Arieb Azhar: Husn i Haqiqi

Posted on August 29, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

Not for the longest of times has a piece of music mesmerized me the way this song has.

The first time I heard (and saw) this rendition of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Husn i – Haqiqi by Arieb Azhar, I was totally consumed by it. I was totally lost in the song, the singer, the words, the meaning. The next time I heard this – and my iTunes tells me I have now heard it nearly a hundred times in four days – it took me back to the first time I had heard Muhammad Jumman singing yaar daDDi aatish isq or Pathana Khan singing meinDa isq ve tou, meinDa yaar ve tou.

This is the same genre, but not really the same style. And that is part of its enchantment. This is rooted in its own time just as those were rooted in their. Even as the words of all three remain timeless. The magic of this song, as of those, comes from the words – in this case, the words of Khawaja Ghulam Farid – but it cannot be completed without the singer’s imbuing it with his own passion.

Here is a song that needs to be seen as much as heard. Just as Mohammad Juman and Pathana Khan before him, Arieb Azhar has become one with the song. It is the passion, the reverence and the engagement that he brings to the rendition that brings it alive. That look of absolute and unadulterated joy in the mile-long smile on his face as the recording ends captures that magical connection between art and artist that no words of mine ever could.

I must confess, in some embarrassment, that I had not heard this song or of Arieb Azhar before I saw it at Rohail Hyatt’s amazing creation, the Coke Studio. It turns out Arieb is the son of one PTV’s founding father Aslam Azhar, someone for whom I have the highest of respect and someone who showed such kindness and encouragement to me when I was much young.

Now knowing that, it is no surprise that Arieb knows his cultural heritage. But the talent is, of course, all his own. And it is clearly in abundance. I did go back and saw and heard a lot of other videos of Arieb’s music, including many performances of this same song. The portfolio there is immensely impressive and getting hold of his CD Wajj is on my to do list. But this rendition and video really surpasses all others. And for that credit must also be given to Rohail Hyatt (who readers remember from the original Vital Signs) and his amazing creation, Coke Studios. For my money, that is one of the single best things that have happened to Pakistan music in a long time. But more on that some other time.

28 Comments on “Arieb Azhar: Husn i Haqiqi

  1. ASAD says:
    August 29th, 2009 1:42 pm

    WOW… this IS beautiful.

    Had not heard him before.

    yes, mesmerizing.

  2. Qausain says:
    August 29th, 2009 1:47 pm

    Behtreen kalam or Arieb Bhai ki zabardast awaz … masterpiece \m/
    Najam Bhai aap “Wajj” album zaror suniye ga .. saray songs aik say barh kar aik hain. Main nay jab ye album suni to mujh say raha na gaya or saray songs Youtube par upload kar diye :D

  3. Tina says:
    August 29th, 2009 1:52 pm

    Wowwwww….what an extraordinary voice this man has….many thanks for sharing :)

  4. Gardezi says:
    August 29th, 2009 1:54 pm

    Wow, that is very high praise coming from someone like Dr. Adil Najam who is usually very measured in both praise and criticism.

    After listening to it, I must say it is well deserve.

    The song had same impact on me that it had on you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Adam Insaan says:
    August 29th, 2009 2:11 pm

    Quite his own style of rendering, -uniqu

  6. Anwar says:
    August 29th, 2009 2:25 pm

    Thanks. Blends very well with the monotony of the month of Ramadan.

  7. August 29th, 2009 2:39 pm

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “very true . Pakistani pop came back to life . thank you Rohail Hyatt!”
    - “thix song ix superb.. must listen to it”
    - “″
    - “yes ….. truly mesmerizing”
    - “very true :)”
    - “this is da most magical song regarding sufism …………just luv it”

  8. ShahidnUSA says:
    August 29th, 2009 3:05 pm

    He can call me only “Shahid” and not too late at night.
    Good song, I like it. Thank you

    This song mesmerizes me.

  9. Owais Mughal says:
    August 29th, 2009 5:02 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. Good find adil bhai. I heard it first time today.

  10. Amjad Mian says:
    August 29th, 2009 5:33 pm


    I had not heard of this young man or the song but am so glad ATP brought it to my attention.

    So god to see our younger artists taking to folk and sufi music to keep the heritage alive.

    Gives new hope to my old bones!

  11. August 29th, 2009 7:01 pm

    Khwaja Ghula Fareed r.a. wrote the truth.

  12. Owais Mughal says:
    August 29th, 2009 7:42 pm

    I loved the way he laughs and claps at the end of the song. Shows the dedication with which he was singing

  13. Adnan Ahmad says:
    August 29th, 2009 9:11 pm

    An other extraordinary Coke Studio production; Ilmoan bus karee;n o yaar! Ikko Alaf tera darkaar

