Shehanshah-e-Ghazal Mehdi Hassan sing a ghazal with piano and orchestra

Shahenshah-e-Ghazal: Mehdi Hassan Khan (Pride of Pakistan)

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This describes Mehdi Hassan – the sad ghazal artist perfectly. In 1927, he came into the world. He learned classic music from his father. Since, he came from a long line of artists. His primary residence was a village in India called Luna. It was there that he embarked on a journey to become a great ghazal singer. And today, he is rightly considered “Shahenshah-e-Ghazal”.

Besides, Mehdi Hassan had handful of talents. He also composed songs and displayed his powerful playback singing skills. Additionally, Mehdi Hassan songs list includes diverse and finest gems. He majorly focused on quality of his verses. Thus, he conveyed that the good music matters not a singer’s reputation. Due to this, his ghazal poetry stands out from the crowd. He was always indifferent to any artist’s fame. This aspect also made him a well-respected musician.

Mehdi Hassan: Weaver of rich Music Tapestry

1)   Rise of Passionate Artist

Mehdi Hassan Khan acquired different styles of vocalizations. Therefore, he had a command on Dhrupal, Khayal, Thumri, and Dadra. Since, his family lineage was full of musicians. He was placed under his father, Ustad Azim Khan who was quite well versed in music. Initially, Mehdi Hassan mastered classical music. Later on, he was able to produce ghazal poetry as well. Astonishingly, his training started at a tender age of eight but his progress was astounding.

Besides, the prominent ghazal singer had no other education than that of music. Thus, compositions and singing formed his sole area of focus. Due to this, his brainpower was best used in the music industry. From the village of Luna itself, he could perform in massive gatherings. His first public appearance was in the court of Baroda’s Maharaja. Back then, Mehdi Hassan songs list already constituted of Thumri, classical, ghazals, and film music. He had 25,000 records under his belt.

2)   Mehdi Hassan Post-1947 Struggle

Pakistan may have lost a lot due to 1947’s chaos. Yet, many legendary musicians remained loyal to it. Similarly, Mehdi Hassan too migrated from Rajasthan to Karachi. And significantly, he carried his talent, skills and deeply gifted vocals. This is how, Mehdi Hassan songs have contributed vastly to progressive Pakistani music. Furthermore, his big break came in 1952 when his classical track was heard on radio station, based in Karachi.

3)   Name in Pakistani Music

There was a gradually rise of Mehdi Hassan through his remakes. Especially, due to his unique selection process. It made his renditions priceless addition. Thus, he brought out remakes of any artist whose work appealed to him in terms of quality of the content. Thus, he sang masterpieces of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and Mirza Ghalib. Even the works of the finest artist of sad ghazal in Urdu, Mir Taqi Mir. The list included, Farhat Shahzad, Saleem Gilani, and Razi Tirmizi too. For, these singers had comparatively smaller fandoms.

Additionally, the good you put forward comes back to you. Therefore, today renowned singers are using ghazal king’s songs for remakes. These Mehdi Hassan songs are available for mp3 streaming and download too. Among these, Ranjish Hi Sahi rests at the top. Many prominent vocalists like Sajjad Ali made rendition of this particular composition. Furthermore, recently, Atif Aslam has also brought out another track, Zindagi. It was released to pay homage to Mehdi Hassan as well.

Besides Mehdi Hassan’s appreciation of good art, he was much more. Therefore, he came up with new songs, sang film tracks, and was initially famous for his renditions. For example, there are many Mehdi Hassan film songs that are quite popular. Some of these include, “Zeenat” film’s track, Rafta Rafta Who Meri Hasti Ka, and “Devar Bhabi” film’s Yeh Kagazi Phool Jaisa Chehre. Apart from these, he produced total 650 film songs between 1956 to 1986.

4)   Mehdi Hassan’s Ghazal Treasure Chest

What’s more, the sad ghazal vocalist came up with diverse ghazal styles. Therefore, comparatively changing the form of ghazal to a greater extend. Thus, he was applauded by his peers and fans over this remarkable achievement. Although, he indulged into the art of “ghazal gayeki” in just 1955. Still, Mehdi Hassan ghazal works’ popularity is as clear as day. Additionally, his masterpieces include, Gulon Mein Rang Bharey, Ranjish Hi Sahi, and Kaise Kaise Log.

