine; we were drunk with it even before the creation of the vine.”

    Words: Amir Khusro & Bulleh Shah
    Music: Traditional Islamic (Sufi Qawali)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  8. I Only Knew Love

    I only knew love when I knew love of Thee,
    I sealed up my heart against Thy enemy.

    I stood long in converse with Thee, who doth see
    My heart’s inner secrets, but Thou I don’t see.

    My love is twin loves, yet the twain are for Thee,
    The first’s for Thy love, and the other’s for Thee.

    And as for the first, which is love of Thy love:
    Remembrance complete, not distracted from Thee.

    ‘Araftul-hawā mudh ‘araftu hawāk
    Wa-’aghlaqtu qalbī ‘alā man ‘ādāk
    (I only knew love when I knew love of Thee,
    I sealed up my heart against Thy enemy.)

    And as for the second: my true love of Thee,
    I see Thou as present in all that I see.

    All praise to Thy name, and no praises for me,
    For Thine is the glory in all unity.

    ‘Araftul-hawā mudh ‘araftu hawāk
    Wa-’aghlaqtu qalbī ‘alā man ‘ādāk
    (I only knew love when I knew love of Thee,
    I sealed up my heart against Thy enemy.)

    ’Uḥibbuka ḥubbayni, ḥubba l-hawā
    Wa-ḥubban li-’annaka ’ahlu l-lidhāk

    (My love is twin loves, yet the twain are for Thee,
    The first’s for Thy love, and the other’s for Thee.)

    Fa-’amma l-ladhī huwa ḥubbul-hawā
    Fa-shughlī bi-dhikrika ‘an man siwāk

    (And as for the first, which is love of Thy love:
    Remembrance complete, not distracted from Thee.)

    Wa-’amma l-ladhī ’anta ’ahlu l-lahu
    Fa-lastu ’ara l-kawna ḥattā ’arāk

    (And as for the second: my true love of Thee,
    I see Thou as present in all that I see.)

    Fa-la l-ḥamdu fī dhā wa-lā dhāka lī
    Wa-lākin laka l-ḥamdu fī dhā wa-dhāk

    (All praise to Thy name, and no praises for me,
    For Thine is the glory in all unity.)

     

    Maqām: Nahāwand
    Commentary: This most famous poem of the 8th century female Sufi saint of Iraq, Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyyah, has been set to music many times, but this Andalusian melody fits the tone and rhythm of the poem beautifully. The inclusion of the tanbour and daf add a Persian influence to the piece. English lyrics and translation provided by Dr. Tim Winter.

    Words: Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyyah
    Music: Traditional Islamic (Andalusian)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  9. Lovers

    Ey ‘Āsheqān, Ey ‘Āsheqān
    Amad gahe waṣlo leqa
    Az āsemān āmad nedā
    Key mahrūyān aṣ-ṣalā

    O lovers, O lovers, the time of union and meeting has come
    A calling from Heaven proclaimed, “Moon-faced ones, it is time to pray!”

    Ḥay Allāh, Hu Allāh, Yā Allāh

    Ey sarkhoshān, Ey sarkhoshān
    Amad ṭarab dāman keshan
    Begrefte ma zanjīre ū
    Begrefte ū dāmāne mā

    O divinely intoxicated ones, the joyously whirling One has arrived;
    The chains of His curls have captured us and the yearning of our hearts have captured Him.

    Amad sharābe ātashīn
    Ey Dīve gham konjī neshīn
    Ey jane marg-andīsh ro
    Ey sāqīye bāqī darā

    The fiery wine has come, demon of grief, off to a corner!
    Leave O death-pondering soul, O immortal Saqi, come through!

    Ey haft gardūn maste to
    Mā mohreyi dar daste to
    Ey haste mā az haste to
    Dar ṣad hezārān marḥabā

    O by whom the seven vaults are enraptured,
    We are but a bead in your hands
    Our being is by your being, a thousand hails!

    Ey bānge naye khosh-samar
    Dar bānge to ṭa’me shekar
    Āyad marā sham-o sahar
    Az bānge to būye vafā

    O sound of the reed with sweet stories
    In your sound is the taste of sugar
    From your sound, comes the fragrance of fidelity day and night!

    Bāre degar āghāz kon
    Ān pardehā rā sāz kon
    Bar jomle khūbān nāz kon
    Ey Āftābe khosh leqā

    Begin once more and tune those notes!
    Display your charm to the good souls,
    O fair-faced sun!

