Remembering Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: 15 of the qawwali maestro's evergreen songs

Remembering Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: 15 of the qawwali maestro's evergreen songs

On the qawwal's death anniversary, we list his most famous works
Updated 16 Aug, 2018

Famed qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan may have left us, but his songs will forever keep him alive.

“The King of Qawwali”, who was born on October 13, 1948 in Faisalabad, was not only popular in Pakistan, but also in the rest of the world. Nusrat Fateh Ali's songs have defined the art-form of Qawwali for the generations to come.

Here are 15 of Nusrat's songs which define his legacy.

1) Alif Allah Chambe Di Booti

Originally a Punjabi folk song sung by many artists and qawwals, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's rendition was very popular.

2) Tumhe Dillagi

One of the qawwal's most famous songs. It has also been sung by Nusrat's nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, a rendition which saw Bollywood actors Huma Qureshi and Vidyut Jammwal in the video.

3) Sanson Ki Mala Pey

Did you know the lyrics to this song have been written by a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet Meera, also known as Meera Bai? She was one of the most most famous of the women bhakta poets of north India.

4) Piya Re Piya Re

Nusrat's song 'Piya Re Piya Re' saw a remixed version featured in album Love is in the Air by Indian actor/musician Van Shipley.

5) Sanu Aik Pal Chain Na

One of Nusrat's signature songs, it has also been sung by the younger qawwal Rahat and pop artist Atif Aslam.

6) Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor

This by far is Nusrat Sahib's most sung kalaam, one which he sang at many concerts and on TV shows.

7) Dam Mast Qalandar

To date, this qawwali of Nusrat sb's has been remixed numerous times.

8) Mann Kunto Maula

'Mann Kunto Maula' is based on a hadith (a saying of the Prophet (PBUH)) and has been composed by 13th century Sufi musician, poet and scholar, Amir Khusro.

9) Mera Piya Ghar Aya

Another one penned by Punjabi Sufi poet, humanist and philosopher Bulleh Shah, this song has seen many renditions by famous artists, including Nusrat Fateh.

10) Mere Rashk-e- Qamar

Another one of his most memorable tracks.

11) Allah Hoo Allah Hoo

Released in 1992, this song became an instant hit among fans and artists like Rahat Fateh Ali and Sami Yusuf have performed it on many occasions.

12) Afreen Afreen

'Afreen Afreen' was the first collaboration between Nusrat and renowned Indian lyricist Javaid Akhtar. It is one of the qawwal's most famous and signature tracks to date.

13) Dam Hama Dam Ali Ali

Nusrat's love for the Prophet (pbuh) and his son-in-law Ali was not unknown, in fact, this is just one of the many qawwalis the ustad has sung in their honour.

14) Tum Ek Gorakh Dhandha Ho

The Sufi verse 'Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho' (You are a Puzzle) was written by Pakistani lyricist Naz Khialvi, which was later sung by the Ustad.

15) Tu Mera Dil Tu Meri Jaan

Another one of Nusrat's popular tracks, which has been sung by artists galore.


