The Arabic word sama means "sacred listening." This musical science flourished during the height of Islamic civilization and has been handed down by its masters to their students until the present day. Mohammed Bennis, of the sacred city of Fes, is one of the repositories of this great tradition of Andalusian style of sama that celebrates God and the Messenger of God (pbuh).
The collection includes some qasidas from the Diwan of Shayk Muhammed b. al-Habib. Born in the late 19th century, he was one of the last truly great Moroccan Sufi masters who was also a world-class scholar of Maliki jurisprudence, theology, and Qur’anic commentary. He died in 1972.
These qasidas are sung with impeccable virtuosity by singers from Fes under the direction of Sidi Muhammed Bennis. This collection also includes some selections from the Hamziyyah and the Burda of Imam al-Busayri as well as a few other well-known Moroccan traditional songs.
The selection wends with a traditional ‘imarah, which is a reflection on the divine name al-Hayy (the Living) that is performed with an emphasis on one’s breath, the material source of our life. In order to induce a strong state of presence, it is usually performed before a talk delivered by a living master of the Path or by his licensed student.