     

    Dastgāh: Shūr (Avaz-e Abū ‘Atā)
    Commentary: This beautiful piece comes from the Khanqahs (Sufi centers) of the Qadiriya-Talebani Tariqah in Kirkuk, Iraq. The original poem (“Mosalmanan”) was written in Persian approximately 200 years ago by Shaykh Abdul Rahman Khales (Shaykh of the Qadiriya-Talebani Sufi order). However, the lyrics of this rendition come from Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Balkhi’s (“Rumi”) Divān-i Kabir (Ghazal 34). The daf “Ḥay Allah” maqām is used in the first half of this piece followed by Maqām Haddādī (both traditional khanghāh rhythms).
    *God’s name, “al-Ḥayy” (“The Living”), is often chanted by Sufis in spiritual sessions because it permeates all life and attracts the blessings of God who is the source of all life. The name “Ḥayy” is also the beginning of each breath we take. Without “al-Ḥayy”, all would perish. The name Allāh is the all-comprehensive name of God that contains within it all the meanings and significance of all the other Divine Names. The “Hu” is derived from “Huwa” (He) and expresses the divine Essence (al-dhāt al-ilāhiyya) which can neither be grasped nor encompassed by anything other than Itself.

    Words by Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Balkhi’s (“Rumi”) Divān-i Shams
    Music: Traditional Islamic (from Kurdistan region)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  10. Taha

    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    Khayri l-khalqi wa-’aḥlāhā
    God’s blessings be upon Taha,
    Best of creation and the sweetest

    Khayru l-khalqi huwa l-hādī
    Nūru l-kawni bihi bādī
    Best of [God’s] creation, he’s the guide
    The light of existence shines through him

    ‘Amma n-nāsa bi-’irshādi
    ’Azka l-khalqi wa-’arḍāhā
    He encompassed all mankind with his guidance
    Purest of creation and the most pleasing

    Nūru l-Lāhi l-mutaqaddim
    Qabla l-khalqi l-muta‘allim
    The first light of God
    He was taught before all other creation

    Badru n-nūri l-mutalaththim
    Hādi l-khalqi li-Mawlāhā
    The veiled light of the full moon
    Guiding creation to its Lord

    Ba‘da s-sidrati qad sārā
    Wa-ra’a l-ḥaqqa wa-’anwārah
    Beyond the Sidra* he walked
    And saw The Truth and His Lights

    Waqafa r-ruḥu wa-ma sārā
    Idhhab waḥdaka yā Ṭāhā
    The Spirit (Jibra’il) stopped and did not continue
    [saying] go on alone Taha

    Irża l-Lāha bi-l-ālāf
    ‘an ’ahli l-bayti l-’ashrāf
    May God be pleased with his intimates
    from his noble family

    Wa-l-’aṣhābi ’ūli-l-’insāf
    Nālu l-khulda wa-suknāhā
    And his companions, the people of justice
    Who gained eternity and its dwelling

    Malīḥun lawnuhū**
    Kahīlun ṭarfuhū
    Jamīlun na‘tuhū
    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    Of fine complexion
    His eyes, dark and wide
    Of beautiful face
    The guide, with whom God is satisfied

    Qamarīyun wajhuhū
    Bahīyun shakluhū
    ‘Aẓīmun khuluquhū
    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    His face is like the moon
    His form is resplendent
    His character is mighty
    Taha, the chosen one

    Rahīmun qalbuhū
    Ṣadūqun wa‘duhū
    ‘Amīmun jūduhū
    Māḥin muntaqā
    His heart is kind,
    His promises are kept
    His generosity is vast
    The effacer (of sins), the chosen one

    Ṣalātu Rabbī
    Ma‘a s-salāmi
    ‘Alā Muhammad
    Zaynu l-’asāmī
    The blessings of my Lord
    And His peace
    Upon Muhammad
    The most beautiful of names

     

