Saturday, October 3, 2015 - Washington, D.C. – The Qawwali* program at Turkish Community Center Auditorium in Lanham, MD was out of the world. Here are some of the notes I have made, and hope it resonates with you.
First thing first, I am pleased to share the emotional side of the equation. Being a pluralist and a human aspirations observer, whenever and wherever people include each other in their normal conversation it brings happiness to both the includer and the included.
I was in a different world, the world of harmony and inclusion, my eyes soaked and I felt tender with joy. I was happy! I was happy to see the Shia community feel included.
Of course most of the Qawwali lines have the name Ali included in it as a reverence to Hazrat Ali (RA), but when the lines include the “Nawasa” that is grandson of the Prophet, it has special significance to all, but particularly the Shia tradition. Video at Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MikeGhouse/videos/10156190763450249/
Minorities (religious, ethnic, social, cultural, linguistic and other uniqueness) make sincere efforts, and at times go out of their way to be a part of the larger society, they want to be included and do everything to achieve it. The smart leaders acknowledge it, and let the public focus on being constructive rather than get stuck in denials.
I hope most of us Desi Americans have learned and enriched ourselves with the rich American Culture where all humanity is respected institutionally.
We have a choice to be inclusive and let our “Zindagi Shama’ ki soorat ho khudaya meri” and “ her jaga mere chamak ney say ujala hojaye” rather than rot with exclusion.
The consistent rhythmic beat of the Tabla, and the special voices, the inflections in singing is entirely different and gets you become a part of it.
The second item of beauty of this program was the Qawwals themselves, the Qawwals and their humnawa were a great combination, the acoustic of the auditorium ne to chaar chand lagagiye unki gayeki mein. They were Christians, and my friend sitting next to me was a Hindu enjoying the Qawwalis. He was singing along Bhardo Jholi meri ya Muhammad. This is a (or was it?) a common tradition in India. The Qawwals can be Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs and they can sing devotional songs of any religion. I hope more of this happens now.
I hope and pray, some day we all can see the message of Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad, Guru Nanak as our own message, when we do that each one of our faiths will reach the higher level of spirituality. Amen!
Link to pictures of the event will be added here upon receipt.
Are you concerned about Muslim bashing in America? Find out what the newly formed American Muslim Institution (AMI) is doing about it on Sunday, October 11, 2015 - details atwww.AmericanMuslimInstitution.org
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, politics, human rights, Islam, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at TheGhousediary.com