Ustad Sarahang is perhaps the greatest Master of Eastern classical music; a Master not respected in Afghanistan, but even more revered in Pakistan and India, where Eastern classical music has been the way of life.
Ustad Sarahang was born in 1924 as Mohammad Hussain, the second oldest son of the renowned musician, Ustad Gholam Hussain. Mohammad Hussain was born and raised in Kharabat (old Kabul), a city famous and conceivably notorious for its musicians.
According to Afghanland.com, At an early age, Mohammad Hussain began taking music lessons from his father while attending school. Within a short period of time, Mohammad Hussain mastered the theory of classical music and showed a keen interest for more knowledge. His proud father sent his teenage son to “Patyala” School of Music in then British occupied India to be a pupil under Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan “The Light of Punjab.”
Ustad Gholam Hussain’s reason for his son’s exodus was enlightening;
Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang“A loving environment at home might have a negative effect on the progress of his [Mohammad Hussain] ability to take music seriously; a person becomes a great Ustad when he accepts and welcomes temperament, physical and mental punishment while earning the respect of his Master.”
Mohammad Hussain, after 16 years of service and learning, returned to his beloved Kabul. At the age of 25, Mohammad Hussain participated in a festival of music held at Kabul’s famed Pamir Cinema. Amongst the participants were Ustad Qasim and Ustad Bada Gholam Ali. At this festival, Mohammad Hussain amazed the crowd with his talent and passion and was awarded the Gold Medal over the more famous Masters of music. His performance at this festival earned Mohammad Hussain the title of Ustad Mohammad Hussain and a few years later, the government of Afghanistan awarded him the title of “Sarhanag”.