Music by Sogdiona orchestra
In daily Muslim life, the remembrance of Allah is known as ‘zikr’. Zikr is a separate practice which complements the praying ritual, but in a flexible format. Muslims can make zikr by naming God’s beautiful attributes by glorifying, praising, and claiming the greatness of Allah. In that sense, zikr is a very powerful tool for the development of emotional intelligence, as being in zikr state heals the mind from any unnecessary thoughts and clears the spirit.
Even though there is a wide variety of zikr types, the easiest and most frequently used form involves repeating the following Arabic phrases 33 times:
Subhan Allah (سبحان الله): Glory be to Allah, which once again emphases the perfection of the Creator.
Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله): Praise be to Allah, which is an expression of gratefulness.
Allahu Akbar (الله أكبر): Allah is Great, which emphasises Allah’s omnipotence and His omnipresence in the entire Universe.
Reflecting on this zikr, the prominent chamber orchestra of national instruments of Uzbekistan composed a music piece inspired by the hadith. Their composition is divided into three parts, each emotionally expressing the zikr words, which are also repeated 33 times.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.”
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 7405
“Sogdiana” orchestra, established in 1991, has a wide repertoire of more than 1,000 pieces, which include Uzbek traditional and composers’ music, as well as music of European composers of different genres and music periods. Over the years, they took part in many international festivals and competitions, as well as gave numerous concerts in different countries by invitation, such as Russia (1994), Kazakhstan (1995, 2010), Germany (1995, 1998, 1999, 2019), Spain (1996), France (1998), Republic of Korea (2008, 2015, 2017), Egypt (1997, 1998), USA (2002), India (2006), Austria (2019), Czech Republic (2019), and Sweden (2019).
In 1996, at the International Music Festival in Spain (Logroño), the orchestra won the Grand Prix and the title of Laureate, and was also awarded the International Certificate of Excellence. In 2007, Sogdiana became a laureate of the 1st degree at the International WEB competition “Golden trophy” (USA).
To date, the orchestra has released 13 CDs, 7 DVDs, and 4 documentaries, and has played music for the soundtrack of several movies.
Sogdiana orchestra has had many collaborations and performances with the musicians from the over world. All of this serves as an inspirational example of a cautious rapprochement of different musical landscapes that promote activation of a dialogue between the Eastern and the Western cultures.