Open main menu

Madih nabawi (Arabic: مديح نبوي‎) one of the principal religious genres of Arabic music, is a song form devoted to eulogizing or rather praising Muhammad and his family. The genre dates from 632 CE, immediately after the death of Muhammad, but the performers address Muhammad as if he were still alive. It is also Sufi genre of belletristic Arab literature.[1]

A typical musical performance features a skilled solo maqam singer assisted by a chorus of eight to sixteen men. The chorus sings in unison and a new verse of poetry and prayers or blessings for the audience are added at certain places during the chorus. In North Africa, it resembles ma'luf or andalusi nubah, in Egypt the dur, in Syria the muwashshah, and in Iraq the maqam al-iraqi.[2]

Musical genres or subgenres in the madih repertoire include tanzilah ("revelation"), ibtihal ("supplication"), tawassul ("beseechment"), tawshih, and muwashshah. A typical performance includes a solo singer accompanied by a chorus of men with frame drums, the chorus singing a refrain which the soloist improvisationally answers through variation, paraphrasing, or transformation of the refrain, emphasising the characteristics of the respective maqam row or scale.[3]

Further readingEdit

  • Al-Mallah, Majd, Madih Nabawi, in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Touma (1996), p. 161
  2. ^ Touma (1996), p. 159
  3. ^ Touma (1996), p. 162


External linksEdit