Friday, July 31, 2009

The Grand Burdah Night Experience

Below is an account i wrote on a beautiful night last week (30th July 2009), which Allah granted me the ability to attend alhamdulilah.

Subhannallah. It's been a long time since I attended an event afterwhich I was so awe inspired and wanted nothing more than to rush home to undercoverpearls to blog about it and share the jewels. But tonight was the night. Subhannallah.

I attended The Grand Burdah Event. Praising the Beloved Rasool Muhammad (salalahualayhiwasalam) through reciting the Burdah, anasheed and qasidas.

I cannot express to you how I felt on the journey to this event. Being someone who is so so inspired by Mawlids and especially the beautiful Qasida Burdah, being someone who loves such gathering of dhikr, lets just say I was excited alright. And the TomTom helped my anticipation by giving the countdown to how long til we reached our destination much to my brother aka the drivers dismay. Takbir for brothers who accompany their sisters to such events. Allahuakbar.

It was an extraordinary line up alright. A beautiful event on many many levels.

First a short video clip played with quotes from our dear scholars, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf talking about the magnanamity and universality of the Qasida Burdah Shareef. It was a really thoughtful way to start I thought, with two of the greatest scholars of the western world giving their insights into the Poem. Though not with us in person, their presence was still greatly felt Alhamdulilah.

The stage was brought alive with some heart rendering Quran recitation, afterwhich the 'compere' for the night, Imam Khalid Hussein came and introduced the event with a short description of the Burdah Shareef and how it was written aswell as the importance of praising the Beloved. Mashallah, he was so eloquent and brought some Ba'alawi barakah to the room. He also united the audience in encouraging Salawat, which was a new experience. I have been to many events in my time alhamdulilah, but subhannallah, never to one where the MC recited salawat and expected the audience to complete it! It was beautiful. And the Pakistani styley 'Nareh Risalah- Ya Rasoolullah' was also enthusiastically blasted by the Asians in the room. What does that actually mean? To my (lack of) understanding, is it like saying 'Revelation! Oh Rasoolullah' ....? Im probably wrong. Please someone shed some light =)

Ahbab Al Mustapha opened the night with probably my favourite rendition of the first chapter of the Burdah of all time. Its the first one on their CD, and its just got a quality beat! Absolute quality! Takes you to the desert, takes your imagination to the times of Rasoolullah, takes your heart to a place which yearns to see him, sallalahu alayhi wasalam, takes your thoughts to a place where it never wants to leave. Subhannallah, thats what that rendition by Ahbab Al Mustapha does for me. I guess its done its job alright! They didnt bring their whole gang with them, i think theres many who are part of their crew, but mashallah, those who represented, did so well!! And they are coming out with a new album i heard inshallah!

Mesut Kurtis was the next artist to bless the stage. He came on with such passion mashallah, never stopping his smile for even one moment while on stage, subhannallah. Such love he seemed to hold for the Burdah. May Allah enable us to have such love for this important document of praise for the best of creation! I love listening to the Burda/Salawaat sung in Turkish. The language is so sweet, a bit like Urdu in its wring and tone, and praise and statements depicting love always sound so much better in sweet languages mashallah.

The legend that is Junaid Jamshed followed. Subhannallah, Junaid Jamshed is amazing. Simply, amazing, may Allah grant him continual Tawfeeq and raise his status in both worlds. So sincere. he so yearningly said that we should recite the durood so they hear it in Madina. What a beautiful thought indeed. This wish made me smile. A lot. Just imagine! Subhannallah. I love all Junaid Jamshed's songs, and like i explained above, i do think its to do with the sweetness of the language. Oh, and also having memorized the words to all the songs, made it much easier to join in the Praise of the Beloved!

