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Khaki Banda- an Analysis of a Soulful Sufi Rock Song

Misbah loves to hear songs. She loves to share what she loves.

Man made of Soil

Man made of Soil

Introduction to Khaaki Banda- The Song

Khaki Banda is a Punjabi-language Sufi rock song from 'Coke Studio season 9' (Pakistan) with music directed by Shuja Haider. The lyrics of the song were initially written by Baba Bulleh Shah, but Shuja Haider, the music director of the song, added some additional lyrics. The song Khaki Banda was brilliantly sung by Ahmed Jehanzeb and Umair Jaswal under the production of “Strings

An Introduction to Baba Bulleh Shah

The eastern world, especially the sub-continent does not require an introduction to who Baba Bulleh Shah was, but because the audience here is international, I would like to give a little introduction of him. There are many gems in the eastern world that are still not well recognized in the western part of the world.

Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri (1680–1757), also known as Baba Bulleh Shah or Bulleya, was a 17th-century Punjabi philosopher and Sufi poet. Shah Inayat Qadiri, a Lahore-based Sufi Murshid, was his first spiritual master. He was a spiritual poet who is well known as "The Father of Punjabi Enlightenment." He lived in Kasur and died there.

He was born during the Mughal Empire in 1680 in the town of Uch (present-day Pakistan). He settled in Lahore after completing his education and became a disciple of Inayat Arian.

Quote by Baba Bulleh Shah

Quote by Baba Bulleh Shah

About the Song and Coke Studio Team

Starting with the guitar strumming to form the basis for the main riff of the track, the song builds on a mood-building to the interval played impeccably on the violin by the string section, giving this tune a distinct amount of energy and enthusiasm from the start.

The continuous beat, a flickering drummer, and timed interludes of this magnum opus are perfectly complemented by Ahmed Jehanzeb's melodic, dynamic singing style and Umair Jaswal's strong, charged vocals.

I think there is a lot of work in the east that is still not well appreciated in the western world. As a result, I have aimed to blend the colors of east and west. I'm trying to make a rainbow. And trying to convey the message of Love in order for us to see our similarities rather than our differences.

— Misbah

Song Lyrics in English Translation

The human-made up of clay

Performs as if he’s as invincible as Lord,

He’s losing himself fully in this fleeting world

And does not think of his relationship with his Master

Oh man, leave off this war for worldly possessions

The sparkly show of this world lasts but just for a few days

You’ve stuffed your head with mere literary knowledge

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And titled yourself as a Qazi (a public official authorized to decide questions brought before a court of justice)

You’ve traveled Mecca and Medina

And named yourself as a Holy pilgrim

You are fooled by the bright amusement of this world,

Your arrogant stubbornness is driven by nothing but conceit.

Your never-ending religious arguments failed to create a deep understanding

You spread individuals into conflicting camps,

But you are failing to spread the real knowledge

All you did was sowing seeds of disharmony among friends and brothers

O human, don’t get trapped in earthly matters

Nothing here can ever genuinely belong to us

The sparkly performance of this world lasts but a few days

Fake intentions, deception, and hypocrisy

All can be changed if you only change yourself

You have to kill your own base desires

You are fooled by the shining show of this world

You are deceived by the glowing spectacle of this world

You are fooled by the shining performance of this world

Your arrogant willfulness is motivated by nothing but pride

But your reality is that you have a short-lived tour,

Pursue the path of Love!

I’ve seen flashing lamp fire anew

Orphans with nobody left in the world.

I have also watched them find ways to flourish.

People say success is impossible.

But I have seen the impossible becoming possible.

You let yourselves be deceived by the brilliant spectacle of this world.

The only reason you're so arrogant is vanity.

You are deluded by the light show of this world.

Your arrogant willfulness is motivated by nothing but arrogance.

But your life on this earth is temporary

Turn, pursue the path of Love!

You can swallow pearls, diamonds, and all the world's riches.

You can build big houses and adorn them beautifully.

