Music

The Best Qawwali Singers  

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14.5k votes 7.5k voters 465.6k 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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1
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu/Punjabi: نصرت فتح علی خان), born Pervez Fateh Ali Khan (13 October 1948 – 16 August 1997), was a Pakistani vocalist and musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, a ...more
2
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
Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فتح علی خان‎) was a classical singer and a Qawwali musician in the 1940s and 1950s. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, British India in 1901. Fateh Ali Khan was the father ...more
4
Mohammed Rafi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India
Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) was an Indian playback singer and widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential singers of the Indian subcontinent. Rafi was ...more
5
Aziz Mian is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Aziz Mian Qawwal (Urdu: عزیز میاں قوال‎) (17 April 1942 – 6 December 2000) was one of Pakistan's leading traditional qawwals and also famous for singing ghazals in his own unique style of ...more
6
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: راحت فتح علی خان ) (born 9 December 1974), is a Pakistani musician, primarily of Qawwali, a devotional music of the Muslim Sufis. He is the nephew of Nusrat Fateh Ali ...more
7
Abida Parveen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Abida Parveen (Urdu: عابدہ پروین‎; born 20 February 1954), is a Pakistani Sufi Muslim singer, composer and musician. Her singing and music has earned her many accolades, and she has been dubbed ...more
8
Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu: فرخ فتح علی خان‎) (December 25, 1952 – September 9, 2003) was a player of the harmonium in Qawwali and also was a member of a well-known family of Qawwali ...more
9
Amir Khusrow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India
Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau (1253 – 1325) (Persian: ابوالحسن یمین الدین خسرو‎, Urdu: ابوالحسن یمین‌الدین خسرو‎), better known as Amīr Khusrow Dehlavī, was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar ...more
10
Fareed Ayaz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Ustad Ghulam Fariduddin Ayaz Al-Hussaini Qawwal is a Pakistani Qawwal. He belongs to the Qawwal Bachchon Ka Gharana of Delhi. He and his relatives are the flag-bearers of that school of music ...more
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GeetaChishti added
12
Ustad Qawal Bahauddin Kh... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Ustad Bahauddin Khan Qawwal (1934 – 3 February 2006) (Urdu: أستاذ قوّال بهاءالدين‎) was a Pakistani Qawwali musician.All five of his sons - Muhammad Najmuddin (born 1967), Saifuddin Mehmood ...more
13
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
Niazi Brothers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
15
Sher Mian Dad is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Noor Jehan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Noor Jehan (Urdu: نُورجہاں ‎), (born Allah Wasai; 21 September 1926 – 23 December 2000), also known by her honorific title Malika-e-Tarannum (Urdu: ملِکہ ترنّم ‎), the queen of melody), was a ...more
17
Munshi Raziuddin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Munshi Raziuddin Ahmed Khan PP(1912 – 2003) was a renowned Indian-Pakistani Qawwal, a classical musician and a researcher and scholar of music. He belongs to the well-known Qawwal Bachchon Ka ...more
18
Faiz Ali Faiz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Faiz Ali Faiz (Urdu: فیض علی فیض; born in 1962 in Sharaqpur, Pakistan) is a well-known Pakistani qawwali singer.Faiz was born into a family of seven generations of qawwals. He studied classical ...more
19
Warsi Brothers is listed (or ranked) 19 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.
20
Badar Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
Pakistan
Badar Miandad Khan (17 February 1962 – 2 March 2007), also known as Badar Ali Khan, was a Pakistani qawwali singer. He released several albums in Pakistan. Several albums were also released ...more
21
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Nizami Brothers added
22
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
Nizami khusro brothers s... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
24
Mubarak Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Ateeq Hussain Khan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Qawwali Singers
India
Ustad Ateeq Hussain Khan Bandanawazi Al-Hashmi Qawwal (بنده نوازى قوال) (born 1980) is a Hindustani Qawwal He was born in Hyderabad.India His started training in Indian classical music ...more