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The Voice in the DrumMusic, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia$
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Richard K. Wolf

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038587

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038587.001.0001

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Madho Lal

Madho Lal

(p.165) Chapter 7 Madho Lal
The Voice in the Drum

Richard K. Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes Muharram Ali's observations of drumming and music traditions linked to the Madho Lal Husain shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. Muhammad Mushtaq, Ali's shalwār, summarized Shah Husain's story. According to him, “The kāfīs of Shah Husain are very powerful for setting human beings on the straight path.” The chapter considers poetry and sayings attributed to Shah Husain as well as the ʻurs, a multifaceted event that drew pilgrims from many religious backgrounds, including Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians. It shows that, in Pakistan, understanding music, movement, poetic recitation, and other forms of action in Sufi shrines involves more nuanced categories than those of “scriptural Islam” and “Islam on the ground.” Even a rough map of the Madho Lal Husain complex would suggest this with its dedicated malang space, with its centers and peripheries created through performance.

Keywords:   drumming, Muharram Ali, music, Madho Lal Husain shrine, Lahore, Shah Husain, kāfīs, ʻurs, poetry, malang

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