7.8k voters

The Best Qawwali Singers

Updated June 14, 2019 12.6k votes 7.8k voters 472.1k views37 items

List RulesThe 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. 
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan1
    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu/Punjabi: نصرت فتح علی خان), born Pervez Fateh Ali Khan (13 October...  more
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  • Sabri Brothers2
    The Sabri Brothers are a Sufi Qawwali party from Pakistan. Sometimes, referred to as Roving...  more
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  • Fateh Ali Khan3
    Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فتح علی خان‎) was a classical singer and a Qawwali musician in the 1940s...  more
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  • Mohammed Rafi4
    Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) was an Indian playback singer and widely...  more
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  • Aziz Mian5

    Aziz Mian

    Aziz Mian Qawwal (Urdu: عزیز میاں قوال‎) (17 April 1942 – 6 December 2000) was one of...  more
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  • Munnawar Masoom6
    Munnawar Masoom is an Indian singer of qawwali....  more
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  • Rahat Fateh Ali Khan7
    Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: راحت فتح علی خان ) (born 9 December 1974), is a Pakistani...  more
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  • Abida Parveen8
    Abida Parveen (Urdu: عابدہ پروین‎; born 20 February 1954), is a Pakistani Sufi Muslim singer,...  more
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  • Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali9
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  • Ahmed Rushdi10

    Ahmed Rushdi

    Ahmed Rushdi, SI, PP (Urdu: احمد رشدی‎; 24 April 1934 – 11 April 1983) was a versatile...  more
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  • Fareed Ayaz11

    Fareed Ayaz

    Ustad Ghulam Fariduddin Ayaz Al-Hussaini Qawwal is a Pakistani Qawwal. He belongs to the...  more
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  • Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan12
    Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فرخ فتح علی خان‎) (December 25, 1952 – September 9, 2003) was a...  more
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  • Amir Khusrow13
    Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau (1253 – 1325) (Persian: ابوالحسن یمین الدین خسرو‎, Urdu:...  more
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  • Suzana Ansar14

    Suzana Ansar

    Bangladesh, England
    Suzana Ansar (Bengali: সুজানা আনসার; born 14 February 1978) is an English singer, actress and...  more
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  • Geeta Chishti15
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  • Noor Jehan16

    Noor Jehan

    Noor Jehan (Urdu: نُورجہاں ‎), (born Allah Wasai; 21 September 1926 – 23 December 2000), also...  more
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  • Ustad Qawal Bahauddin Khan17
    Ustad Bahauddin Khan Qawwal (1934 – 3 February 2006) (Urdu: أستاذ قوّال بهاءالدين‎) was a...  more
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  • Niazi Brothers18
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  • Nizami Brothers19
    Nizami Bandhu is an Indian Qawwali musical group consisting of Chand Nizami, Shadab Faridi...  more
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  • Warsi Brothers20
    Warsi Brothers are an Indian Qawwali musical group, consisting of brothers Nazeer Ahmed Khan...  more
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  • Sher Mian Dad21
    Sher Mian Dad Khan, is a Pakistani qawwal and a folk singer. He was born in Pakpattan and...  more
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  • Faiz Ali Faiz22
    Faiz Ali Faiz (Urdu: فیض علی فیض; born in 1962 in Sharaqpur, Pakistan) is a well-known...  more
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  • Subhan Ahmed Nizami23
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  • Badar Ali Khan24
    Badar Miandad Khan (17 February 1962 – 2 March 2007), also known as Badar Ali Khan, was a...  more
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  • Mubarak Ali Khan25
    Mubarak Ali Khan was the father of Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan, uncle of Qawwali musicians Nusrat...  more
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