Music
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. 
...more
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan1
    1,666
    580
    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu/Punjabi: نصرت فتح علی خان), born Pervez Fateh Ali Khan (13 October...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Sabri Brothers2
    The Sabri Brothers are a Sufi Qawwali party from Pakistan. Sometimes, referred to as Roving...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Fateh Ali Khan3
    454
    233
    Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فتح علی خان‎) was a classical singer and a Qawwali musician in the 1940s...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Mohammed Rafi4
    624
    342
    Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) was an Indian playback singer and widely...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Aziz Mian5
    524
    299

    Aziz Mian

    Pakistan
    Aziz Mian Qawwal (Urdu: عزیز میاں قوال‎) (17 April 1942 – 6 December 2000) was one of...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Munnawar Masoom6
    Munnawar Masoom is an Indian singer of qawwali....  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Rahat Fateh Ali Khan7
    416
    260
    Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: راحت فتح علی خان ) (born 9 December 1974), is a Pakistani...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Abida Parveen8
    274
    176
    Abida Parveen (Urdu: عابدہ پروین‎; born 20 February 1954), is a Pakistani Sufi Muslim singer,...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali9
    Amazon buy button
  • Ahmed Rushdi10
    85
    42

    Ahmed Rushdi

    Pakistan
    Ahmed Rushdi, SI, PP (Urdu: احمد رشدی‎; 24 April 1934 – 11 April 1983) was a versatile...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Fareed Ayaz11
    168
    118

    Fareed Ayaz

    Pakistan
    Ustad Ghulam Fariduddin Ayaz Al-Hussaini Qawwal is a Pakistani Qawwal. He belongs to the...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan12
    Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فرخ فتح علی خان‎) (December 25, 1952 – September 9, 2003) was a...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Amir Khusrow13
    179
    135
    Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau (1253 – 1325) (Persian: ابوالحسن یمین الدین خسرو‎, Urdu:...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Suzana Ansar14
    75
    42

    Suzana Ansar

    Bangladesh, England
    Suzana Ansar (Bengali: সুজানা আনসার; born 14 February 1978) is an English singer, actress and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Geeta Chishti15
    Amazon buy button
  • Noor Jehan16
    133
    114

    Noor Jehan

    Pakistan
    Noor Jehan (Urdu: نُورجہاں ‎), (born Allah Wasai; 21 September 1926 – 23 December 2000), also...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Ustad Qawal Bahauddin Khan17
    Ustad Bahauddin Khan Qawwal (1934 – 3 February 2006) (Urdu: أستاذ قوّال بهاءالدين‎) was a...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Niazi Brothers18
    Amazon buy button
  • Nizami Brothers19
    Nizami Bandhu is an Indian Qawwali musical group consisting of Chand Nizami, Shadab Faridi...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Warsi Brothers20
    Warsi Brothers are an Indian Qawwali musical group, consisting of brothers Nazeer Ahmed Khan...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Sher Mian Dad21
    Sher Mian Dad Khan, is a Pakistani qawwal and a folk singer. He was born in Pakpattan and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Faiz Ali Faiz22
    Faiz Ali Faiz (Urdu: فیض علی فیض; born in 1962 in Sharaqpur, Pakistan) is a well-known...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Subhan Ahmed Nizami23
    Amazon buy button
  • Badar Ali Khan24
    72
    83
    Badar Miandad Khan (17 February 1962 – 2 March 2007), also known as Badar Ali Khan, was a...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Mubarak Ali Khan25
    49
    56
    Mubarak Ali Khan was the father of Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan, uncle of Qawwali musicians Nusrat...  more
    Amazon buy button