Dama Dam Mast Qalandar

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Dama Dam Mast Qalandar (transl.Every Breath for the Ecstasy of Qalandar)[1] is a spiritual Sufi qawwali written in the honour of the most revered Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (1177–1274) of Sehwan Sharif. The original poem was initially written by the 13th-century Sufi poet Amir Khusrow, then further modified by Bulleh Shah in the 18th century.

It is said that this qawwali was adapted from the original prayer by Amir Khusrow, and was then modified completely by Bulleh Shah. Bulleh Shah gave an entirely different color to the qawwali, adding verses in praises of Shahbaz Qalandar and giving it a large tint of Sindhi culture. The poem includes a reference to the town of Sehwan, which is home to the Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. The word "Laal" can refer to Jhulelal as a young man, or his red dress.

With origins dating back 600 years,[2] "Dama Dam Mast Qalandar" is a popular traditional Sindhi Sufi Islamic folk song across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially Punjab and Sindh, as well as Iran.[3] Various renditions of the song have been composed and performed by numerous composers and singers over the years.

Ashiq Hussain song[edit]

"Lal Meri Pat"
Song by Ashiq Hussain
from the album Jabroo
Composer(s)Ashiq Hussain & Fakir Syed Salahuddin
Lyricist(s)Amir Khusrow, adapted by Bulleh Shah
Producer(s)Fakir Syed Salahuddin
Audio sample

Popular modern renditions of the song include the melody composed by Pakistani music composer Master Ashiq Hussain. Originally called "Lal Meri Pat", the song was initially composed for the 1956 Pakistani film Jabroo.[4][5] It was sung by Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Fazal Hussain, and A.R. Bismil.[6] Ashiq Hussain was reduced to poverty in later life, living in a slum at the Bazar-e-Hakiman in Lahore.[4] When Hussain died in 2017, most Pakistanis were unaware that he was the original composer of the modern melody.[7]

Noor Jehan song[edit]

"Dama Dam Mast Qalandar"
Song by Noor Jehan
from the album Dillan Dey Soudey
Composer(s)Nazir Ali
Lyricist(s)Amir Khusrow, adapted by Bulleh Shah
Audio sample

The most popular modern rendition of the song, which includes Ashiq Hussain's melody, was "Dama Dam Mast Qalandar" from the 1969 Pakistani film Dillan Dey Soudey, where it was modified by Nazir Ali and sung by Noor Jehan.[8][9] It was then sung by other Pakistani singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Aziz Mian, Abida Parveen, the Sabri Brothers, Reshma, Komal Rizvi, and Junoon. The song has also been performed by the Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila, and Indian artists like Hans Raj Hans, the Wadali brothers, Harshdeep Kaur, Nooran Sisters, and Mika Singh (with Yo Yo Honey Singh).

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song[edit]

"Dam Mast Mast"
Song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
from the album Mast Qalander (Vol 14)
LabelOriental Star Agencies
Composer(s)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
M. Arshad[10]
Audio sample

Pakistani musicians Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and M. Arshad composed a new song inspired by "Dam Mast Qalandar", with a different melody and arrangement. It was sung by Khan and released as "Dam Mast Mast" in his 1991 album Mast Qalander (Vol 14).[10] Khan also performed the song for the 1992 Pakistani film Boxer. in both Punjabi and Urdu.[11] His song is variously called "Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast", "Dam Mast Qalandar" or "Mast Mast". In 2016, British-Iranian singer Sami Yusuf performed a rendition of Khan's song in his album Barakah.

The Bollywood music director Viju Shah used Khan's version to produce the hit song "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast" for the Bollywood film Mohra (1994),[12] the soundtrack album of which sold more than 8 million units.[13] In turn, "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast" was remade as "Cheez Badi" for the 2017 film Machine.[14]


  1. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian. "Pakistan's Sufis Preach Faith and Ecstasy". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Lal meri pat: This is how the Red Sain puts the djinn and Sehwan in a trance". The Express Tribune. 19 October 2011.
  3. ^ Abbas, Shemeem Burney (2003). The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual: Devotional Practices of Pakistan and India. University of Texas Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780292705159.
  4. ^ a b Umar, Suhail Yusuf (17 April 2014). "Dama Dam Mast Qalandar: The man behind the melody".
  5. ^ "Master Ashiq Hussain". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Lal Meri Patt". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Ashiq Hussain composed music for eight odd films, still left forgotten by film industry". Daily Times. 21 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Dillan Day Souday". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Dilan De Soudey (Pakistani Film Soundtrack) by Nazir Ali". Apple Music. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan* – Mast Qalander (Vol 14)". Discogs. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Dam Mast Qalandar Ali Ali". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  12. ^ Amit Baruah, R. Padmanabhan (6 September 1997). "The stilled voice". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 December 2001.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. ^ "Top 25 films between the years 1985–1994". Filmfare. 18 February 2018.
  14. ^ "TU CHEEZ BADI HAI MAST MAST – MOHRA (1994) NEW VERSION: MACHINE (2017)". Daily News and Analysis. 31 March 2018.