    Maqām: Bayātī
    Commentary: “Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā” was written by the Sudanese/Egyptian Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari (d. 1979) who taught and lived at the famous al-Azhar University in Cairo and was also the Imam of the al-Azhar mosque. He was a Sufi shaykh in the lineage of Ahmad ibn Idris of Fez (d. 1837) and a prolific author of works on the Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law and Sufism. He also wrote a celebrated collection of poetry, from which this song is taken. The end section incorporates the blessed names of the Prophet (pbuh) taken from the Diwan of the famous Moroccan Sufi saint Imam Mohammed Al-Jazuli’s (d. 1465), Dala’il al-Khayrat.
    *The Sidra is a reference to the “Lote tree of the furthest boundary” (sidrat al-muntahā) mentioned in the Qur’an (53:14) and described by the Prophet on his night journey to heaven (mi’rāj). The sidra marks the outer boundaries that separate the created world (‘ālam al-khalq) from the spiritual world of the divine command (‘ālam al-amr).
    **This section is an original composition with words provided by Mohammed Ali El Oumari and Abdel Ilah Ikhal. The inspiration behind the melody comes from an old Kurdish folk song heard by Sami Yusuf when he was a child.

    Words by Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari
    Music: Traditional Islamic (unknown provenance)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  11. Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum

    Yā Ḥayyu Yā Qayyūm
    O the Ever-Living, The Ever-Lasting One!

    Yā Raḥīmu Yā Raḥmān
    O the Most-Merciful, the Beneficent

    Yā ‘Ādilu Yā Mannān*
    O the Just One, O the Bestower (of blessings)

    Yā Ḥāfiẓu Yā Sattār
    O the Protecting One, the Concealing One

    Yā Wāhidu Yā Ghaffār
    O the Only-One, the Forgiver

    Yā Māliku Yā Razzāq
    O the One who owns everything, who provides for everyone

    Tu khāliq-e- har khallāq
    You are the Creator of all creators

    Har rāz tujhe ma‘lūm
    You know every secret

    Yā Ḥayyu Yā Qayyūm
    O the Ever-Living, the Ever-Lasting One!

    Tu mithl hai to la-raib
    You are the quintessence of certainty

    Tu pak hai to be-aib
    You are pure and immaculate

    Tu zistka hai unwan
    All life begins from You

    Tu sakhir-e-harudwan
    You are the Subduer of all enemies

    Teri zat hai azz-o-jal
    Your being is eternal

    Tu har mushkil kahal
    You are the solution to every problem

    Har samt hai teri dhum
    You are known all over

     

    Raag: Ahir Bhairav
    Commentary: Although the exact origins of this qawwali are unknown, it is sometimes sung to revere the 12th century Sufi saint, Fariduddin Masud Ganjshakar (or Baba Farid) of the Indian subcontinent. A direct descendant of the second caliph of Islam, ‘Umar ibn Khattab, his poetry is also included in the Guru Granth Sahib — the most sacred scripture of Sikhism. Not only are the verses of this qawwali based on his teachings, but the opening verse of the qawwali, “Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum” were the last words Baba Farid uttered. It is related that on the 5th of Muharram, in the year 1266 (according to the Gregorian calendar), Baba Farid became unconscious after the ‘Isha (evening) prayer. When he regained his consciousness, he inquired of those present, “Have I offered my ‘Isha prayer?” Although those present answered in the affirmative, Baba Farid replied, “Let me offer it once more for I may not get another chance.” So, he performed ablution again and offered the ‘Isha prayer a second time. Then he fell unconscious once again. On regaining consciousness, he once more performed his ablution and said the ‘Isha prayer for a third time. Whilst still in prostration, he uttered, “Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum”, and his soul left his body. That is why, for hundreds of years, this qawwali has been sung at the death anniversary of Baba Farid.

    *In the original version, the word used here was “Dayyān” but this has been replaced to “Mannān” (The Bestower).

    Words & Music: Traditional Islamic (Indian Subcontinent)
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  12. Hamziyya

    Ṣalli yā Rabbi thumma sallim ‘alā man
    So pray my Lord and bestow blessings upon him

    Huwa li-l-khalqi raḥmatun wa-shifā’un
    Who is for all mankind, a grace and a healing

    Wa-‘ala l-āli wa-ṣ-ṣaḥābati jam‘an
    So also on his fair Companions and kinsmen

    Ma tazayyanat bi-n-nujūmi s-samā’u
    With blessings that abide like the sky’s lofty ceiling.

    So pray my Lord and bestow blessings upon him
    Who is for all mankind, a grace and a healing

    So also on his fair Companions and kinsmen
    With blessings that abide like the sky’s lofty ceiling.

    Accept and pity them as my intercessor
    Upon the day when all need an intercessor.

    And in this gloomy age keep me and my people
    For in our day our power has grown faint and feeble.

    For in these times the faith is once more a stranger
    Thus did you once foretell, the decent in danger.

