“Books are a source of wisdom and a catalyst for social change. Writing them is a labor of love and immense sacrifice. ”
A Music Ethnography about Sufi Performers in South Asia
Cultural rights are an emerging space for discourses about equity and inclusion in diverse global contexts, and within the disciplines of music, this area is currently unexplored. My pioneering music ethnography is based on more than ten years of research work in Pakistan seeks to address this gap in the field.
I have been a student of Professor Regula Burckhardt Qureshi, the honourable author of Qawwali: Sufi Music of India and Pakistan, since 2008. Our mentor-mentee relationship deepened over time. While I wrote my dissertation on the Sufi tradition of Sindh, Pakistan, called the Shah jo Raag, we had profound conversations about the tradition of qawwali and the Shah jo Raag that are paradigm shifters for the discipline of Ethnomusicology.
For the Routledge series on Islam and Human Rights edited by Professor Ahmed E. Souaiaia at Department of Religious Studies, University of Iowa. I bring an ethnomusicological dimension to study human rights in Islam. This study is based on the lived experiences of the Muslim Sufi singers I have worked with, including my teachers Ustad Hameed Ali Khan Sahib Gwalior, Faqir Jumman Shah, and others families and communities of hereditary singers who sing the poetry of Sufi mystic Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.
This crowdfunding will help me dedicate the next 3-6 months to preparing my manuscript, getting it edited by a professional editor, and then re-writing the manuscript in light of reviews and revisions. I am currently hoping to raise $15k to write this book.
Reviewer 1: Introducing a discussion of cultural rights into the field of Islamic Studies is a novel undertaking. Especially the ethnographic dimension adds to the value of the work as it relates the arguments to lived experience of the performing community. Based on the CV, the author has all the requirements to become an established scholar on her field. Based on her academic career, she is qualified to undertake this project.
Reviewer 2: Given the ongoing marginalization of Sufi music in Pakistan, this book provides timely material. The book is grounded in substantial research material that demonstrates complex relationships between contemporary Sufi music-making and cultural rights. The analytical exploration of cultural rights will offer a useful contribution to the field of Islamic studies where a legalistic approach and focus is often the most predominant. The book will also contribute to the field of ethnomusicology by providing fresh knowledge on the interlinks between music, heritage, cultural rights, and the Islamic economy.