I adore Sufi music. I sing and listen to daily Sufi music since 2018.
It is just purifying me, making me align, feel the vibrations of Love and Union.
Gently revealing to me the secrets of the Truth. It is my calling.
As you can realize this is a very important topic for me. So okay, let me take a deep breath and come here and now.
We can start slowly and gently.
Let’s start with bi-smi llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm, with a Sufi mantra so to say, “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
How would I describe Sufi music?
Sufi music is a secret language for me that brewed during all human history in the heart of those who reached the Union.
I like to imagine life as a journey.
We are all in our paths.
In this life journey, there have been many people who reached the Reality inside their hearts.
They could not explain it with words but only with their way of being, with symbols and rituals and music.
That is why during all human history we are seeing traveling musicians all around the world.
They are connecting with Reality and just singing while in connection.
The only reason for this is to transmit the pleasure, the love that they have found in their heart.
They are kind of scattering the seeds for those who would hear the calling inside this music’s magic.
Because the only way to open the doors to reach this Reality is through our own hearts. You can read more about what is Sufi music here.
My Sufi music background
Spiritual songs always called me, I always liked them and had a special interest in them even though I did not know them at that time.
I have a very nice high school memory which in religious class, I was singing a Turkish Sufi song in front of all my friends.
I was born in Turkey, Anatolia.
The land of many civilizations and many cultures.
My family has a Sunni Islam background. My surname is Güzel, which is one of the most important heritages of my family for me.
It means beautiful and it is coming from the grandfather of my father. As he was singing the Qur’an very beautifully.
He was a hafiz, meaning that he knew Qur’an by memory, but not just memorizing the words but he could understand the secrets of it and apply it to his life.
That is why when I have asked people intending to learn any memory related to him, the only answer I have heard was that: ‘nur yüzlü’ (radiant face).
My father’s voice was very beautiful as well.
He was a judge and we were traveling a lot in Turkey because of his job. We were moving our house in every 4 years.
He loved Turkish folkloric music and loved to sing especially a song from Kul Nesimi.
Wherever we were living, I am not sure how but he was ending up singing this song of Nesimi to many crowds.
It was a spiritual song(ilahi), but he was not singing that song at that time with spiritual intention or this is what I have always thought.
Even my family was Sunni, I always had a special interest in another spiritual group in Turkey: Alevi-Bektaşi. Because of their beautiful rituals with songs and dances, I guess.
I always knew that music is the food of my spirit. I sang in choruses during all my education years.
Then something incredible happened which changed my life.
With the guidance of my inner child, I started a singing class. It was quite special, as every week we were meeting with my teacher in her house in the middle of the forest and we were doing singing class in a meditative mood.
That was one of the deepest spiritual experiences I have lived.
I was amazed by the power of music for the connection with the spirit.
During these classes I met with my grand grandfather in another reality, I started to listen to spiritual songs of my land months after months, the meanings of these songs began to reveal to me slowly.
Then I started to do what I call a “journey of love”, where during 7 weeks I decided to sing, record, and share 7 spiritual songs.
I began to call myself as “Aşık Gül Ayşe”.
Then I found out my teacher Jordi Delclos, writer of the book “The therapeutic dimension of music in Sufism” and the founder of the music school Ponterapia in Spain.
I started to learn to play oud and makams and join Sema gatherings for several days and take part in Sufi music concerts.
Deep inside I know that this is my calling and life is trying to tell me something.
I am listening and showing up for these messages from my inner self.
Turkish Sufi Music
Turkish Sufi music is very dear to me, it is first because is my own land, second is that I can understand the language and third is that from this land many incredible souls have passed and left us incredible lyrics and music.
Yunus Emre, Rumi, Nesimi, Niyazi Mısri, İbn Arabi, Hacı Bektaş-I Veli, Erzurumlu İbrahim, Nimri Dede, Kygusuz Abdal, Ahi Evren, Evhaduddin-I Kirmani, Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi… and many more.
They all passed from the land that I was borned in.
There is a Sufi belief that ‘Aşıklar Ölmez’, these people who reached the Union, do not die. They continue to light our way.
All these spiritual songs are a magical heritage from these ancestors which contains the secrets that my heart already knows and just needs to remember.
That is why I feel very lucky that I can understand Turkish.
This does not mean that I can understand these songs fully but at least this is my intention and prayer.
Sufi music Yunus Emre
In Turkish Sufi music, some poems are very special and dear to me. One is Yunus Emre. Wikipedia explains him as below:
Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic who greatly influenced Turkish culture. His name, Yunus, is the equivalent of the English name Jonah.
He wrote in Old Anatolian Turkish, an early stage of Turkish.
The UNESCO General Conference unanimously passed a resolution declaring 1991, the 750th anniversary of the poet’s birth, International Yunus Emre Year.
He has so many incredible poems that his way of explaining the truth is so simple and so beautiful.
My love for his poems made me love him so so much and I feel a deep connection with his spirit.
He is like my friend that I am in communication with and receives guidance.
You can read more about how to connect with spirit guides here.
What do Sufis believe about music?
Sufi music is the most important tool to reach the vibrations of truth and to feel what cannot be perceived with the mind and can only be felt with the heart.
As Hazrat Inayat Khan said,
“Music is the main means to awaken the soul, there is nothing better. Music is the shortest and most direct way to God.”
You can read more about it here.
What is the purpose of music in Sufism?
The purpose of music in Sufism is knowing and remembering. Connecting to our hearts and meeting with the Truth.
Here you can read more about What is the purpose of Sufi music?
Is Sufi music allowed in Islam?