Khalid Belrouzi came on next, emerging from the right hand side of the stage, where he had been sitting prior, in a silloette like figure, with the Morrocan Jalabiyyahs hood hanging over his face, holding a falling misbaha in his hand. What a creative enterence mashallah. But more than that, the fact that he was sitting in that position throughout the begining and the other performances, led me to think before, even before knowing it was a performer, that subhannallah how much reward that person would be getting for their patience. My brother thought it was a dummy figure as it was quite far away, but I told him that the misbaha was moving! May Allah reward him for his efforts. To my utmost delight, Belrouzi was joined by Idris Philips (performs with Dawud Warnsby) and Hussein (singer for Jamal records). Brother Hussein and Belrouzi did the MOST amazing remix of urdu naat with an arabic qasida, it was really so artistic mashallah, but also one of the more upbeat tunes of the night. Belrouzi was really wrapped up in love and it could be seen in the performance. Amazing mashallah.

After Maghrib Salah and some hardcore fundraising, the Hamami Munshids came into my life. Allahuakbar. Their group was formed under the guidance of Shaykh Samir Al Naas . They were led by Sheikh 'Abdur-Rahman Hammami and they were also the only performance of the night to be playing the daff live, which in my eyes is always the best touch! Nothing beats live beats! Their voices were very powerful mashallah, and they had a great connection with each other. There were 6 of them and each had a solo part, which was especially nice to watch, as they each had their own style of singing, each bringing joy to the heart and salawat to the tongue. Their performance was, in my eyes atleast, breathtaking Mashallah. (In exciting news, I hear Manaqib Productions will be releasing Shaykh Hammami's Album this August! May Allah reward them for this venture mashallah! )

Events such as these and the people who make it happen are a means for us to increase our love for Habibullah and be inspired by others as they encourage dhikrullah and salawatusalam. I do believe it is important not to restrain our thanks to them and also praise them for the gifts which Allah has blessed them with, namely the ability to move souls towards dhikr. I did want to make note that that is my intention when I describe the singers and their stage presence and how i felt during the event.

For the finale, all the performers joined on stage to sing Tala Al Badru Alayna, and the rapour that all the artists have with each other was really inspiring mashallah. Alhamdulilah I have been to many 'nasheed concerts', but this was no way like those. All the singers were caught up in the clouds of love for Rasoolullah and love for the ummah. It was really beautiful to see at the end, when Khalid Belrouzi did a solo and Junaid Jamshed put his kufi on Belrouzis head. Then Shaykh Samir noticed this and put his kufi on Jamsheds head. So as not to leave Mesut Kurtis out, he also gave him something too. The emotions were just so genuine and warm, subhannallah. It must also be noted that being part of such a beautiful, respectful crowd was also an honour mashallah.

At the end Imam Khalid made a special dua for the organizer, one of whose fathers passed away just a few days before the event, May Allah have mercy on his soul. The dua that was made was so moving, subhannallah.

Cloud 9. How does it feel? Well lets say i feel like i'm on it now. Subhannallah. A glimpse of how those who live and breathe dhikr feel on a day to day basis. I feel blessed to be able to catch even a glimpse of this feeling of sukoon and all because I was by Allahs Mercy in such a gathering of remembrance today. With Allahs people. With lovers of the Rasool. Subhannallah.

As long as Allah gives me the ability, I really shall be savouring the memory of tonights illuminating gathering for many years to come.

ps- there are recordings available on youtube if you search, i havent linked them as we were asked not to film and the charity will be puting the event on dvd to sell with money going to the gaza appeal inshallah =)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subhan Allah ! I was there too, the most amazing event I have ever been too, still sends shivers down my spine, May Allah reward the performers and organisers and everyone who attended and give us all the tawfeeq to love Rasool Allah (sallahu Alaihi Wasallam) the way we are obliged to.

Unforgettable night! Allahu Akbar

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who does the Nasheeds that is playing in the background?

It's beautiful, subhanallah

12:30 PM  
Blogger *Under*Cuver*Sister* said...

Mashallah Anon no 1, completely agree, unforgettable on many levels mashallah!

With regards to the nasheed, it was uploaded a few years ago, and unfortunatly I have forgotten who sang it! If I find out, I will let you know inshallah!

5:11 PM  

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