Amjad Sabri is no more. Who was he, one might ask? He was a qawwal and the son of the legendary qawwal, Ghulam Farid Sabri. Qawwal’s perform qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia.
I’m not an expert on qawwali or Sufism for that matter. But I know that qawwali is the mild and melodic side of Islam that has played a great role in attracting people of the subcontinent towards Islam. It is looked down upon by more conservative Muslims and considered un-Islamic by extremists. It is, however, an integral part of the Chishti Sufi Order and Amjad Sabri’s father and uncle were closely associated to that order.
Coming back to the topic, Amjad Sabri did not die a natural death. Two armed motorcyclists open fired at Amjad Sabri’s car on 22 June 2016 at my hometown, Karachi, Pakistan. Amjad Sabri was critically injured and died shortly after reaching the hospital. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for this attack.
What more can I possibly write? I am, as I have been many times before, at a loss of words at the inhumane killings going back in my country in the name of religion. In a blog-post I wrote last year in May 2015, I talked about how the peace-loving, Sufi side of Islam in under jeopardy in Pakistan. Amjad Sabri’s untimely death highlights this fact even more.
Things have hardly improved and have only gotten worse in Pakistan. The Islamic extremist groups are targeting any one who deviates from the orthodox, puritanical interpretation of Islam. When will this madness ever stop? There seems no end in sight. Pakistan is going to the dogs.