MUMBAI — Ramzan Eid is a celebration after a month of Ramzan, and like all Eids, is dependent also on the moon being sighted. Hindi cinema has always had songs that are based in the Muslim devotional tenor.
To introduce listeners to the significance of Ramzan, the 1.45 minute song written by Gauhar Kanpuri for “Hero Hindustani” (1998), “Maahe Ramzan Ko Barkat Ka Mahina Kahiye” sung by Iqbal & Afzal Sabri and composed by Anu Malik highlights the importance of the festival. Here are 6 other memorable songs across eras that bring out the essence of human devotion for the Almighty.
We begin with two Eid songs.
1. “Eid Ka Din Hai Gale Aaj To Mil Le Zaalim” (“Deedaar-E-Yaar” / 1982)
Rendered by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, the song was a romantic duet and yet captured the essence of Eid celebrations indirectly. The song was penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. It was filmed on Rishi Kapoor and Tina Munim in an ornate sequence.
2 “Chand Nazar Aa Gaya” (“Hero Hindustani” / 1998)
Afzal Sabri, Iqbal Sabri, Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam enact this lovely number in which Arshad Warsi, Namrata Shirodkar and others celebrate the sighting of the moon with great religious fervor and the significant words, “Allah Hi Allah Chhaa Gaya / Roze rakhnewalon ke hai yeh jeet / Milo tum gale jab se aayi hai Eid (Allah pervades everywhere / This is a triumph for those who observed the “Roza” or day-long fast / Now come embrace each others as Eid is here).” Composed by Anu Malik, it had lyrics by Gauhar Kanpuri. The song later also takes off on a romantic angle.
3 “Khwaja Mere Khwaja” (“Jodhaa Akbar” / 2008)
Ashutosh Gowariker revealed to me that Kashif, A.R. Rahman’s family darvesh (priest), wrote the fascinating lyrics for this Sufi number that the composer himself sang as well. The utterly, intensely devotional feel of the composition made for a spiritual ambience that pervaded the visuals of this song, directed by Gowariker and filmed on a Sufi group of musicians played by less-known or unknown artistes.
4 “Tu Hi Tu” (“Haasil” / 2003)
Roopkumar Rathod and Javed Ali rendered this exquisite Sufi number showing the Almighty’s supremacy at all times—during the visuals of this song, the hero is in trouble and is fleeing from retribution. The lyrics underscore the Supreme Entity’s presence in everything in this universe from the smallest particle, and emphasize on the power of a sincere prayer. The potent Israr Ansari-written song was set to a superb composition by Jatin-Lalit.
5 “Bhar de jholi meri ya Muhammad” (“Bajrangi Bhaijaan” / 2015)
Lyricist Kausar Munir used only the “mukhda” (main lines) of a traditional devotional number to fashion an all-new prayer song. It was rendered by (and filmed on) Adnan Sami and composed by Pritam in a crucial sequence in this emotional masterpiece of a film.
6 “Madad Kijiye Tajdar-E-Madina” (“Dayar-E-Madina” / 1975)
The timeless classic from a humble Muslim devotional movie was composed by old-timer Mohammed Shafi and penned by Abdul Rab Chaush. The more popular version by leagues was sung by Mohammed Rafi, though there was also one sung by Asha Bhosle within the film. The song was a fervent prayer for the successful completion of the Haj pilgrimage by a devotee.