  14. Shiraz says:
    August 29th, 2009 9:40 pm

    Zabardast!..Really enjoyed it…

    tanuu badal barkha dajj kahoon
    tanuu bijli ta baran kahoon
    tanuu aab kahoon
    tanuu khak kahoon
    tanuu baad kahoon
    weeran kahoon
    tanuu dsurat lej manram kahoon
    tanuu seeta ji janan kahoon
    baldev ka souta naun kahoon
    tanuu kishn kahenaya kan … kahoon
    tanuu bhrama kishna ghannsih kahoon mahadev kahoon bahgwan kahoon
    tanuu geet ka rang tay byaihd kahoon
    tanuu bhyann kahoon agyan kahoon
    tanuu ibrahim hawahishees kahoon
    tanuu nooh kahoon toofan kahoon
    tanuu ibrahim khilil kahoon
    tanuu moosa bin imran kahoon
    tanuu har dil da dildar kahoon
    tanuu ahmad alishaan kahoon
    tanuu shahihd malk hijaz kahoon
    tanuu bahis kaun makaan kahoon
    tanuu nazz kahoon andaaz kahoon
    tanuu hoor pari walmaan kahoon
    tanuu.. nauog kahoon
    tanuu toug kahoon
    tanuu surkhee bedaaa paan kahoon
    tanuu tabla tay tamboor kahoon
    tanuu dholkal sur tay tan kahoon
    tanuu husn-te har singar kahoon
    tanuu ashawa ghamza aan kahoon
    tanuu ishq kahoon
    tanuu illam kahoon
    tanuu waham yakin gumaan kahoon
    tanuu husane da v idrrak kahoon
    tanuu zouk kahoon wajhdan kahoon
    tanuu sadar kahoon
    sadraan kahoon
    tanuu hairat hairaan kahoon
    tasleem kahoon
    talveen kahoon
    tmkeen kahoon
    irfan kahoon
    tanuu sumbal soo sand sard kahoon
    tanuu nargis nafarman kahoon
    tanuu lale adaagh ta bagh kahoon
    gulzar kahoon
    ustaan kahoon
    tanuu lale adaagh ta bagh kahoon
    gulzar kahoon
    ustaan kahoon
    tanuu khanjar teer toofang kahoon
    tanuu barcha baang sanaan kahoon
    tanuu teer fairang kaamaan kahoon
    soofar kahoon
    beepan kahoon
    bairang kahoon
    bemisal kahoon
    basurroot har har aan kahoon
    sukdoor kahoon
    qudooos kahoon
    rehman kahoon
    subhan kahoon
    aray tobaa dard Farid sadaaa…. har shea nu par Nuksaan kahoon
    tanuu bohut alag be Aib kahoon
    tanuu haq be nam.nishaan kahoon
    tanuu bohut alag be Aib kahoon
    tanuu haq be nam.nishaan kahoon

  15. Darweesh says:
    August 30th, 2009 3:32 am

    Good one, singer a young voice,lacks the depth of the vocal chords of a classical singer, but the magical beauty of the great saint,s love feelings for ALLAH has brought in the mesmerizing touch.
    well sung.

  16. sheepoo says:
    August 30th, 2009 11:14 am

    Aray bhaeee…..maza a gaya!

    I laughed with him at the end of the song….what dedication and what spirit!

  17. Kamran says:
    August 30th, 2009 12:34 pm



  18. Roshan says:
    August 30th, 2009 1:48 pm

    Thanks Adil for this post. I was sure that it would be due on ATP when I heard this song recently on youtube.
    Arieb is a wonderful guy and used to perform at civil junction in Islamabad before his album was released. In addition to sufi music, he sings in Bosnian language really well.
    His mother, Nasreen Azhar, a civil society activist and also had been working in Actionaid is such a sweet soul. Having influence of such wonderful parents and blessed with high bass voice he would be a great sufi music icon.

  19. roshan says:
    August 30th, 2009 5:36 pm

    Not Bosnian but Croatian music.

  20. Me Never Ever says:
    August 31st, 2009 2:43 pm

    wah ji wah kia baat hai zabardust mazaa aa gia
    “zara numm ho tu yeh matti barri zarkheez hai saaqi”
    this is truly refreshing and heart warming
    thanks ATP for this.

  21. mrizvi says:
    August 31st, 2009 10:16 pm

    …This is why i love pakistaniat!!!

  22. RiazT says:
    September 1st, 2009 3:02 pm

    I do not want to say any hash words, but one thing is sure: this is not the sort of music which deserves superlatives used in the blog. May I humbly add that the piece presented here is an average one.

  23. Sajjad Junaidi says:
    September 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm

    Thanks allot Adil for sharing this. It is beautiful.

  24. Mushtaq Ilyas says:
    September 3rd, 2009 1:33 am


  25. Nostalgic says:
    September 4th, 2009 6:45 am

    His album Wajj is terrific… interestingly, he lived in Croatia during the 90′s, at the height of the civil war… I hope at some stage he shares his experiences of the conflict, especially as a Pakistani who was probably considered sympathetic to the Bosnians, who although were allied to the Croats, did cross swords with them on occasion… also, Croatia unfortunately has a history of fascism, in particular during World War II, and these sentiments were revived during the Yugoslav Civil War…

    I don’t know if anyone has posted his latest song yet… this is a song he wrote exclusively for some competition for songs commemorating this year’s Independence Day… Enjoy:

  26. September 20th, 2009 6:05 am

    i am also so into the song that i cant help myself and google his name to find some more songs of him and landed on ATP.

  27. sheepoo says:
    September 28th, 2009 4:13 pm

    Complete rendering of this kalaam available at:

    Select Page 136 from the list box (continues over to Page 138)

    Just my 2 cents!

  28. shoaib says:
    October 31st, 2010 7:53 pm

    I am sure he is a nice guy but his music ‘Gaiki’ sucks big time.

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