But real bliss, something hard to buy.

Then spend your nights alone in the vigil, weeping for the forgiveness of your Lord.

Those who live by dishonest means don’t hesitate to hurt even their beloved

God in His endless power knows all our secrets.

You are deceived by the shining show of this world

Your arrogance is motivated by nothing more than vanity.

You are deceived by the bright show of this world

The only reason you're so arrogant is vanity.

But you are short-lived.

Come, take the path of Love!

You're nothing but a man, made up of clay

Explanation of the Song

The song describes how man lives in this world and how he should live. It says that a man is nothing more than a clay-sculpted person. He wants to rule the world but has lost sight of reality. He acts as if he is God.

A person sculpted out of clay. He's lost himself in this ephemeral world, acting as if he's as invincible as Lord, and he's not thinking about his Master.

Man has forgotten his God and is distracted from obtaining material goods alone. He will not be able to achieve anything if God does not support him. He forgets God and pursues worldly desires as if he must live here forever. He's forgotten about his death. He has forgotten that the glittering display of this world only lasts a few days.

Then, the song tells us that we, the humans have crammed our minds with literary knowledge and given ourselves the title of Qazi. In Islam, A Qazi or Qadi was an Islamic judge appointed by the Sultan to rule under Shariah law. The Qadi's principal responsibility was to uphold the Shariah, which superseded all other forms of power throughout the empire. The Shariah was followed in all laws and practices, and the Qadi enforced it equally across the empire.

Then the song reveals another nature of man. He does good deeds and then thinks of himself as he worth all praise. Here the writer of the song referred to Mecca and Madina (the holy pilgrimages of Muslims as the writer of this song was a Muslim so he is referring to the Islamic world here but it is a universal message to the whole of mankind. Going to churches, mosques, temples are not the deeds that make us good people. It requires much more effort and hard work.)

He says you've made pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina and declared yourself a holy pilgrim. You've been duped by the world's dazzling entertainment, and your arrogant tenacity is fueled solely by conceit.

Only going to Mecca and Medina is not what makes you a holy pilgrim. It needs more hard work than just traveling there. Here the lyricist encourages us to do good deeds and asks us not to forget death.

Your never-ending theological debates did not result in a profound understanding. You are dividing people into opposing groups, but you are failing to disseminate truthful information. You just succeeded in planting seeds of conflict among friends and brothers. Don't get caught up in worldly concerns, humans. Nothing in this place can ever truly be ours. This world's glittering show only lasts a few days.

Deceit, deception, and hypocrisy are all examples of false intentions. Everything can be changed if you change yourself. You must put an end to your own basic desires. You've been duped by the world's glittering display. The glistening splendor of the world has deceived you. You've been duped by the world's stunning performance.

Your arrogant stubbornness is driven solely by pride. But your reality is fleeting. Turn and follow the road of Love!

Later in the song, the vocalist delivers a series of encouraging words that will inspire and motivate anyone who has lost hope. He claims that a new flashing lamp fire has piqued his interest. Orphans who have been cut off from the rest of the world. They don't have someone to encourage them, yet he has watched them grow in surprising ways.

He says that some people believe that success is impossible. However, he has seen the impossible becoming possible. He further claims that the world's wonderful display has deceived man (us, the people). He is blind to reality. He has been engrossed in the glitz and glam of this world and has lost touch with reality. He has forgotten that he will have to return to his God one day.

He believes that our arrogance stems only from our conceit. This world's light display has led us astray. Our arrogant obstinacy makes us seem ugly. Nothing except ego motivates our arrogant willfulness. However, we are only here for a short time. As a result, we shall follow the road of Love!

Finally, the lyricist claims that anyone could get pearls, diamonds, and all of the world's wealth. Man has the ability to build large mansions and can lavishly adorn them. True happiness, on the other hand, is more difficult to get. He encourages us to spend our nights solely in prayers, requesting God to forgive us. He says our Lord is merciful and listens to our prayers; He will forgive us as He loves us very much.

