Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Over sixty artists from different parts of the Muslim world did take audiences on an inspirational and unforgettable journey, A Mystical Journey, through various musical pieces, rock songs, and performances of whirling Sufi dancers in Canada.
The performances did feature music, dance, and poetry performed by world-renowned artists from North Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia, expressing the rich diversity of devotional expressions in Islam, across different geographies, languages, and traditions.
Though different in form, these musical acts of devotion are common in their peaceful search for the divine.
Two shows, one a matinee, were held on Oct 14 at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. The performers did then move to Edmonton (Oct 17), Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
“The event is a demonstration of musical pluralism--and an example of the benefits that can be produced when diverse individuals bring their talents and distinctions together to build a superior product,” says Ismaili community spokesman Farid Damji. “It’s the essence of pluralism itself.”
The Ismaili Muslims are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse people living in over 25 countries around the world, united in their allegiance to the Aga Khan as the 49th hereditary Imam and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
This event is being held as part of the international Golden Jubilee commemoration of His Highness the Aga Khan’s enthronement as spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.
[Picture from A Mystical Journey:
"The Sufi and other esoteric traditions of Islam manifest their beliefs through diverse forms of devotion ranging from ecstatic movements in dance to meditative exercises in quiet solitude.
These acts of devotion seek the promise of enlightenment which offers a divinely-graced vision, moral clarity and all encompassing love.
Enlightenment in these esoteric traditions speaks of a dissolution of the very self in a union with the divine that words cannot easily convey and thus music, poetry and dance become critical forms of expression". http://www.theismaili.org/he2.htm].