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Not to be confused with Mahfil.

A mehfil (Urdu: محفل; sometimes spelled mahfil) is a gathering or evening of courtly entertainment of poetry or concert of Indian classical music and Pakistani classical music (particularly Hindustani classical music) and dance, performed for a small audience in an intimate setting.

Historically, mehfils were presented in the homes or palaces of Muslim royalty or noblemen, who acted as these artists' patrons.[1]

Today they are generally given in the homes of especially avid music lovers. Ghazals are a common genre performed at mehfils. Such performances are rarer today than in the past.


The word mehfil derives from the Arabic word mehfil (Arabic: محفل‎), which means a (festive) "gathering to entertain (or praise someone)."

Mehfil-e-Naat is an Islamic mehfil (forum) in which people sit and recite poetry in the praise of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mehfil-e-Sama is a gathering held for Sufi devotional music such as Qawwali or prayer and chanting, Hadhra, part of Dhikr (remembrance of God).

Popular culture[edit]

Several mehfil performances may be seen in the Satyajit Ray film Jalsaghar (1958).



  1. ^ Rhythm n Raga: History of Hindustani Music - Developments During the 13th and 14th century hindustani music

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