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The Music King

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a name which is neither well-known or well-pronounced by most Americans, is a pinnacle of success in southern Asia and many other parts of the world. Hailed by many as the Pavarotti of Pakistan, Khan is the world’s most celebrated qawwal. A qawwal is a specially-trained male vocalist who performs qawwali, a musical expression of devotional poetry practiced by the Sufis. The Sufis, an ancient mystical sect of Islam, achieve spiritual enlightenment through music, much like a Whirling Dervish achieves a higher state of consciousness through dancing.