Bands/Musicians The Best Qawwali Singers  

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13.5k votes 7k voters 452.3k views 37 items

List Rules The Best Qawwali Artists of All Time

The story of Qawwali music starts over 700 years ago in late 13th century India. Like many great genres of music, Qawwali has religious and cultural roots - it was developed as a way to express devotion to Sufism, primarily in Urdu, Punjabi, and Pakistani. Female singers and male singers perform songs - which are basically poems - that express themes of love, devotion, and longing. Ancient Qawwali music was typically performed in Sufi shrines, but If you're a fan of modern Qawwali music, it is likely due to the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the most famous Qawwali artist in the modern era. Khan, along with other famous Qawwali singers like Pakistan's Sabri Brothers, Bahauddin Qutbuddin, and Aziz Mian, gave the genre international exposure by recording Qawwali songs and performing them live around the world.

This list attempts to document all of the pakistani female singers and male singers, as well as those who sing in Urdu and Punjabi, and answer the question of who is the absolute best. This list of qawwali singers includes a filter so you can sort where they are from and any additional genres in which their music belongs. These are truly the greatest qawwali singers of all time, since the most famous qawwali artists (some of who are solo artists, others are bands and groups) ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best qawwali music.

The greatest qawwali singer is generally considered to be Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, though there are numerous other names on this list. Even Khan has people who disagree with his position at the top, as the order of this list changes dynamically based on who likes what -- so make your voice heard by voting for your favorite singers, and add any that are missing at the bottom of the list. All important, significant and iconic names in qawwali music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely.

Who are the best qawwali singers of all time? Who is the greatest qawwali musician ever? It is up to you to decide. After you've voted for the best qawwali singers and musicians in history here, share this on Facebook, Twitter and more to get your friends' opinions and turn them on to all the good and great singers of the very unique qawwali style of world music. 
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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a Pakistani musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. Considered as the greatest voice ever recorded, he possessed an extraordinary ...more

2
901 450
Sabri Brothers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
The Sabri Brothers are a Sufi Qawwali party from Pakistan. Sometimes, referred to as Roving Ambassadors for Pakistan. They were the first exponents of Qawwali to the West, when they performed at ...more

3
497 245
Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Fateh Ali Khan was a classical singer and Qawwali musician. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, British India in 1901. Ustad Fateh Ali Khan was the father of Pakistani Qawwali musician, Ustad ...more

4
712 382
Mohammed Rafi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India Mohammed Rafi is one of the most popular and respected Playback Singers of India and widely considered as the greatest singer of Indian Cinema. Rafi was notable for his versatility; his songs ...more

5
609 354
Aziz Mian is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Aziz Mian Qawwal was one of Pakistan's leading traditional qawwals and also famous for singing ghazals in a unique style of qawwali. Aziz is still one of the most popular qawwals of South Asia. ...more

6
490 303
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a Pakistani singer, primarily of Qawwali, a devotional music of the Muslim Sufis. He is the nephew of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and son of Ustad Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan ...more

7
300 194
Abida Parveen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Abida Parveen is a Pakistani singer of Sindhi descent and one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music. She is held as one of the world's greatest singers. She sings mainly ghazals and her forte, ...more

8
208 153
Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan was a member of a well-known family of Qawwali musicians. He was the younger brother of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the son of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, the nephew of Ustad ...more

9
197 143
Amir Khusrow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau Hindi अमीर ख़ुसरौ, meaning Amir Khusrau of Delhi) (امیر خسرو دہلوی) was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the ...more

10
163 129
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11
177 145
Fareed Ayaz is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Ustad Ghulam Fariduddin Ayaz Al-Hussaini Qawwal is a Pakistani Qawwal. He belongs to Qawwal Bachchon Ka Gharana of Delhi. They are the flag-bearers of a school of music which also derives its ...more

12
199 170
Ustad Qawal Bahauddin Khan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Ustad Bahauddin Khan Qawwal was an Pakistani Qawwali musician. All five of his sons - Muhammad Najmuddin, Saifuddin Mehmood, Zafeeruddin Ahmed, Mughisuddin Hassan and Ehtishamuddin Hussain - ...more

13
240 217
Nizami Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Nizami Bandhu is an Indian Qawwali musical group consisting of Chand Nizami, Shadab Faridi Nizami, and Sohrab Faridi Nizami. They perform at Sufi and folk music festivals.