    So catch us lest we fall in the pit of peril
    For on this day we tire, after blunder and quarrel.

     

    Maqām: Sīkāh-‘Ajam (with allusions to Rāst)
    Commentary: The lyrics of this song come from portions of the thousand-verse Hamziyya (poem rhyming in hamza) of the renowned Palestinian scholar Yusuf Nabahani (d. 1932). It describes the Prophet’s life and character and is frequently recited during Mawlid celebrations to commemorate the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday. The melody sung here is inspired by group chants of the Shadhili-Darqawi-‘Alawi Sufi Order in Mostaghanem, Algeria. The melody has been slightly modified to fit the English lyrics (which are a translation of the original Arabic). English lyrics and translation provided by Dr. Tim Winter.

    Words by Yusuf Nabahani
    Music: Traditional Algerian
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  13. River of Milk

    Inna fi l-jannati nahran min laban
    Surely, a river of milk flows in heaven,

    Li-‘Aliyyin wa-Ḥusaynin wa-Ḥasan
    For Ali, Husayn and Hasan.

    Kullu man kāna muḥibban lahumu
    And all those who have love for these three,

    Yadkhulu l-jannata min ghayri ḥazan
    shall enter the garden with no misery.*

    Ḥubbu ahlil-bayti farḍun ‘indanā
    For us, love of the Prophet’s family is a duty,

    Wa-bi-hādha l-ḥubbi lā nakhsha l-miḥan
    And with a love like that, we fear no difficulty

     

    Maqām: Bayātī
    Commentary: This is a beautiful love song in praise of the blessed family of the Prophet (Ahl al-Bayt). The four principle rivers of paradise (water, date wine, honey, and milk) go back to Prophetic descriptions of paradise. The poem is inspired by these early traditions. It is of unknown provenance, though it may originate from Morocco or Andalusia. The earliest known reference to this piece dates back to the 17th century, though it may have been composed earlier. Although this piece is traditionally performed a cappella and without harmony, it has been rearranged and modified with minor vocal harmonies for this recording.

    *In Islamic orthodoxy, love alone is not sufficient to gain entry into paradise. This verse is a pious, poetic hyperbole that is not to be taken literally.

    Words & Music: Traditional (most likely of Moroccan-Andalusian origin)
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  14. Barakah

    Dastgāh – Maqām: Maqām Tarz with allusions to Dastgāh Shūr
    Commentary: This piece, the only original composition on the album, takes as its structure the traditional maqām and dastgāh musical systems. Within this framework, the music evokes both power in its dynamic rhythms and beauty in its interwoven melodies. An echo of the Sufi samā’, the ceremony of listening and remembrance, can be heard in the resonant “Allah Hu”.

    Music: Sami Yusuf
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  15. Mast Qalandar (feat. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) [Bonus Track]

    Dam mast Qalandar mast mast
    The drunk Qalandar*, in his drunken state**

    Iko vird hai dam dam Ali Ali
    (Has) Only one chant – Ali, in every breath

    Sakhi Lal Qalandar mast mast
    The generous red-robed Qalandar, in his drunken state (a reference to the  12thcentury sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar)

    Jhoole Lal Qalandar mast mast
    (Another reference to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar)

    Akhi ja malanga tu Ali Ali Ali akhi ja malanga
    Oh my brother, keep saying Ali, Ali, Ali; keep on saying

    Akhi ja malanga sach ape mun len ge
    Oh my brother, Go on saying, they will (themselves) accept the truth

    Aj ne te kal saray Ali Ali can ge
    If not today then tomorrow everyone will repeat Ali, Ali

    Rab ne kinne shaan banaye
    God has blessed countless (people)

    Be karma Te karm kamaye
    He has even blessed the wretched

    Jeda vi Tere dar Te Aaye
    Whoever comes to your doorstep

    O na kaddivi khaali jaye
    Never returns empty-handed

    Shana uchiyaan teria Peera
    Oh teacher (referring to Ali) with lofty grace

    Hovan door haneriyaan Peera
    May the darkness (within me) be purged, Oh teacher

    Aasan he ba teriya Peera
    I have pinned my (very many) hopes in you, Oh teacher

    Soon arzaa aj meeriya Peera
    Grant my requests today, Oh teacher

    Raag: Kafi
    Commentary: This song, which has been popular in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, is based on a poem by the Chisti Sufi and musical genius, Amir Khusro, which was later modified by the great Panjabi Sufi poet Bulleh Shah. The song’s lyrics honor and revere (but do not worship) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, to whom virtually all Sufi orders trace their lineage, as well as the famous 12th century Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

    *A Qalandar is a type of wandering Sufi or dervish who would often live in the wilderness and wear tattered clothes. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was one such Sufi.

