MUSIC: PURE ECSTASY

A PAKISTANI SINGER'S SPIRITUAL PASSION WINS U.S. FOLLOWERS

IF A FOREIGN FILM IS CAPTIVATING--say the Chinese drama Raise the Red Lantern--within a few minutes the subtitles melt away. One forgets that the characters are speaking a different language, and the message of the film, its plot, its humor, come through. So too with music. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a huge star in his native Pakistan; but although he speaks no English, and his songs are often in Urdu, he has built a following of hipster fans in the U.S. Khan is a singer of qawwali--Sufi Muslim religious music, which, like gospel, seeks to bring listeners closer to God...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!