The Mehfil-e-Qawwali held on Sunday 7 April at Bankstown Sports Club Theatre drew fans from across the communities including elders, their families, SAMAA volunteers and members, all fans of this classical art including Federal MP for Parramatta, Julie Owens.
The unique event was organised by South Asian Muslim Association of Australia based in Sydney.
The ensemble of Tahir Faridi Qawwal gave an outstanding performance in singing most popular qawwalis of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Sabri brothers.
The atmosphere turned sombre as victims of the mosque shooting in Christchurch were remembered. Mr Zahid Jamil described the events in Christchurch most unfortunate which had disturbed the tranquillity of the most peaceful nation on the earth. He appealed to the Australian government to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of mosques in this country.
Dr Sikander Khan recited holy verses from the Quran and made an emotional dua (prayer) for the martyrs of the mosque massacre and their loved ones. He prayed for peace in the region and the world. He emphasized that Islam was the religion of peace and terrorism cannot be justified under any pretext. Dua concluded with the call to the prayer and Maghreb salat.
 Qawwali resumed after Maghreb prayer. The group mesmerised and enchanted the audience for well over three hours, receiving rapturous applause repeatedly.
With their rich rhythmic grooves, soaring vocal melodies and the classical performance, the performers were able to spellbind the audience. It was an exceptional exhibition of the ancient tradition of Sufi music.
The lead singer, Canadian born and a revert Tahir Hassan Faridi showed total mastery of this art with its smooth melodic overtures, fierce leaps of vocal passion and rich vocal choruses which captivated the audience.
Mrs Shahnaz Hyder, famous Ghazal Singer of Sydney and Mrs Kaneez Fatima Ali, the senior Urdu poet presented gifts to the artists. The SAMAA volunteer Ahsan Ali was MC for the event.
Speaking briefly about SAMAA, Mr Zahid Jamil told the audience that SAMAA had entered into agreements with service providers to offer professional services to the South Asian Muslim seniors. These included Uniting and IWAA for Home Care services and Gallipoli Home for those who need Nursing Home Care. Gallipoli Home is a state of art facility built by the Turkish community with the support of the Australian government in Auburn. It offers religiously and culturally appropriate care to Muslim seniors.
The Event was designed as a Service to the Elders in our Community as SAMAA does at regular intervals to alleviate the loneliness of community elders. The elders get an opportunity not only to entertain themselves but also meet their contemporaries. The elders well appreciated SAMAA’s efforts at catering to their culturally and linguistically divergent needs.
The event was supported by Bankstown Sports Club.
You can listen to a few video clips of the evening at SAMAA facebook page.