14
163 141
Sher Mian Dad is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Sher Mian Dad Khan, is a Pakistani qawwal and a folk singer. He was born in Pakpattan and started his career at the age of 10. He adopted qawwali as his family traditions. He learned music from ...more

15
162 146
Noor Jehan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Noor Jahan or Noor Jehan, a singer and actress in British India and Pakistan. Her career spanned seven decades. She was renowned as one of the greatest and most influential singers of her time ...more

16
126 111
Niazi Brothers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers

17
155 143
Warsi Brothers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Warsi Brothers are an Indian Qawwali musical group, consisting of brothers Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi and Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi, along with eight accompanists. They are based in Hyderabad.

18
100 87
Munshi Raziuddin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Munshi Raziuddin Ahmed Khan was a renowned Pakistani Qawwal and classical musician in India and Pakistan and a researcher of music. He belongs to the best-known gharana of Qawwali, Qawwal ...more

19
114 105
Faiz Ali Faiz is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Faiz Ali Faiz is a Pakistani qawwali singer. Faiz was born into a family of seven generations of qawwals. He studied classical music with Ustad Ghulam Shabir Khan and Ustad Jafat Khan, and ...more

20
94 99
Badar Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Badar Miandad, also known as Badar Ali Khan, was a Pakistani singer and Qawwal. He released 22 albums in Pakistan. Several albums were also released under U.K. and Indian labels.

21
38 38
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Nizami Brothers added

22
92 106
Parvati Kumari is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Parvati Kumari is an Indian classical singer. She is popular for her sufi music.

23
43 48
Nizami khusro brothers son of ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers

24
44 52
Subhan Ahmed Nizami is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
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25
59 71
Mubarak Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Mubarak Ali Khan was the father of Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan, uncle of Qawwali musicians Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, and the brother of Fateh Ali Khan and Salamat Ali Khan. ...more

26
53 65
Ateeq Hussain Khan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India Ustad Ateeq Hussain Khan Bandanawazi Al-Hashmi Qawwal is a classical sufiana Qawwal of Hyderabad India.He was born in Hyderabad. His started training in classical music from his father from the ...more

27
81 101
Munnawar Masoom is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Munnawar Masoom is an Indian singer of qawwali.

28
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Nizami Brothers added

29
32 40
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raymond added Pakistani

30
53 68
Waheed and Naveed Chishti is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Qari Sag-e-Miran Qari Muhammed Saeed Chishti, are legendary Pakistani Qawwali singers. Qari Waheed, Naveed and Adeel learnt Qawwali singing directly from their father, who sang in five ...more

31
50 66
Roshan Ara Begum is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan, India Roshan Ara Begum was a Hindustani classical vocalist. In Pakistan she is revered as Mallika-e-Mauseeqi. As the daughter of Ustad Abdul Haqq Khan, Roshan Ara linked through her cousin Ustad Abdul ...more

32
41 55
Ahmed Rushdi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan Ahmed Rushdi, SI, PP was a versatile Pakistani playback singer who worked in film music and was "an important contributor to the Golden Age of Pakistani film music." Rushdi is ...more

33
71 95
Hamsar Hayat is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
AkshayKrSingh added

34
59 84
Adil Hussaini is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Adil Hussaini is a Sufi singer.

35
33 50
Suzana Ansar is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Bangladesh, England Suzana Ansar is an English singer, actress and television presenter of Bangladeshi descent.

36
7 16
Zeeshan Nizami is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
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37
25 40
Dhafer Youssef is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Tunisia Dhafer Youssef is a composer, singer and oud player. He developed an interest in jazz at an early age and clandestinely listened to it during his education at a Qur'anic school. He later left ...more