Aziz Mian Qawwal’s 16th death anniversary today

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The 16th death anniversary of legendary Qawwal Aziz Mian is being observed Tuesday (today).

Born as Abdul Aziz in Delhi, British India on 17th April 1942, Aziz Mian remains one of the most popular qawwals of South Asia.

Adopting ‘Mian’ as his stage name he used to introduce himself as Aziz Mian Mairthi. Mairthi refers to Meerut, a city in northern India, from which he migrated to Pakistan in 1947.

He is responsible for the longest commercially released qawwali, ‘Hashr Ke Roz Yeh Poochhunga,’ which runs slightly over 115 minutes.

He began learning the art of Qawwali under the guidance of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan at the age of 10 and underwent sixteen years of training at the Data Ganj Baksh School of Lahore while earning degrees in Urdu literature, Arabic and Persian from the University of Punjab, Lahore.

His break-out performance was in 1966 when he performed before the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He won first prize and a gold medal from the Shah of Iran. In the early days of his career, he was nicknamed Fauji Qawwal (meaning “Military Qawwal”) because most of his early stage-performances were in military barracks for army personnel.

The Government of Pakistan awarded him the Pride of Performance medal in 1989.

Aziz Mian died from complications of hepatitis in Tehran, Iran on December 6, 2000.