Mohammad Hussain Sarahang

Mohammad Hussain Sarahang

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Ustād Mohammad Hussain Sarāhang (Pashto/ - Sarahang; 1924–1983) was an Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 musician and best known exponent of hindustani classical music
Hindustani classical music
Hindustani classical music is the Hindustani or North Indian style of Indian classical music found throughout the northern Indian subcontinent. The style is sometimes called North Indian Classical Music or Shāstriya Sangeet...

 from Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. He was the second oldest son of the renowned musician, Ustad Gholam Hussain. Mohammad Hussain was born and raised in Kharabat (Kabul)
Kharabat (Kabul)
Kharâbat is a neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is a historic area near Hinduguzar, the quarter of Hindus and Sikhs). It has long accommodated musicians. Kharâbat has educated many famous musicians of Afghanistan in the Indian Patiali school....

, a city famous and conceivably notorious for its musicians.

Career and education


He was born in Kharabat
Kharabat (Kabul)
Kharâbat is a neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is a historic area near Hinduguzar, the quarter of Hindus and Sikhs). It has long accommodated musicians. Kharâbat has educated many famous musicians of Afghanistan in the Indian Patiali school....

, an area in the old city of Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 as Mohammad Hussain, the second son of the Peshawar musician, Ustad Ghulam Hussain, from whom he learned the basics of music. Hussain then studied Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

 in the Patiala School of Music
Patiala Gharana
The Patiala gharana is one of the most prominent gharanas of vocal Hindustani classical music. It was initially sponsored by the Maharaja of Patiala, Punjab, which was famous for ghazal, thumri, and khyal.-History:...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. After 16 years of learning from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan, he returned to Kabul at the age of 25. Soon afterward he was awarded the title of Sarāhang by the government of Afghanistan.

Ustad Sarahang performed various genres of classical and semi-classical music, including khayal, thumri
Thumri
Thumri is a common genre of semi-classical Indian music.The text is romantic or devotional in nature, and usually revolves around a girl's love for Krishna. The lyrics are usually in Uttar Pradesh dialects of Hindi called Poorbi and Brij Bhasha...

, tarana
Tarana
Tarana is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music in which certain words and syllables based on Persian and Arabic phenomes are used in a medium-paced or fast rendition...

, and ghazal
Ghazal
The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century...

. He earned the following titles and degrees from various music schools of India:
  • Degrees of Master, Doctor and Professor of Music from Kalakendra School of Music, Calcutta
  • Title of “Koh-e Beland” (High Mountain of Music) from Chandigarh School of Music, Chandigarh
    Chandigarh
    Chandigarh is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city...

  • Title of “Sar Taj-e Musiqee” (Top Crown of Music) from Central School of Music, Allahabad
    Allahabad
    Allahabad , or Settled by God in Persian, is a major city of India and is one of the main holy cities of Hinduism. It was renamed by the Mughals from the ancient name of Prayaga , and is by some accounts the second-oldest city in India. It is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh,...

  • Title of “Baba-e Musiqee” (The Father of Music) in his final concert in New Delhi
    New Delhi
    New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

    , 1979
  • Title of “Sher-e Musiqee” (Lion of Music) in his last performance in Allahabad, 1982


Sarahang recorded roughly 500 raga
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

 performances and ghazal
Ghazal
The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century...

s in India and at Radio Kabul
Radio Kabul
Radio Kabul is the official radio station of Afghanistan. The name Radio Kabul has been given to many different incarnations of the state-run radio station since the first radio transmitters were installed in Kabul in the 1920s....

. He has sung mostly the Ghazal
Ghazal
The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century...

s of Amir Khusraw
Amir Khusro
Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrow , better known as Amīr Khusrow Dehlawī , was an Indian musician, scholar and poet. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent...

 and Abul Ma'āni Bedil
Abdul Qader Bedil
Mawlānā Abul-Ma'āni Mirzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil , also known as Bedil Dehlavī , was a famous Persian poet and Sufi born in Azimabad ; to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent...

, the famous poets of Indian School of Poetry in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, as he was a famous Bedil
Abdul Qader Bedil
Mawlānā Abul-Ma'āni Mirzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil , also known as Bedil Dehlavī , was a famous Persian poet and Sufi born in Azimabad ; to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent...

 Shenās
(Bedil Expert).

He wrote two books about classical music, Qānūn-e Tarab (The Law of Music) and Mūssīqī-e Rāg-hā (Music of Ragas). He has also created or composed several ragas including Hazra and Minamalee.

Festival of Music in Kabul


At the age of 25, Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang participated in a festival of music held at Kabuls famed Pamir Cinema. Amongst the participants were Ustad Qasim and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

At this festival, Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang amazed the crowd with his talent and passion and was awarded the Gold Medal over the more famous Masters of music. His performance at this festival earned him the title of Ustad and a few years later, the government of Afghanistan awarded him the title of In Afghanistan.

Books


Qanon e Tarab : Explaining the rules of eastern music

Ustad Sarahang also wrote many articles in Pashtun Ghag newspaper.

Fame in India


In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Ustad Sarahang was an idol to be worshipped. During his last trip to Allahabad School of Music, in order to show respect for the great Ustad Sarahang, Indian female ‘Ustads’ and students of the school lined up and bowed their heads furnishing the path to the stage with their hair so that Ustad Sarahang could walk over them. Ustad Sarahang once said that if he were to die in India, he was to be buried next to the tomb of Baydel. Upon his last trip to India in 1982, Ustad Sarahang fell gravely ill and was hospitalized and ordered not to sing and to keep his talking to a minimum. But Ustad Sarahang disregarded the orders of his doctors and continued his performance which earned him yet another medal and with it the pride to the people of Afghanistan.

External links