    **Drunkenness here refers not to intoxication from alcohol, but to the ecstatic state of remembrance of God. As the famous verse of the Egyptian Sufi poet Ibn al-Farid says:
    “In remembrance of the beloved, we drank wine; we were drunk with it even before the creation of the vine.”

    Words: Amir Khusro & Bulleh Shah
    Music: Traditional Islamic (Sufi Qawali)

    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  16. Awake (Instrumental) [Bonus Track]

    Maqām: Muhayyer Kürdi
    Commentary: This piece was composed by a renowned 17th century Ottoman Polish scholar and musician, Wojciech Bobowski (1610- 1675) who embraced Islam and adopted the name Ali Ufki Bey. Sultan Murad IV (r. 1623-1640) employed Ali Ufki in his court as a language interpreter and musical composer. He assembled hundreds of classical Ottoman songs and applied Western staff notations to them for the first time in a work entitled Majmuah-e Saz u Soz (Anthology of Instrumental and Vocal Music). The lyrics for this particular song, which are ascribed to sultan Murad III (1546-1595), express the poet’s remorse for having slept through the dawn prayer.
    The first line of the poem reads, “Wake from your heedlessness O my eyes awake!”

    Music by Ali Ufki
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

Album Description

What is music and why is there so much of the enchantment of love in it?
Music is the secret of love and love is the secret of God.

—Qutb ad-Din Bakhtiar Kaki
13th Century Chishti Shaykh from Delhi

The Islamic tradition has been animated by music since its inception. The musical recitation of the Qur’an has given birth to many other profound musical traditions, which have spread the barakah—or blessed presence of the Divine—throughout the world and across the centuries. This album is a collection of gems from the rich mines of these various traditions, carefully strung together to create a musical journey from Andalusia to the Indian subcontinent and across several hundred years of history. However, these traditions of Islamic music are not meant to take the listener back in time, but rather from time to the Eternal. This music echoes, not only with the cosmic “music of the spheres,” but also with the original Divine call and human response, which the Qur’an describes:

When your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam and their descendants from their loins, He made them bear witness to their own souls: “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! we bear witness.” (7:172)
Sages and saints through the ages have described traditional Islamic music as the reverberation of this primordial “call and response,” which calls us back to the “time before time” when we were with God. As Rumi writes:

The sages have said these melodies,
We took from the rolling spheres,
The faithful say that paradise,
Turns noises to sweets for our ears

Once, when we were all parts of Adam
We heard these songs in paradise.
Although body’s clay made us forget them
In our memories, their echoes reside

Oh, Music is the lovers’ food
Who hold in mind the thought of meeting
The fire of love flares up through songs
Like blazes lit from kindling

—Rumi
(Mathnawi, IV, 733)

Those whose hearts still long for that time out of time will find much to appreciate in this album. In a world that is increasingly noisy and chaotic, the music and lyrics of this album—drawn from centuries of Sufi traditions—offer a window onto an inner oasis of peace and harmony. What makes traditional Islamic music truly Islamic is not merely the lyrics or the faith of the performer, but rather the presence of the same Divine grace that emanates from the Qur’an and the person of the Prophet—the barakah muhammadiyah. This barakah can be seen in the great masterpieces of Islamic architecture and calligraphy and heard in the arresting beauty of the adhaan (call to prayer), in the beautiful recitation of the Qur’an, and in the various traditions of sacred music represented here.

Sami Yusuf’s latest work is a humble turn to these traditions of sacred music, marked by a profound love for and presence of the Divine. We hope that this album serves as an introduction to the barakah of Islamic music—the sound of the perennial love and longing for our Creator and eternal home. As Hafiz, perhaps the most musical of all poets, writes:

مطرب عشق عجب ساز و نوایی دارد
نقش هر نغمه که زد راه به جایی دارد
عالم از ناله عشاق مبادا خالی
که خوش آهنگ و فرح بخش صدايى دارد

Love’s musician has such wonderful harmony and melody
Every song is a path to a place to be found
May the world never be empty of the cry of lovers
Because it has such a sweet and joyful sound

—Hafiz

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