articles by Shahwar Kibria


Ramadan vs Ramzan: A linguistic difference between Arabic and Urdu, not meaning, has led to the festival's two names

The disparate uses of the terms Ramzan and Ramadan has in some cases been portrayed as an instance of linguistic bias and a corrosive byproduct of cultural nationalism. In reality, it is merely the differential usage of the letter 'zuad', which has the z sound in Urdu and d sound in Arabic, or 'duad'.


Coke Studio: Exploring human struggles, the divine in musical rendition of Shikwa-Jawaab-e-Shikwa

Coke Studio Pakistan's Shikwa-Jawaab-e-Shikwa revitalises the classic struggle between ignorance and knowledge, the timeless and the transcendental, the hidden and the manifest in a musical format


Amir Khusrau, the poet of the nation: Singing of a divine beloved and homeland

Amir Khusrau’s love for India was rooted in his conviction that it was an ideal refuge for different ideas and religions, as well as the land where he found his spiritual master


At the Maa Sahiba Dargah, simple qawwalis about maternal love, spiritual excellence

It is said that Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was motivated by his mother Maa Sahiba's faith and devotion to embark on a quest for spiritual exaltation | #FirstCulture


On Wazir Hussain Qadri, the Khanqahi space and qawwalis as songs of love, faith

An evening at the Ajmer Sharif dargah allows one to experience the qawwali as the preliminary step in worship — a mark of extreme love for a higher entity | #FirstCulture


How Amir Khusrau's 'rung' inspired the film and music culture of South Asia

The 'rung' composed by Amir Khusrau occupies a place of pride in the qawwali repertoire performed in the dargah during the birth anniversary of the saint Hazrat Nizamuddin | #FWeekend


Guitarist Omran Shafique on Coke Studio Pakistan: 'It revived a deflated Pakistani music industry'

Omran Shafique has been the reigning star guitarist and a member of the house band on Coke Studio Pakistan. He spoke with us about the show's stellar 10th season


At the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, a celebration of Amir Khusrau — and Qawwali

The history of Qawwali is a history of love, oneness and the unique pluralistic tradition of India, and it is celebrated at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, on the occasion of Amir Khusrau's urs