Iqbal Bahu

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Muhammad Iqbal Bahu
Born(1944-09-04)4 September 1944
Gurdaspur, India
Died24 March 2012(2012-03-24) (aged 67)
Lahore, Pakistan
GenresFolk, ghazal
Years active1964–2012

Iqbal Bahu (Urdu: اقبال باہو‎; 4 September 1944 – 24 March 2012) was a Pakistani sufi and a folk singer. He is still considered as one of the most influential folk singers of south asia.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Iqbal Bahu was born as Muhammad Iqbal in Gurdaspur, Punjab, British India in 1944. His family migrated to Pakistan after partition in 1947, and settled in Lahore. Iqbal started his career as a banker. He worked for National Bank of Pakistan from 1971-1997, but his singing in Sufi music brought him fame and recognition. Bahu started his singing career in 1964 from Radio Pakistan, Lahore. He was introduced to Radio by Muhammad Azam Khan, former chief controller Radio Pakistan. His involvement in the mysticism of the 17th century well-known Sufi saint Sultan Bahu made him add Bahu to his name. He held a special command in Punjabi language poetry of Sufi tradition and included works of other saints such as Fariduddin Ganjshakar in his repertoire. In the beginning, he sang mainly for Radio Pakistan and then later for Pakistan Television. Playwright Amjad Islam Amjad also created a small role for Bahu in drama serial Waris. He mastered the Sufi tradition of well-known saint Sultan Bahu. He sang many Sufiana songs for the Radio Pakistan and the Pakistan Television.[2]

He also gave concert performances around the globe in his later life including at BBC Bush House, London in 1992.[3] He was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 2008.[4]


Bahu died on 24 March 2012 due to a heart attack in Lahore at age 68 and was laid to rest at Miani Saheb Graveyard, Lahore next day. Among the survivors were his wife, 3 daughters and 2 sons.[1]


  • Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 2008 by the Government of Pakistan[4]
  • Sultan Bahu Award
  • PTV Award
  • Graduate Award
  • Baba Fareed Award
  • Hazrat Sultan Bahoo Award
  • International Sufi Festival Award
  • Red Crescent Awards
  • 6th PTV National Award
  • Nigar Award
  • Kalam-e-Bahoo Award
  • State life Insurance Award, Kuwait
  • State Life Insurance of Pakistan Award, Kuwait
  • Pakistan National Organization Award, Kuwait
  • World Performing Award
  • Herf-O-Awaz Awards


  1. ^ a b Sufi singer Iqbal Bahu passes away The Nation (newspaper), Published 24 March 2012, Retrieved 14 December 2017
  2. ^
  3. ^ Folk singer Iqbal Bahu died BBC News website, Published 24 March 2012, Retrieved 14 December 2017
  4. ^ a b Sufi singer Bahu dies The Nation (newspaper), Published 25 March 2012, Retrieved 14 December 2017

External links[edit]