The artist truly revolutionized the ghazal tradition. Astonishingly, Mehdi Hassan has also released several Pashto ghazal songs too. His finest creations consist of Soorat Naparastum, Emshab, and Dishab Ke Tu Az Mehr. Essentially, he took Soorat Naparastum from the poetic works of Allama Iqbal. Moreover, Mehdi Hassan delivered these in the most mellifluous voice possible. These gems elevated his status besides the hit Urdu ghazal tracks. Since, he truly captured the essence of Pushto language through these.

What’s more, this legendary singer produced other emotional works as well. The most stirring ones fall under the category of sad ghazal in Urdu. The best ones include, Ek Bus Tu Hi Nahi, Shola Tha Jal Bhujha Hoon, and Zindagi Mein To Sabhi to name a few. On the contrary, the vocalist has perfectly displayed heartfelt sentiments too. Take the case of his romantic ghazal in Urdu, Ab Ke Hum Bichray To Shayaad. It leaves the listener in a sea of tears and utterly speechless.

5)   Mehdi Hassan Achievements

There is a good lengthy list of awards accredited to this music maestro. Mehdi Hassan was vastly popular for his Qawwali, film songs and even romantic ghazal in Urdu. Due to these, he still ranks among the most celebrated musicians of Pakistan. So, Pride of Performance, and Lux Style Chairperson’s Lifetime Achievement Award were won by him. Although, Radio Pakistan marked the beginning of his glorious journey. On the other hand, he was even presented the highest order of merit, Nishan-e-Imtiaz after his death.

6)   His Painful Departure

The golden age of Mehdi Hassan eventually came to an end. He had caught up a long-term illness. So, he depraved his huge fandom of his serene voice. For, he took his last breath in 2012. Currently, his grave is in Karachi. Nonetheless, the general population still admire his vocals. Thus, Mehdi Hassan songs mp3 collection is ready to play and download. Moreover, he has 475K+ Spotify’s monthly listeners.

Nonetheless, he was so remarkable that he released 3000+ songs for both television and radio. It was from 1952 to 1998. Additionally, in the light of classic music, his Kesarya Balam, Heer, and Bulleh Shah kafi ki Jaana Mein Kaun Bulleya. These compositions are also quite remarkable just like Mehdi Hassan ghazal works. Furthermore, the artist gave his fans, one last song in the form of Sarhadein. He and Lata Mangasheskar brought this magical track to life in 2010. Thus, it marked the end of Mehdi Hassan’s mesmerizing music journey.


To conclude, Mehdi Hassan was a big name in the Pakistani industry. He opened his eyes in India. Moreover, he carried forward his family lineage – the classic music. Then back in 1947, he moved from Rajasthan to Karachi. Yet, he only progressed further. Additionally, Radio Karachi brought him under the spotlight. After this massive achievement, he mastered “ghazal gayeki” in 1955. Astonishingly, he gained a good command over Urdu as well as Pashto ghazal. His popularity only went upward.

Besides these, he also contributed other works too. For instance, he brought remarkable folk songs, film songs, qawwali, and a huge Urdu ghazals collection. From these, he not only climbed the ladder of fame but promoted regional music. Thus, Mehdi Hassan was truly worthy of praise. That is to say, Pride of Performance, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, and so on. However, he left his fans heartbroken when he departed from the world in 2012. Yet, his voice will remain forever in our hearts and memories.

Sana Hidayat

Sana Hidayat, a veteran writer with three years of invaluable experience, emerges as a formidable force in the realms of academic and business writing. With a resolute determination, she consistently conquers the challenges posed by these domains, crafting content that is both intellectually and commercially impactful. Sana's adeptness in navigating the intricacies of diverse subject matters: Music, art, and cultures, reflects her unwavering commitment to excellence. Whether delving into complex academic discourse or spearheading business communications, her proficiency remains unparalleled.