"Enchanting Tunes of Sufi Music by Dr. Karim Gillani, the disc ranks as one of this year’s most notable releases on Canada’s global music horizon, reflecting collaborations between players from Pakistan, India, Iran, East Africa and local musicians".
ROGER LEVESQUE, EDMONTON JOURNAL
Accomplished Musicians of Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love Album!
The title of the Sufi album "Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love" is meant to inspire hope, love and compassion. It is about appreciating diversity and pluralism in every human form. Among Sufis (mystics), music is considered a feast for the soul. We can connect with the sublime messages of timeless Sufi poetry, from Shams Tabrez to Mohammad Iqbal, through music. These messages of spiritual poetry are universal and can appeal to anyone and everyone who is willing to explore deep human emotions of spirituality, love and compassion.
I grew up in Pakistan and saw the consequences of the collapse of the USSR, when various extremists who fought during the civil war in Afghanistan entered Pakistan,targeted innocent lives, burned down children's schools and spiritual tombs. In fact, a minority with extreme religious views has fought hard to hijack the entire nation. Unfortunately, the people of Pakistan are still suffering every day from the effects of religious extremism. The brutal incident of 9/11, when so many innocent lives were taken and the world was shocked, demonstrated another effect of extremism. The reaction to this event was even more extreme, as many countries were attacked and invaded, and thousands of innocent lives were jeopardized in the name of “terrorism.” I have had many sleepless nights, especially during my studies in Canada, wondering why many western powers seem so keen to target entire nations. Is this war really about fighting against terrorism or is it politically driven? Indeed, it is not a clash of civilizations that is taking place between the West and the Muslim world, but a clash of ignorance. Therefore, it is extremely vital to create dialogue, embrace diversity, and appreciate our cultural heritage.
This album is also intended to raise awareness of other cultures through rich and diverse Sufi poetry and music. Therefore, I have carefully studied the wide range of Sufi poets and selected their poems based on the broader themes of appreciating cultural diversity, divine love, and humanity. Keeping in mind the authenticity and cultural fusion of Sufi sounds, I established an ensemble of Sufi music in which accomplished musicians representing diverse cultural backgrounds, including Pakistan, Iran, India, East Africa and Canada came together at the University of Alberta and share their rich musical heritage in this album. I sincerely hope that you will appreciate listening to this album and it will lead us together as one united family towards the path of love!