Mehfil (also spelled mahfil) is a celebration, typically with music. Or an evening of courtly entertainment poetry or concert of Qawalli, Sufi, Hindustani classical music, Bangladeshi, and more, performed for a small audience in an intimate setting.

Historically, mehfils were presented in the homes or palaces of Muslim royalty or noblemen, who acted as these artists' patrons.[1] Mehfils are also an integral part of the Hyderabadi Muslim community, and used as a way of unity among them, all around the world.[2]

Today they are generally held in the homes of especially avid music lovers or the lovers of poetry-recitation gatherings. Ghazals are a common genre performed at mehfils. Ghazal recitation gatherings are called 'Mehfil-e-Mushaira' in the Urdu language.


The word mehfil derives from the Arabic word mehfil (Arabic: محفل), which means a (festive) "gathering to entertain (or praise someone)."

Mehfil-e-Naat is an Islamic mehfil (forum) in which people sit and recite poetry in the praise of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mehfil-e-Sama is a gathering held for Sufi devotional music such as Qawwali or prayer and chanting, Hadhra, part of Dhikr (remembrance of God).

Popular cultureEdit

Several mehfil performances may be seen in the Satyajit Ray film Jalsaghar (1958). In recent times, live onstage concert performances are also called 'Mehfil'.[3] "The word 'Mehfil' generally means a place where a music or dance-performance is in progress."[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 'One last bright spark of Lucknow's glorious tradition', website, Published 11 Sep 2016, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017
  2. ^, 'Ghulam Ali to launch 'Ghar Wapsi' music in Delhi, police cover sought', Published 17 March 2016, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017
  3. ^, Mehfil (a 'tabla' and 'sarangi' live onstage concert), videoclip on YouTube, Uploaded 27 Sep 2016, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017
  4. ^, Meaning of 'Mehfil' on GoogleBooks, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017

External linksEdit