The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken us into an era of social distancing. By relying on online digital media, we may be isolating ourselves from more local and diverse communities.
As an ethnomusicologist at the University of Alberta, my research and musical practices lead me to reflect on how what I think of as a “socially isolated ear” is more prone to resist and be intimidated by cultural and religious diversity. As a Sufi vocalist, through my music, I share the message of love and interfaith harmony taught by Sufi mystics — and I explore the crevices of Muslim belief and expression from a feminist standpoint.
Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam that is based on introspection and spiritual practices for cleansing the heart to receive closeness with Allah. Sufis have used the power of art, music, poetry, and dance to show the human soul’s relationship with the Divine.