He then says that God, with His Infinite Power, is aware of all our secrets. He is aware of all of his and our secrets. He is the One Supreme Power, and nothing is hidden from Him. He claims that the world's glittering display has misled man. Man's arrogance stems solely from a sense of self-importance. The dazzling display of this world has misled him. He is just arrogant because of his ego.

In concluding words, the song tells us that we (the human) are only here for a brief time. So, we should put aside our disagreements and don't allow our egos to rule our life. He encourages us to come and walk on the path of love, for we are nothing more than clay sculptures, and one day we all have to return to our Creator.

“You have learned so much

And read a thousand books.

Have you ever read your Self?

You have gone to mosques and temples.

Have you ever visited your soul?

You are busy fighting Satan.

Have you ever fought your

Ill intentions?

You have reached into the skies,

But you have failed to reach

What's in your heart!”

— ― Bulleh Shah, Sufi Lyrics

Please Turn On the Captions for English Translation

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh


Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

Sourav, thank you very much for your kind and generous feedback. It's wonderful and refreshing to have someone from Punjab commenting. I'm delighted to see your response, and I appreciate your thoughtful suggestions.

Many Blessings to you

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kindness and for your beautiful response, Devika. I am glad you enjoyed reading it.

Blessings and Love to you, dear friend

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

Rodric, thanks a lot. Your responses are always polite and thoughtful. That's really much appreciated.

Blessings and Peace

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your beautiful and generous comment, Flourish. All we need is to spread Love ❤️

Much Gratitude!

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

I am glad you found it, Peggy. It is very frustrating when we read something we like and are unable to catch it in our feed. I am more than happy to read your response.

Much Gratitude

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 20, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your beautiful response, Pamela.

I am glad you enjoyed it and liked the message it contains.

Sending lots of Love and blessings to you

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 17, 2021:

Misbah You write with patience and share what is on your mind with great research. I admire that you share your work with an understanding to us all. I enjoyed reading your hub.

hubber8893 on July 16, 2021:

An initiative worth praise Misbah, but I think it needs minor changes. I think Baba Bulleh Shah Ji was a renowned personality or Sufi preacher knows in modern day India (especially Punjab province) and Pakistan, so other people will need a proper introduction.

I liked the teachings of Baba Bulleh Shah Ji that has been chosen by you to convey this soulful message to the global audience. Thank you for rewriting such a generous message by a generous religious preacher, one of the best of his times.

Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on July 15, 2021:

Thank you for this article. I think your comment was so much more spiritually intuitive, however. We must love the ones whom Allah loves. In my understanding, Allah loves all those who serve His purposes. My understanding of Allah and His goodness may differ, but we know Allah is Good. This makes me want to study the Quran again. The works of holiness can are found in all the good books.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 14, 2021:

You expand horizons with this thoughtful analysis. I know it took time and considerable thought, and I thank you for the love and thought that went into it.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2021:

I was looking for this the other day and could not find it. I am so glad it popped up in the feed today. There is so much wisdom in this song. Our life here is short, and eternity lies ahead for each of us. We should all live with that in mind. Thanks for sharing this and your thoughts, Misbah.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 14, 2021:

I am glad you wrote this in English so it is a way I can understand it. It has a beautiful message. I really like the song. I appreciate learning about new things, and this is new to me. Thank you, Misbah. It is very good.

Love and blessings to you, my friend.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 14, 2021:

Jazak Allahu khairan, bro. Thank you for your guidance. I will go through it once again. I am glad you enjoyed Bulleh Shah's work. May God continue to bless you. Ameen!

Blessings and Peace!

manatita44 from london on July 14, 2021:

Good morning, mi Habibi. Como estas?

Lovely work and it will benefit many! Bulleh Shah's work still shines. He was and is a spiritual gem and one of my favourites. So, well done!

Do not rush your articles. Take your time and re-read. Use Grammarly, if possible. I don't worry about me. I'm past that, but you are my lovely amiga, so I worry about you. Take time to go over the little errors in English that crop up. Having said that, the work is excellent!

