A growing database on singers of both traditional and modern ilahije in Bosnia and elsewhere in the Balkans (the “scene” is, however, centered in Bosnia). Some of them I don’t have much information for yet, but I’ve linked their performances I found on YouTube. Please let me know if you find any translation/spelling errors or broken links, or if you have any interesting info. If you want to send me an email, please fill out the contact form above the comments; if you want to leave a comment, that box is at the end.
Hor Hazreti Hamza: They perform modern kaside and ilahije, influenced by pop and sevdalinka. They began singing together at a young age, seeking shelter in the Hazreti Hamza Mosque in Sarajevo, during the war in Bosnia. They have performed throughout North America and Europe, and have released three albums (really excellent ones, by the way, svaka vam čast!). Here is their website; the English page is not currently up, but should be up soon. They tell some of their story in this video from CNN. Check out some of their videos:
“Ja Ilahi” live performance
“Ja Ilahi” music video
“Hazreti Hamza”: (Music Video)
“Hazreti Hamza”: (Live; very different from video)
“Duh Islama Mog” (“Spirit of my Islam;” I don’t think the video is from them, but you can listen to the song here)
Performance in Atlanta (daff only)
Hfz. Aziz Alili: Originally from Macedonia, he attended the Gazi Husref-Bey Medresa in Sarajevo where he was trained as a Hafiz (meaning he has memorized the whole Qur’an). He also sings a number of religious songs, some of which appear on Yusuf Islam’s/Cat Stevens’ I Have No Cannons that Roar. He is currently the head imam of Medžlis islamske zajednice in Zagreb.
“Dosta mi je Allah moj” (“My God is Enough for Me;” video not by him, I don’t think) Samaha has a translation up for this, as well as Hamza of rock group MacBeth performing the song. He does a pretty good job at it too!
Reciting Surat ar-Rahman
Ilahije “Ej Ašici” (video not his, I don’t think)
Hfz Burhan Šaban: I like him a lot. For those of you that read Bosnian, here is his official website. You can actually listen to many of his songs from there (as of sept 17, 2008, website has been down a few weeks. I hope it’s back up soon!). Like Aziz Alili, Burhan is also originally from Macedonia and was trained as a hafiz in the Gazi Husref-Bey Medresa. He has released several albums, of pop music, and of modern ilahije that have been influenced by pop music and music from other countries. He speaks several languages and divides his time between Istanbul and Sarajevo (I think).
“Zvijezde tiho sedždu čine” (“The stars quietly prostrate”)
“Ja sam vjetar zaljubljeni” (“I am a passionate wind”)
“Tavus” (“Peacock;” live performance with a bunch of other people who aren’t on the album; also sounds like it’s partially in Turkish here, but on the album it’s not)
Dah Ljubavi: Here is the website for Latif Moćević and Ansambl Dah Ljubavi (and here is the English version). Listen to clips of their songs on the same site. They are a young group of music students in Sarajevo, but have already achieved a lot of success because of their talent.
“Tajna veza” (with Eldin Huseinbegović)
“Kraj potoka bistre vode” (“Next to the stream of clear water”)
Dah Ljubavi live performance in Banja Luka with Hor FIN-a: This has six parts, but the rest should come up in “related videos” if you watch one of them. They are very nice!
Concert in Istanbul (I think); I’m not sure who all they are with here. Song 1: “U dergjahu mog srca;” song 2: “Šehidski rastanak;” song 3: “Kraj kabe sam ja stajao;” song 4: “Oj Zefire;” song 5: “Gel gor beni;” song 6: “Tala’ al-badru alayna.”
Hor Kewser: Kewser is an organization focused on educating women and children. Hor Kewser (hor means choir) has produced a CD and DVD and also tours within and outside Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH). You can read all about them on the English section of their website; they sponsor a lot of cultural and spiritual events, especially to honor Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). They have published a magazine called Zehra for eight years, for women and families. Here are some of their videos.
“Bajram Dođe” (“Eid comes” with Hor Hazreti Hamza)
“Mlađak i Palma” (with HHH and Šerif Delić)
Hfz. Mensur Malkić: I don’t know anything about him at this point, except that, like Aziz Alili and Burhan Šaban, he was trained as a hafiz in the Gazi Husref-Bey Medresa (where he is a professor, at least of 2007), and that the three of them used to be known as the “tri hafizi.”
Šerif Delić: He is the leader of Hor Fin-A, the choir of the Fakultet islamskih nauka in Sarajevo. Here are some of Hor Fin-A’s videos:
“Zikrullah” (with Hor Bedem)
“Gel gor beni” (with Hor Bedem)
Fuad Abdullah Seferagić: Here’s his site; it does not give any biographical details about him though. You can download mp3’s of his songs from here, too. Some of them are without instruments (look for “bez muzike”).
“Geldim Sana” (I like this one a lot. It is partially in Turkish and partially in Bosnian)
Hor Nešidu-l-huda: (percussion only)
Gazel: An all-female group based in Sarajevo. Their album is available on emusic (watch out for the incorrectly named tracks – I can give you the correct names if you want) if you have an account there. Here is their site, it has the song lyrics, videos, and a photo gallery.
“Sad Te zovem Ja Rahman” (“I call to you now, Ya Rahman;” with HHH,)
A young soloist living in Mostar. You can find three videos here on his website: “Dear Rose,” “Jahač Hrabrosti,” and “Al Muallim.” He has sung as a soloist with other choirs such as Kewser and Sejfullah.Z
“La ilaha illallah” (partially in English)
“Ben bu meclislerde” (in Turkish, at least mostly)
“Bejtullahov crn ogrtač” (The black covering on the house of God)
Hor Rejjan: These guys have an interesting style; I like them a lot. Here is their website, where you can listen to samples of their songs. They have released one CD, which I’ll try to get soon They are university students in Sarajevo and sing in many languages.
“Ramazanska večer“ (“The night of Ramadan”)
Hfz. Senad Podojak: Also an alumnus of the Gazi Husref-Bey Medresa, Podojak was trained as a hafiz and qari (reciter of the Qur’an), and sings a number of ilahije, some of which appear on “I have no cannons that roar.” He currently lives in Austria.
“Kraj Kabe sam ja stajao” (“I stood near the Kaba”)
Hor Arabeske: They are actually based in Zagreb, and are an all-female choir. It is one of the oldest choirs, having been founded in 1993.
“Pjesma o Bosni” (“Song about Bosnia”)
“Ti si vjetar ja sam plamen” (“You are wind, I am flame”)
“Hori hori vasiona” (“Choirs of the universe”)
“U dergjahu mog srca” (“In a corner of my heart”)
Hor Bahram: Another academic choir, I think.
Hor Ibn Arebi:
“Ide mjesec Ramazan” (“The month of Ramadan *(comes, or is leaving; which one??);” percussion only)
“Kad provcatu behari” (“When flowers bloom”)
“Samo Allah Istina je” (“Only God is the Truth”)
Check out the Bosna Muslim Media blog; they always have something good up.
More music here: Bosna prkosna od sna. You can click on ilahije i kaside, Sevdalinke mp3, and others.
Try IslamBiH! Click on audio, then ilahije.
Samaha has an ilahije by Mensura Bajraktarević.
Article about Yusuf Islam and the making of I Have No Cannons that Roar.