This post is for people who are familiar with or interested in the Diwan of Muhammad Ibn al Habib, the great scholar and sufi master of Meknes in Morocco, who died in 1971. He left this collection of sublime poems, mostly by him, in which he lucidly and poetically describes this particular path of knowledge – divine and prophetic praise as well guidance for the spiritual traveller from the beginning to the very end of the path. There are many traditional ways that these qasidas (poems) are sung and in the 1970s I collected many of these from Morocco and Algeria. In 1977 I taped on a small cassette player the melodies (or naghmas) of those that I knew – just a couple of lines of the relevant qasida. Not the whole song which would take far too long. This is just a learning tool. These are for zawiyya singing, in other words those that are easily remembered, not the complex high Andalus that is sung and performed in Morocco – although some of the old Andalus tunes have found their way into this collection. The quality is quite funky, recorded as it was on cassette, but the melodies are clear and digitised and edited into two long mp3 files of around 40MB each. What I have lost is the key I made at the time which tells you what tune goes with what qasida but if you have the text it is quite easy to figure out. I do have this key somewhere and I will post it when it turns up. I can send this freely to anyone who would like it via Sendspace.
If interested, email me at email@example.com or leave a comment.
Yes, Sidi, we would love to have access to these recordings….I wrote you at the email you included, but in case you don’t check that. Many blessings for this midway point. For me its probably the 41st Ramadan, inshaAllah, all of them stretching back to that first fast in 1970 in the Swat Valley, the year the snows came early—in November, in fact — and so we were just trying not to freeze without a cup of chai. Bit different this year, here in Marrakesh, 40+ degrees for the last couple of days! Many salams