I personally do not mix rock with the words of God-souls, but many do. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't see the video. Many have great voices and their lyrics are super-excellent, even if stolen and embellished. Many poets take them from the mystics and polish them for women or husbands/lovers. I admit it helps.

Indian spirituality is by nature steeped in religion and the Indian (Includes Pakistan), lives, breathes, eats and dance the Vedas. They do not think without it. That is why you see it with embellishments in dance, bollywood, song lyrics... life itself!

Yoga is the purer form, the more devotional way, but hey, we are where we are. I know this secret. May Allah continue to guide and protect your jewelled Heart. I beseech the silvery moon and the wafts of flowers, to permeate your soul with the inner Joy of Consciousness. Jazak Allahu Khairan. - Manatita

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 14, 2021:

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, John. This means a great deal to me. I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Yes, the lyrics are full of wisdom and convey a universal message. Stay safe and healthy and keep smiling.

Blessings always!!

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on July 13, 2021:

Thank you for sharing this with us from the west, Misbah. You are helping increase our knowledge immensely. The words of this song contain so much inner wisdom and thank you for your explanation. Great work with this article.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so much, Bredz, for sharing your great and sweet thoughts. Yes, God is the only One who is always loving and forgiving. Knowing all of our sins. He never fails to forgive and bless us. Because God is the source of all Love. He teaches Love, which is all we need. Sadly, Love is the only thing we have forgotten. I believe, Love is the answer to every question. Only love has the ability to soften even the hardest of hearts.

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thanks a lot for this superb comment, Rodric. I am glad you liked the message in it. It is so refreshing to know about your soulful thoughts. Thanks for sharing them with me. Thanks for sharing the Arabic translation. I know Arabic because Quran is in Arabic language. About anger I would love to share some hadiths and Quranic verses with you.

1. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): “A man said to the Prophet, ‘Give me advice.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked repeatedly and the Prophet answered each time, ‘Do not get angry.’”

2. Prophet Muhammad (sas) knew that if a person controlled his anger he would be able to control everything else. That is why the Prophet mentioned in another hadith: "The powerful man is not the one who can wrestle, but the powerful man is the one who can control himself at the time of anger."

3.“Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger, and who pardon men, verily, Allah loves the al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (3:134). - Quran

4. The Prophet (sas) said, “Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created from fire, and fire is extinguished only with water. So when one of you becomes angry, he should make wudu.”

( About Wudu is the Islamic procedure for cleansing parts of the body, a type of ritual purification, or ablution. The 4 Fardh (Mandatory) acts of Wudu consists of washing the face, arms, then wiping the head and finally washing the feet with water.

Wudu is an important part of ritual purity in Islam. It is typically performed before offering prayers (salah or salat/Namaz)

5. And those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men. And Allah loves the doers of good (to others). And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong their souls, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins. And who forgives sins but Allah? And they persist not knowingly in what they do." (Ch. 3:133,134) Quran

Sorry for making it so long. There are many more as well.

Hadith about Love: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, 'Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him' So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: 'Allah has loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.' So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth." (See Hadith No. 66, Vol. 8)

In one more Hadith, The Prophet(peace and blessings be upon him), said, “Allah Almighty said: My love is a right upon those who love each other for my sake. My love is a right upon those who visit each other for my sake. My love is a right upon those who sit together for my sake. My love is a right upon those who maintain relations for my sake.”

The first chapter of Quran says, Al – Fatiha “The Opening” : 1 – “In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever merciful.” Islam is all about Love. Love of God, love of mankind, to love the creation of Allah. It’s all about unity, oneness and brotherhood.

Micah 7:18-19 - Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

May God forgive us all and help us to follow the path of light and the path of Love. Ameen!

Many Blessings to you and your loved ones

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 13, 2021:


What a wonderful write.

Humans do think they can hide their secrets, but God does know all.

