This album has been a long time coming. It showcases a very specific form of Islamic devotional singing from South Asia / The Indian Subcontinent, commonly referred to as “Na’at”, literally “description” in the Arabic origin of the word, and specifically in praise of The Prophet (ﷺ). Most of the more commonly spoken languages in this region have a na’at tradition – Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and others. For this album, I’ve selected a few from my most favourite Urdu ones that I’ve heard and sung growing up. (There’s more than a few that I’ve deferred for future releases.)
For those who are new to the Na’at genre, it comprises of poems recited in solo acapella, without any dependence as such on any accompanying percussion or backup vocals. This is a difficult genre to excel in – there’s nothing whatsoever for the vocals to hide behind, and it takes a certain amount of fearlessness to do this live. Many talented and accomplished contemporary reciters have experimented in recent years by adding a vocal chanting percussion, but I wanted to go totally old school with this rendition.
I’m specifically dedicating this album to first to the elders in my family – both sets of my late grandparents, and both sets of my wife’s late grandparents. My wife’s grandmother, Nani Ammi, was the most recent to pass away from among our grandparents. Whenever we would visit her, after our meals, she would make the entire family go silent (all 536 of them!), sit me down by her knees, and announce, “Everyone will be silent now! My son will recite some na’at!” I now make it a habit to recite a na’at every time I visit her grave in Sheffield UK, and have hope in my Lord’s generosity that He allows her to hear it.
This album is also dedicated to my parents and to my parents-in-law, who have always appreciated these na’ats every time I’ve recited them in their presence.
And lastly, this album is also dedicated to our dear recently departed sister, Sr. Parween Baksh, who would often request these Urdu recitations whenever we would visit her home and would enjoy them greatly.
Many thanks go to my wife, Dr. Bano Murtuja, who had been encouraging me for over a decade to record and release a na’at album. She was also instrumental in the actual recording process by being my soundboard and director in the studio. Like many of my professional achievements, this wouldn’t have happened without her involvement and encouragement.
Thanks are also due to my dear friend Mohamed Adel Rassoul, who snapped the picture on the cover art when we visited the Best Of Creation (ﷺ) in March of 2022, and to my producer in Toronto, Norm Sabourin, who did an amazing job with the final production, creating just the right ambience for a sound that’s entrancing, contemplative, and sacred.
All album credits, lyrics, and translations, will insha’Allah be posted on the Discography page when this album becomes publicly available on Monday, Dec 12, 2022.
Please recite the Fatiha** and send prayers on the Beloved Messenger (ﷺ) on behalf of everyone who has worked to bring this song to you.
__________________________ ** The first chapter of the Holy Qur’an
|LYRICS||Madīné Kī Bāteiń – UNKNOWN Madīné Kī Gali – ABDUS SATTAR NIAZI Terī Jāliyoń Ké Nīché – ZAHOOR ALI QASOORI Na Pūchhô – UNKNOWN Kyā Khabar Kyā Sazā – SYED IQBAL AZEEM||PRODUCER, SOUND ENGINEER||NORM SABOURIN|
|RECORDING, EDITING, MIXING, MASTERING||LAUNCHPAD CREATIVE STUDIOS, AQUASOUND STUDIOS, FIRST SPRING STUDIOS|
|ARTWORK||FIRST SPRING RECORDS DESIGN TEAM|
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER||DR. BANO MURTUJA, NADER KHAN|
SHARE THE PROPHET
Nader is committed to #ShareTheProphet (ﷺ) in word and deed. In a world with an increasing frequency of ugly representations of the Prophet’s pure and beautiful message, it is all the more important to openly exemplify The Prophet’s mercy (ﷺ), concern and generosity for all creation.
You can help Nader #ShareTheProphet by contributing to the production of his upcoming albums. Just click below and follow the instructions.
Usually production and distribution of independent albums is financed by investors who recoup their principal (plus a profit) via album sales. The album is in debt even before it’s recorded, and the entire sales and marketing strategy is governed by their return on investment.
In a radical departure from this model, in 2013 Nader embarked on a daring new endeavour bringing together service and devotion, by channeling 100% of his sales revenue from future albums into humanitarian causes. Seed funding for the album’s production is raised through individual sponsors, crowdsourcing and donations, which then allows Nader the freedom to channel 100% of sales revenue towards designated humanitarian causes. This way, Nader makes devotional art a powerful means of service for generations to come. In fact, by now songs from the recently release album WATER have helped raise over CAD$2 million for various charitable causes in the first 2 years after its release.
“My work has always been about bringing together devotional music and positive change – both in people’s hearts and in the world around us. We just hadn’t found a model that did both things justice … until now”.