Ghulam Farid Sabri PICTURES With Son Amjad Sabri
Ghulam Farid Sabri (1930 – 5 April 1994) was a major qawwali singer, and a leading member of the Sabri Brothers, a leading qawwali group in Pakistan in the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s. He received the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 1978
Their career was marked by brotherly squabbles which led to periods of solo work by each, but they always reconciled and reunited. Ghulam Farid Sabri was survived by his wife, five sons, Sarwat Farid Sabri, Azmat Farid Sabri, Amjad Farid Sabri, Asmat Farid Sabri and Talha Farid Sabri, and six daughters. His son, Amjad Farid Sabri, is now known as one of the foremost Qawwals of Pakistan. Ghulam Farid Sabri possessed a deep and powerful voice and presented the wajad energy during his performances. He was acknowledged as a deeply religious man, yet a warm, simple man with a great sense of humour, who was devoted to his family and friends. Shortly before his death, he began growing a beard. Ghulam Farid Sabri had been initiated into the Warsiyya order of Sufism by Amber Shah Warsi. The name bestowed upon him was Alam Shah Warsi.
Ghulam Farid Sabri lived in the heavily congested and overpopulated Pakistani suburb of Liaquatabad, Karachi. At night, Ghulam Farid Sabri used to lay on his bed listening to the sounds of surrounding lanes and alleyways. His sleep was minimal and his night was filled with constant zikr, made using his 1000 bead tasbih. He wore this tasbih around his neck during recordings and live performances.
Ghulam Farid Sabri initiated his sons into classical music at a young age. One of his younger sons, Amjad Farid Sabri, recalls: “The hardest part was being awakened at 4:00 AM. Most riyaz is done in Raag Bhairon and this is an early morning raag. My mother would urge our father to let us sleep but he would still wake us up. Even if we had slept after midnight, he would get us out of bed, instruct us to make wuzu, perform tahajjud prayers, and then take out the baja. And he was correct in doing so because if a raag is rendered at the correct time, the performer himself enjoys it to the fullest”.
The night before he died, Ghulam Farid Sabri was discussing a tour of Germany later that year. His appearances in Britain and the United States set a pattern and began to build an audience for what has now come to be known as ‘World Music’. Ghulam Farid Sabri died on April 5, 1994 in Liaquatabad, Karachi following a massive heart attack. He died en route to a hospital and beside him was his beloved younger brother, Maqbool Ahmed Sabri. His funeral was attended by approximately 40,000 mourners. He was buried atPaposh Qabristan, in nearby Nazimabad. His modest white grave is situated near his father’s grave.
On 21 September 2011, his brother Maqbool Ahmed Sabri died in South Africa and was also buried next to their graves.
On 22 June 2016, his son Amjad Farid Sabri was shot dead in Liaquatabad, Karachi, Pakistan