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Spiritual Music

The following links have recitations of the Holy Quran, the sacred text of Islam.

Alahazrat: International Islamic web site

Islamic Academy:: Information and audio

Ahadees

Qaseeda/Qasida

Plural qasida, also spelled kasida (from the Arabic qasidah). Qasida are a poetic form which was developed in pre-Islamic Arabia, and was commonly used in Islamic communities up to the present day. The Qasida can be written to convey its meaning in many ways, such as praise or satire. They are written in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and many other related Asian languages. The classic form for a qasida uses a single end rhyme in each of its sixty to one hundred lines.

Example:

Tala'al Badru 'alaynaa
Min Thaniyyaati'l Wadaa'i
Wajaba-sh-shukru 'alaynaa
Maa da'a Lillahi Daa'i

The full moon rises on us
From Thaniyyatil Wadaa'
And it is compulsory on us to express thanks
Whenever called upon by a summoner for the sake of Allah

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Naat

The term "Naat" is used in Arabic for a person who possesses many virtues, has an admirable character, and many achievements. The term has been applied in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu speaking communities to a particular type of verse which describes such qualities and accomplishments in the life of the Prophet Muhammad. This literary form is well established in the Urdu literature of Pakistan where authors express their devotion and admiration of the Prophet.

Download example from: Eulogies on Holy Prophet Muhammad, compiled & edited by Shafiq Barelvi

Hamd

This term refers to preformative and literary traditions which are used to praise Allah, such as the Islamic recitation of the ninety-nine names of Allah. One author explains that the religious significance of this form is deeply spiritual:

"Hamd (praise) is more general and inclusive than shukr (thanks or gratitude), because thanks and gratitude are only a recompense for a favor, whereas hamd is both a recompense like thanks and is also spontaneous praise. Similarly, shukr may be more general and inclusive than hamd, because praise is expressed by the tongue, and thanks is expressed by tongue, heart and limbs. If you understand the universal nature of hamd you will know that your saying "al-hamdu lillah" requires praise of Him for His majesty, vastness, unity, might, bestowal of favors, knowledge, ability and power, wisdom and other attributes, and that it encompasses the meanings of His ninety-nine beautiful names, and that it requires thanking Him and praising Him for every favors He has given and mercy He has bestowed upon all His creation in this world and the next. What a word [it is] which gathers together that which volumes find difficult to express, and the intellects of created beings concur upon as being unable to enumerate! Let it suffice you that Allah made it the beginning of His Book and the conclusion of the supplication of the people of the Garden."

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Marsiay and Nohay

The main purpose of these two forms in Urdu is to praise the heroes of Islam. This includes those who historically fought on the side of Imam Hussain in Karbala, and as well as the family members of the Prophet Mohammed's descendents, such as those related to his daughter Fatima.

Example:

The glory and jewel of faith, Hussain Ibn-e Ali,
who shall be called the candle of the gathering of grandeur.
The fountain of paradise (Salsabil) is in the path of those,
who call him the thirsty martyr of Karbala.
It is a strange occurrence that an enemy of Islam,
battles with Ali and is considered only to be mistaken.
After Ali there is Hassan, and after Hassan there is Hussain,
How can I exonerate any person who has mistreated them.

Majlis

A majalis is a mourning assembly. These often begin with daily announcements of prayer places and times, and then feature a number of different performative events. The maulana begins a recitation by asking the congregation to say du`a; he also recites the khutba and calls upon the members of the congregation to offer salutations upon the Prophet and the ahlal-bayt. After this followed the actual beginning of the majlis. This includes an extended period of sozkhawani sung by one person, and expository discourse by a zakir, followed by an evocation of Karbala called the gham.

Karbala-Najaf: Majalis in audio and video format

Reference: Religious Performance in Contemporary Islam Shi`i Devotional Rituals in South Asia by Vernon James Schube