Allan Fakir

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Ali Bux Alias Taunwer Faqir
Born 1932
Aamri village, Taluka Manjhand, Jamshoro, District, Sindh, Pakistan
Died July 4, 2000(2000-07-04)
Liaqut Hospital
Resting place
Housing society Jamshoro (in his own home)

Allan Fakir (1932– 4 July, 2000)[1] (Sindhi: اَلڻُ فقيرُ, Urdu: الن فقیر), a Pakistani folk singer is a one of the foremost exponents of sufi music in Pakistan. He is particularly known for his ecstatic style of performance marked with extreme devotional rhetoric and sufi dance singing. His peculiarly funny body language and distinctively pleasing facial expressions marked with a broad smile, were always amusing for his audience at live performances.

Early life[edit]

Allan Fakir was born in 1932 in the ancient village of Aamari in Jamshoro District, Sindh. His mother died soon after his birth. He spent his childhood in Manjhand, a town between Sehwan and Hyderabad. He belongs to the Mangrasi tribe the Mangarhars are believed to bring happiness and welcomed on festive occasions for their gift of melody. According to the traditions of this caste, Allan Fakir's father used to beat the drum and sing traditional songs at weddings and Faqir's brothers still do the same job. Fakir is an Arabic word, and implies a Sufi or a mystic. Thus in the real sense of the word, a Fakir is a person, who leads an independent life marked by piety, abstinence from material needs, and contentment in the available resources. It must not be confused with the rather loose usage of the same word implying a begger, in the local languages Urdu, and Sindhi.

When he was only a teenager, Allan Fakir developed a habit of singing melancholy songs which his father did not like. Deprived of a mother's love, he went off in search of someone who could replace that love. He arrived at the tomb of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Bhit Shah and started living there.Faqir's memory was sharp even though he could not read and write. Hearing the traditional Latifi Raag sung every night touched his heart. Encouraged by Faqir Zawar Qurban Ali Lanjwani and Moolchand Maharaj, he began singing Bhitai's poetry at the shrine and ultimately spent twenty years there until meeting Mumtaz Mirza, who introduced him to Radio Pakistan and ptv in Hyderabad and helped him to learn the correct pronunciation of Bhitai's poetry. Eventually, he became a performing legend.

Work[edit]

His songs, mostly in Sindhi language except a few in Urdu, usually revolve around sufism and the devotional philosophy. But the characteristic which distinguishes him from many other folk singers is the depth of his feelings, which is very expressive in all his songs. One of his famous songs is a duet with Muhammad Ali Shehki, "Allah Allah kar bhaiya" which was a big hit and increased his popularity tremendously. A patriotic song "Itne bare jeewan saagar main" also got very popular.

Honors and awards[edit]

In appreciation of his services to folk culture, he was given a job and a small house at the Institute of Sindhology. He was originally appointed as an officer to help promote Sindhi culture, but due to his illiteracy, he was eventually demoted to the post of peon.

Allan Fakir received the President's Pride of Performance award in 1980, the Shahbaz Award in 1987, the Shah Latif Award in 1992 and Kandhkot Award in 1993. Allan Fakir died on 4 July 2000.

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