The king of Sufi music

The man who ruled the world with his captivating and melodious voice, his wonderful sufi songs and qawwalis are still being listened by the people of all age groups. He is none other than Nusrat Fahteh Ali Khan. On the occasion of his birthday let's know more about him.

Kriti Billore

Early Life:

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was born on 13 October 1948, in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) Pakistan. He was a Pakistani singer and musician. He was born into a musical family. His ancestors had learnt music and made it their profession. His father Ustad Fateh Ali Khan trained him. Nusrat's father and his uncles, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali Khan were famous professional Qawwals who used to sing in the classical form. Nusrat started learning Tabla before he started singing. Even before he became 10 years old he started exhibiting his unique style of singing. Nusrat's father died in 1964.

His original name was Pervaiz then Ghulam Ghaus Samdani changed it to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and told him that he would become a very famous singer one day. He is the uncle of  well known Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. He was married to Naheed Nusrat in 1979. They had one daughter.


  • In 1971, Nusrat's uncle Mubarak Ali Khan's demise, he became the main leader to handle the family's musical party. The party then came to be known as 'Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarik Ali Khan and Party'. His first performance was at a studio recording broadcast event organised by Radio Pakistan.

  • His first hit song was a traditionally performed song, 'Haq Ali Ali'. Nusrat majorly used to sing Punjabi and Urdu, only sometimes he sang in Braj, Persian and Hindi.

  • In the year of 1985, he performed at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival in London. In the year 1985 and 1988 he performed in Paris. In Japan, he performed at the 5th Asian Traditional Performing Art Festival.  Also, he performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York in 1989, this made him earn fame and admiration from the audience of the America.

Career in Bollywood

  • He sang two songs for the Film Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, 'Koi Jaane Koi Na Jaane', 'Zindagi Jhoom Kar'

  • He composed music for Kartoos, where he sang for "Ishq Da Rutba" and "Bahaa Na Aansoo", with Udit Narayan.

  • His final music composition for Bollywood was for the film, Kachche Dhaage, where he sang in 'Iss Shaan-E-Karam Ka Kya Kehna'.

  • Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar sang for the songs he composed in Bollywood.

  • For the movie Dillagi he sang 'Saya Bhi Saath Jab Chhod Jaye' for Sunny Deol.

  • He also sang "Dulhe Ka Sehra" for the Bollywood movie Dhadkan which was released in 2000.

  • Nusrat Ali contributed the song 'Gurus of Peace' to the album Vande Mataram which was composed by the musican A. R. Rahman, and released it on the India's 50th anniversary of independence. Later, as a tribute, Rahman released an album named as Gurus of Peace, in which he included "Allah Hoo" by Nusrat Ali. Rahman's 2007 song "Tere Bina" from the film Guru was also composed as a tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.


  • In 1987, for his contribution to Pakistani music he was awarded with 'President of Pakistan's Award' for Pride of Performance.

  • UNESCO Music Prize in 1995

  • The Grand Prix des Amériques at Montreal World Film Festival in 1996


On 16 August 1997, Nusrat died of a sudden Cardiac arrest at Cromwell Hospital in London. His body then was repatriated to his home in Faisalabad, he was buried at Kabootran Wala Qabristan in Faisalabad.

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