Dr Riffat Jabeen Aug 16, 2016 07:04pm
A great singer blessed with matchless qualities.
Dr Riffat Jabeen Aug 16, 2016 07:07pm
Rest his soul in peace. Amen
Asad Aug 16, 2016 07:41pm
For all the NFAK fans out there, I'd like to add a couple of my favorites to the list in case you haven't heard them: - Tu Rah Naward-e-Shouq Hai (absolute masterclass this one, credit to Allama Iqbal for the inspiring poetry) - Nami Da Namche Manzil (highly recommend reading the translation to understand Mevlana's poetry) - Tu Kareemi (another one of Mevlana's poetry) Enjoy!
Asad Aug 16, 2016 08:03pm
No mention of ankhiaan udeeek diyaan which has around 6 mn views on youtube much more than many songs listed here
mano Aug 16, 2016 08:18pm
Nusrat the king!
TINA Aug 16, 2016 08:32pm
Eternal blithe voice of the greatest singer of all times. He is the proud of Pakistan.
Omar Aug 16, 2016 10:55pm
I rate him above Bob Dylan, Elvis and likes. I think world still needs to explore his voice. Pakistani nation has not done enough to project his voice on world stage. What an intense performer man! Truly a source of inspiration for me to work hard and continuously until it is perfected. Nusrat Sahab may your soul rest in peace. A true admirer of your work and your passion to take qawali to the next level.
SBB Aug 17, 2016 02:56am
NFAK awakened faith in many millions of people.. God bless his soul.
Bhains wali Dimagh Aug 17, 2016 09:01am
Why is "akhiyaan nu chain na aave" not on this list? The pain of the broken hearted lover was so soulfully conveyed by Nusrat saheb in that song.
Hamid Ali Hamidi Aug 17, 2016 09:25am
What a great voice, What an entertainer.
Ali Aug 17, 2016 09:47am
the LEGEND,, the LEGACY,,
moazzam hussain Aug 17, 2016 11:28am
the legend no match nor can come any one like him
Fateh Ullah Khan Kundi Aug 17, 2016 05:56pm
He was a class. Immortal as far his art is concerned.
Fazl Rab Aug 22, 2016 08:42pm
I was once priviged to attend his performance in Los Angeles. Upon reaching the venue I was totally surprised to see a House Full of about 2000 of which barely 20 to 25 were from the sub-continent that included some Sikhs. The rest were all caucasian Americans with a sprinkling of Spanish and Black Americans. During the Interval, an American requested me to translate the brochure for him. Surprised, I querried why had he come if he did not understand what was being sung. He said, he came for the music and its lyrics. I presume the entire crowd would have responded that way. Such was the performance of the maestro. May he rest in peace with Ghulam Farid and Amjad Sabri!!
Yaser arafat Aug 16, 2017 12:26pm
Usad Sb every song / kalam is ever green and always like to hear again and again.
Awais Anjum Aug 16, 2017 12:32pm
Have listened all of them , am having goosebumps by just thinking about him , what a unique singer he was
imran Aug 16, 2017 12:59pm
add this too ....gham hai ya khushi hai tu
Ali Aug 16, 2017 01:37pm
Why our legends and especiially sincere people go away so quickly.
suhaib Ahmad Aug 16, 2017 03:03pm
Seems like run of the mill qawalis. Here's an alternate list of 15 +1 hidden gems by NFAK: * Aankh Uthi Mohabbat Ne Angrai Lee * Ab kaya Sochye * Ay Athra Ishq Naeen Soun Denda, Sari Raat Jagaee Rakhda Aye * Dil Ne Hamare Bethe Bethe Kese Kese Rog Lagae * Gham Hey Ya Khushee * Ishq aich ki rakhia * Mera Eh Charkha Noulakha Kure * Meri Zeest Pur Mussarat Kabhi Thi * Soochta hoon kay woh kitnay masoom * Yeh Roz-o-Shab Ki Betabi, Yeh Lutf-e-Jaan Wida Kya Hai * Maye Ni Maye * Be Had Ramzan Dasda * Qismat Ko Manzoor Yehi Tha * Unke Dar Pe Pochane To Payen * Yeh Teri Umar Jise Sab Shabab Kehte Hain And +1 * Tere Main Ishq Nachae
a Aug 16, 2017 03:13pm
Pakistanis have /had all the talent in the world.... if only the correct govt policies were put in place to achieve that potential...Pakistanis have time and again have been let down by successive govts
HS Aug 16, 2017 03:26pm
His voice has no border
Indian Aug 16, 2017 03:31pm
When He sings, the steel gates of Waggah and Atari start melting !
Rauf Aug 16, 2017 04:09pm
In his Punjabi collection my favorite qawwali is CHAN SAJNA MOR MOHARAN
sachin panwar Aug 16, 2017 05:02pm
@suhaib Ahmad a lot of Thanks bhai... I found few new things in your list... ,
Sougata Bagchi Aug 16, 2017 07:26pm
My soul. My peace of mind.
SougatO Bagchi india Aug 16, 2017 07:28pm
Peace of my heart and soul.
Sahadeo Aug 16, 2017 10:42pm
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Khan Saab), True legend. One of the greatest talent world of music has ever seen. As Michael Brook rightly described him " The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Elvis - All in ONE PERSON". Thanks Dawn for remembering him and publishing good article.
Safdar Kakakhel Aug 16, 2017 11:54pm
I was looking for "Mast Nazron se Allah Bachaye"...
RIZ Aug 17, 2017 01:25am
Great artist as we still like to listen his songs in his own voice.
farouq omaro Aug 17, 2017 05:05am
I love these songs. Nusrat was the best qawwal!
Hassan Aug 17, 2017 06:08am
No words to expound quality signing of Ustad.
saima Aug 17, 2017 03:09pm
@suhaib Ahmad Kindly add...kisi daa yaarna yr list too
Rafat Aug 19, 2017 01:20pm
NFAK gonna live in hearts of billions for centuries. RIP NFAK.
Imran Aug 16, 2018 03:31pm
One of my all time favourite qawwalis from NFAK: Aastan hai yeh kis Shah-e-Zeeshan ka Marhaba Marhaba and his evergreen music also includes: Mera ghum aur meri har khushi tum se hai Piyar ik phool hai uss phool ki khushboo tum ho ankhiyan ne charrhian laayan, aj yaadan terian aayan ... and the list goes on.... RIP NFAK
AHA Aug 16, 2018 03:36pm
Not a qawali, but one of my Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan favorites: Wohi Khuda Hai
shahzad khan Aug 16, 2018 04:19pm
a great person larger than life
Rehan Khan Aug 16, 2018 04:55pm
Best musician of all time. Till this date everyone can enjoy the songs he did way back in the days. they never get old because of the passion, the skills, the talent, the emotion involved in all of his tracks.
Sandeep Aug 16, 2018 05:41pm
Kaha ake rukne the raaste.....Maestro..
Husnain Aug 16, 2018 06:41pm
@suhaib Ahmad Also Add - "Wigar Gaii aiyy baray dinoo toun, duuri paiiye barray dinoo toun"
RAja Raman Aug 16, 2018 08:44pm
True legend. The song "Afreen afreen" was so mesmerising, I lost the count of times I listened to the song. Love from India...
Rp Aug 16, 2018 09:55pm
Thank you Dawn for covering this! He was the best of the best! My most favorite is Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda ho!
Rajinder Chhibbar Aug 17, 2018 06:14am
Thank you very much for collecting and placing the best at one place.
Abdul Rauf Aug 17, 2018 09:18am
Great singer. I loved his qawwali 'Chan sajna mor moharan......'
Paul Aneja Aug 17, 2018 04:23pm
Very found of qwalies and So far never seen another qwal as good even close like him.