Junaid Jamshed is a world-renowned contemporary Islamic Nasheed prodigy who was previously known as a leading recording artist on the Pakistani pop scene.
Born in September 1964 in Karachi, Pakistan into an army family of four, he initially sought a career in the Pakistan Army and later in medicine. However, his aspirations didn't materialize.
He initially came to the limelight as frontman of the pop group Vital Signs in 1987 with the famed patriotic song Dil Dil Pakistan, which quickly gained a status equal to the national anthem. He remained a charismatic youth icon throughout the 1990s. In 1995, he released his debut solo album which became an immediate national hit, followed by another in 2001.
Since then, he developed interest in religion and became associated with the Tabligh movement â€“ a world-wide effort aimed at the betterment of Muslims by bringing them closer to their religion. At the peak of his singing career, when he enjoyed all the luxuries of the world, he became increasingly sensitive towards the deep sense of dissatisfaction in his heart and a vacuum he felt was eating at his soul. This prompted him to contemplate the deeper meaning of life and seek ways of nourishing the soul â€“ a quest which brought him to the thresholds of men of religion and piety. It was by visiting the Tablighi centre at Raiwand at the behest of a childhood friend Junaid Ghani that changed his life forever.
He learnt that the path he had chosen to achieve and spread peace of mind and soul was in fact a path that lead to moral decay and eternal agony. He saw it hypocritical to continue offering music as a remedy for inner misery while he himself sought that remedy elsewhere.
Finally, the day came when he took the decision to abandon music forever. Music was his life-blood and abandoning it meant stopping the circulation of blood in his veins. â€˜That day I diedâ€™, he says, adding quickly, â€˜and was rebornâ€™.
His talents have since found a new meaningful expression in the Islamic Nasheed genre. His insightful praise of the Lord Almighty and evocative odes to the Messenger Muhammad (may peace be upon him) combined with unwavering belief in his faith - not least inspired by Iqbal - have created in his art a subtle , yet dynamic, appeal to the Muslim mind.
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