This was a constant topic of discussion. Those who defend the importance of music and those who argue that music is haram.
This discussion even affected my life in a way.
I remember my grandfather from my mother’s side was not very open to listening to music, I am not sure if he was seeing it as not allowed, but I remember not feeling very comfortable singing near him.
Maybe this is why the rituals of Alevi-Bektaşi full of music and dance, affected me somehow.
Among those who defended its importance were great philosophers, and they always emphasized the same thing.
The spiritual and mystical dimensions of music.
As I have elaborated here much more, according to the Sufis, only a certain type of music is suitable to become support or vehicle for meditation.
“According to the classification provided by Al-Farabi, music can be classified into three categories according to its impact on the spirit: The first evokes in us a pleasant and delicious sense of peace. The second has the power to stir the imagination, giving birth to images in the soul, suggesting ideas, expressing them. The third class is inspired by our passions.”Jean During, The Art of Persian music
Thus all the prophetic traditions that sanction the use of music always refer to the use centered only on the third type, which corresponds to the non-evolved aspect of the nafs, whose core is the dominant human passions that have not been brought under control.
For this reason, this music, having its origin in the passions, stimulates the appearance of these in the listener, so it is not suitable for spiritual work, since this consists precisely in getting rid of the bonds of the ego and transcending the merely individual.
Is Sufi music halal?
Let Hazrat Inayat Khan responds to this question for us;
“One type of belief is when a person thinks ‘maybe there is a God’ or ‘since others believe, so do I.’ He or she does not know God under reason, nor do they see him in front. God, for him, he may be in heaven. Whether it exists or not, he or she does not know. A person who has this type of belief soon develops some confusion, discontent, and a sense of injustice. It is for this reason that thousands and thousands of people, who used to worship God, abandon their belief in him. There is another type of belief, one that is acquired through the realization of the presence of God, not only in the heavens but in the environment itself. When a person reaches this point, his belief becomes a living entity. For him, God is not just a judge or a sustainer; For him, God is a friend who listens to the cry of his soul in solitude and knows the best and greatest secret that he harbors in his heart; a friend in whom one can trust in both good and bad experiences, and even in the afterlife. For a musician, music is the best way to unite with God. A musician with a belief in God offers him the beauty, the perfume, and the color of his soul. “Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Music of Life
Is Sufi music haram in Islam?
Jordi Delclos gives us a perspective about this question in his book ‘The therapeutic dimension of music in Sufism’
It is worth remembering here Masaru Emoto’s studies (Hidden Messages in Water) with water crystals, as the Japanese scientist discovered that Western classical music, as well as spiritual healing music, produced beautiful crystals in water, while the music of styles such as rock or heavy did not. they produced crystals, but chaotic and amorphous structures.
Another well-known experiment was carried out by Dorothy Retallack, who subjected the plants to different types of music, analyzing their responses not only based on their general health but also taking into consideration the degree to which they leaned or lowered themselves. a speaker that emitted the music.
Thus he discovered, for example, that pieces of music such as Hindu sitar or western classical music of the 18th and 19th centuries, among others, acted favorably on plants, as they made them lean towards the source of the sound.
On the other hand, percussion pop music or hard rock, among others, caused the plants to lean in the opposite direction to the source of the sound.
I see that Qur’an and God’s friends, all those saints who walked on this path of being Human before, gave us prescriptions to reach to Heaven which can be only found in Here and Now for me.
So try and feel by being aware of this guidance.
This is your path and your life.
Darkness and light are just 2 different phases of the same thing.
Can you listen to Sufi music during Ramadan?
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, is the holy month when Muslims fast by abstaining from eating, drinking liquids, and any kind of sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.
It is a self-cleansing process in that it enables one to better empathize with the less fortunate and boosts auto-control by consciously refraining from ill speech, idle talk, gossiping loss of temper, or any other malicious behaviors disapproved by Allah (God).
Sufi music is the shortest road to connect with your spirit and your heart.
The heart is the throne of Allah so what is the better way than to listen to Sufi music in this special holy month.
How to learn Sufi music?
If it calls you, it is not a coincidence.
During all humanity, lovers, friends of God, spread the seeds of the Truth around with Sufi music for those who are ready to awake, listen and start the path.
So take it seriously.
- Listen to those songs that call you.
- Try to understand what they mean.
- Try to sing them. Why not create a “Journey of Love” for you. Decide to sing 7 spiritual songs during 7 weeks and show up for yourself.
- Maybe learn to play an instrument that has been used in Sufi music, such as oud, rebab, or ney. In Islamic perception, there are 3 levels of information:1. Ilme’l-yakīn – the information you receive by the mind, 2. Ayne’l-yakīn – the information you receive by proof. 3. Hakka’l-yakīn – the information you receive by interior seeing and experiences with intuition and knowing. Learning an instrument to play makes you travel around these different information levels where finally you reach Hakka’l-yakīn.
- Join a Sema gathering which takes place for 3 days and nights or 7 days and nights so on as a ritual still being practiced since the times of Rumi. You can follow TUMATA for gatherings in Turkey, or PONTERAPIA in Spain.
- You can read about Sufi music. For some ideas to start with; Jordi Delclos, “The therapeutic dimension of music in Sufism” (only in Spanish), Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Music of Life.
- Meet with people who also love Sufi music.
- Trust your intuition and respond to your inner voice’s needs. Be there for the Truth that is calling you.
If you are here reading this article, it is not a pure coincidence.
Trust your inner voice and show up for yourself.
Sufi music is a calling for you to remember what you already know.
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Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so, you can pin it to your Sufi Music Board!