Remembering Ghulam Farid Sabri: A trendsetter for many Qawwals following him

Ghulam Farid Sabri was born in 1930 a major qawwali singer, and a leading member of the Sabri Brothers, which ruled qawwali  for three decades starting from 1970’s era.

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He received the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 1978. He was also a Sufi mystic connected to the Chishti Order.

Ghulam Fareed Sabri first public performance was at the annual Urs festival of the Sufi saint Mubarak Shah Sahab in Kalyana in 1946.

For the most part, Ghulam Farid Sabri led the chorus in his qawwali group, echoing and elaborating on the lead lines fed to him, as the dramatic performance proceeded. His younger brother Maqbool Ahmed Sabri was also the group’s lead singer.

Ghulam Farid was a big man with the commanding look of a Sumo wrestler and a voice like a barrel organ which would on occasion startle an audience with the chant of Allah above the melodic line and voices of the other Qawwals.

Many great qawwali Sabri has sung, but undoubtedly still today no one can surpass the evergreen  Tajdar-e-Haram, Bhar Do Jol Meri Ya Muhammad(PBUH). He was truly one of a kind and will be missed forever.

He breathed his last in on April 5th 1994, however his legacy was carried forward by his son late Amjad Sabri, who was shot dead in  a tragic incident two years back in 2016.

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