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"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".  



Dr. Karim Gillani - An award winning composer, singer-song writer, scholar, performer, author and an ethnomusicologist.

"Karim's passionate and melodies Sufi compositions and soulful vocals transcend geographical and cultural boundaries" - City TV

Dr. Karim Gillani is an accomplished vocalist, acclaimed composer, music producer, singer-songwriter and an ethnomusicologist. Dr. Gillani performs with passion and conviction, with his commanding stage presence and charisma, allowing his audience to be truly connected while they listen to his combination of carefully crafted lyrics, soulful melodies and heartfelt emotions. He began to follow his passion for music at a very young age. Taking music lessons, singing in ritual worship gatherings, crafting the art of music composition and song writing have all helped him realize that pursuing music truly is true calling. Karim was born and raised in Pakistan, educated in England and Canada, and chose Canada as his permanent home. He takes pride in his multi-cultural heritage and considers himself very fortunate to be exposed to diverse cultures.

Dr. Gillani has successfully released five original devotional albums worldwide including “Jhoom Jhoom: Celebration of a Lifetime” in 2008, Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love in 2014, “Ruh Ki Awaz: Sounds from the Soul” in 2017, “Masti-e-Tariqat: The Path of Ecstasy” in 2018 and “Chal Chal Bulleya: Let’s Go Bulleya” in 2022.[1] Karim’s music has been received extremely well all over Canada, broadcast through a variety of radio stations and TV channels, including CJSR, CKUA, CBC, Salam Namaste, BT Television, and OMNI TV, and favorably reviewed in feature stories appearing in newspapers including the Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, and Vancouver Sun. Music critic Roger Levesque of the Edmonton Journal wrote: “the disc ranks as one of this year’s most notable releases on Canada’s global music horizon.”[2] He is a versatile composer and lyricist who has composed from nursery rhymes to philosophical songs of Allama Mohammad Iqbal (20th CE)[3] and Bulleh Shah (18th CE).

His recent music album videos have been viewed over 1.5 million viewers.[4] He has extensively collaborated with accomplished award-winning international artists including Canadian Maria Dunn for her album “Malala” which was nominated for Juno award in 2017 [5]and Pakistan’s Coke studio artists. Karim has performed globally and in the presence of various dignitaries including H.H Prince Karim Aga Khan and the former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper.



















He received his MA (2005) and PhD in Music and Religious Studies from University of Alberta (2012). Karim moves in the world of academia, on the performing stage and in a recording studio with equal ease – and that is what makes him special. Karim’s PhD dissertation, entitled "Sound and Recitation of Khoja Ismaili Ginans: Tradition and Transformation"[6], is a pioneering work of ethnomusicological research that situates Ginan within the wider context of Muslim beliefs and South Asian musical contexts. Karim is also a graduate of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, UK, where he was awarded a degree in Islamic Studies and Humanities. He has received various awards, grants and scholarships for his academic research and musical contributions. [7]

As a professor of music, Dr. Gillani is an internationally recognized scholar of Islam and Muslim ritual performance, and a teacher of world music traditions[8], as well as an important Canadian performing and recording artist specializing in Sufi music. Dr. Gillani has taught various ethnomusicology courses at the University of Alberta which include, Introduction to World Music, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Popular music of Bollywood (Hindi Cinema), and the Indian Music Ensemble and he has taught Hindustani classical vocals to both graduate and undergraduate students. He is currently working on his book monograph on the rich sounds of Ismaili Ginans. He has been involved in organizing various international conferences and performances at the University of Alberta, including "I Am a Bird from Heaven's Garden: Music, Sound and Architecture in the Muslim World" in 2013 and "Sound and Spaces of Muslim Piety: Tradition and Transformation" in 2011.












Dr. Gillani has been invited to share his both academic and musical contributions in various national and international forums including BBC world, CBC Canada, and TEDx to name a few. [9]To promote cultural and religious harmony through the art and music, Dr. Gillani has organized various music camps entitled "Music and Arts in the Muslim World" for young children ages 9-16 at University of Alberta and Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. [10] Karim ardently believes in continues learning to enhance his creative skills and his performances. He gets his inspiration from nature, poetry, storytelling, reading, writing and music.

“Using love rather than hatred to create a dialogue is central to the songs in his world music album “Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love” he explains, “but it is also about embracing diversity and pluralism, about appreciating tradition and the aesthetic of beauty in different parts of the world. It is about moving beyond the clash of ignorance, stereotyping and Islamophobia, and appreciating each other on a basic human level” - Calgary Herald

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Accomplished Musicians of Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love Album!

Album Introduction










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!

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My other albums sample include:

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My Videos

Ishq Kamal: عشق کمال: Love Supreme: Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah (R.A), Dr. Karim Gillani & Sufi Ensemble
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