They often look for earthly treasures instead of seeking the one love that is waiting for them with open arms.

The worldly things will pass away...then what are they left with??

Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on July 13, 2021:

Misbah, the message is so true of us as a people. Of course the music is an awesome and beautiful sang song. My attention span is short, I see. I did not spend the entire 8 minutes because I was too excited to comment and could not do it except on the feed. I figure I just open a new tab and let it play or go to YouTube.

Anyway, the part of the song, four minutes in where they sing about following the path of love is so powerful. Love is what we are to do and it is what makes us something.

One of my favorite verses is in a book called 3 Nephi 11:29-30 in The Book of Mormon. I will put it here in Arabic if I can:

الحق الحق أقول لكم: من لديه روح الخلاف ليس مني ، بل من إبليس الذي هو أبا الخلاف ، وهو يهيج قلوب الناس لمواجهة الغضب ، بعضهم مع بعض. .

هوذا ليس هذا تعليمي لاغضب قلوب الناس بعضهم على بعض. ولكن هذا هو تعليمي ان مثل هذه الامور ينبغي ان تزول.

I used google translate. Here is the English:

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

I love the depth to which the song dives into avoiding the things of the world and contention to pursue love. Life is fleeting. We must do as much good as we can while we can.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thanks for your kind and beautiful words of encouragement, Tobe. Much appreciated, dear friend. I am glad you enjoyed it. God bless you!

Blessings and Love

Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on July 13, 2021:

I loved the way you explained this since shows you've taken time to research. Well done my dear friend. I enjoyed reading your article.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Yasir. That means a lot to me. I'm delighted to hear you enjoyed it. I've previously written two similar articles. One is called HU, and the other is about Maher Zain. If you're interested, you can find them on my profile.

Stay safe and healthy


Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Vidya, thank you very much for your beautiful comments. I am glad to see you in my comments section after so long. I hope everything is well with you. Glad you liked it. Gratitude!

Blessings and Love!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful response, Moon. I like the word "Cool" and "Masterpiece". Nice compliments, dear sis. Thanks for making my day. I hope you are well. I wanted to write you an email but Nowadays I am a little busy so didn't get a chance to do so. I. So sorry for this, moon.

Sending many Blessings and Love to you

Mohammad Yasir from Lucknow, India on July 13, 2021:

There need to be more such articles about songs and musicsl tracks. It is evident that you have researched and understood this song in detail before penning this analysis and the result is beautiful.

Keep going.

VIDYA D SAGAR on July 13, 2021:

Beautiful music and a wonderful article explaining the song Misbah. It's a famous song but I had actually not listened to it. I got the chance now. The lyrics of Bulleh Shah are so meaningful. The message of universal love is what is needed today. It's is so true we are here for a short time and it is better to let go of ego and hate and live in harmony. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking article.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on July 13, 2021:

Salam Misbah,

You have created an amazing article. I don't enjoy listening to music except in a bad mood. But this one is so cool. And you have explained the song and its background very well. Thank you for creating this masterpiece, dear.

Stay safe and healthy...

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging comment, Mr. Bill. I am so glad you liked this music.

Stay happy and healthy

Blessings always

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you for your kind response, Maryam

Blessings and Love to you, sis

Maryam Fatima from Pakistan on July 13, 2021:

Just Love.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thank you for the English translation, and thank you for introducing us to this music. I actually like it, and I don't usually like new music upon the first hearing. I will have to listen to more of their music, thanks to you.

I hope you are having a wonderful week, my friend. Blessings always!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind response and beautiful words of encouragement, Eman

Many Blessings and Love to you, dear sister

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 13, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind response, Ishika

Blessings to you

Eman Sehar on July 13, 2021:

I heard this Sufi song and the lyrics are amazing. You explain it in a very beautiful way.

Many Love and Blessings.

ISHIKA MEHERE from NAGPUR on July 13, 2021:

Oh thats amazing. I also think the Punjabi music is totally taking over the indian main stream music industry today.

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