Rababi is a music tradition of the Sikh religion. They played the rabab instrument. Three types of Sikh musician – rababis, ragis, and dhadhis – flourished during the period of the Sikh gurus. The descendants remained rababis to all the 10 gurus, keeping alive the rabab tradition


Guru Nanak started the rababi tradition by engaging Bhai Mardana as his accompanist.[1] The Muslim singers formerly called mirasis, Nanak called "rababis", because they played on the rabab or rebec.[2] The last of the line of rababis was Bhai Chand. During the 20th century CE the instrument's use in Sikh kirtan was eclipsed by the harmonium but it has been revived.

Rababis used to perform kirtan regularly at Amritsar before the partition in 1947, after which the rababis migrated to Pakistan [3].

Notable performersEdit

Some notable rababis after Mardana were his son Shahjada, Balwand and Satta, Babak, son of Satta, Chatra, son of Babak, and Saddu and Baddu, Tari Khan.

There are some other famous Musician and noha khawan of Rababis;

Bahi Roora, Bahi Boora, Bela Family who reciting Noha's in Nisar Haveli at the time of Ashurah, Zakir Nawaz Nazi, Zakir Qammar Abbas son of Mausiqar Safdar Hussain, Master Ghulam Haider (Composer)(Late), (Master Khursheed Ahmed (Actor Sub-continent)(Late) Brother of Master Ghulam Haider(Late) His son Ikhlaq Haider(Director, Producer)(Late),Master Ahmed Ali (Master Labbu), Muhammad Ali B.O, Agha Faiz Ali, Agha Gohar Ali, Agha Zulfiqar Ali, Sain Khawar Hussain son of Sain Akhter Hussain, Fatah Ali Khan, Nafees Ahmed Khan, Raees Ahmed Khan, Pai Chella Father of Javed(Violanist), Rasheed Attray, Wajahat Attray, Zulfiqar Ali Attray, Wazir Afzal, Mausiqar Tasaddaq Hussain, Master Rafiq Ali,Iqbal Israr, Ghulam Hassan, Javed Akhter, Master Laal Muhammad Sabri, Ameer Ali, Noha Khawan Of Katri Bawa,(Akbar Abbas, Pervaiz Pilla Party,Baba Wajid Party)Poet Sajjad Safdar,Salman Najfi and Legendary play back singer Munir Hussain (Sitara-e-imtiaz).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090517/spectrum/book2.htm
  2. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/strings-of-change/910228/
  3. ^ "Lost in Partition, the Sikh-Muslim connection comes alive in the tale of Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana".