The Covenant of Love: The Poetry, Music and Spirituality of South Asian Muslim Cultures


Sunday, May 5, 2019, 7:00pm to 8:30pm


Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall

Ali Sethi '06
Event: The Covenant of Love: The Poetry, Music and Spirituality of South Asian Muslim Cultures featuring pop star Ali Sethi '06
Presented by: The Harvard College Pakistani Students Association and the Office for the Arts at Harvard, with support from the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Aga Khan Fund and the Asia Center at Harvard University. 
Time and date: 7-8:30 pm Sunday, May 5, Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall
Attendance: Open to the public but tickets required. Tickets for students (any school, with ID) and Harvard ID holders are free, and will be available starting on April 23, in-person at the Harvard Box Office in the Smith Campus Center. (Limit: two free tickets per ID.) Tickets for the general public are $10 and will be available starting on April 26, at the Harvard Box Office and online at

Misaq-e-Ishq means The Covenant of Love and during this event Ali Asani ’77 (professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard); Pakistani pop star and author Ali Sethi ’06; and vocalist, guitarist and Grammy Award-winning producer Noah Georgeson will bring alive through musical performance, the poetic consciousness of several legendary South Asian mystic poets.

Listen to super star Ali Sethi in this new music video.

Asani, Sethi, Georgeson and additional musicians will explore the lavishly transformative powers of love (ishq), interpreted variously as passion, devotion, ardour, commitment or just plain love. For the featured poets, love is a primordial link that connects the divine to all of creation. Tasting or experiencing the nectar of this love, they believe, is the central purpose of worldly existence. Their poetry, spanning a thousand years, responds to the exigencies of their eras with an idiom that supercedes orthodoxy and dissolves binaries. Join these thought leaders and artists as they invite audiences to understand the human and the divine through the all-encompassing lens of love.

Watch a version of this event that took place in Manchester, England, earlier this year. 

This concert-conversation is the closing event of the Harvard ARTS FIRST Festival (May 2-5).

Ali Asani and Ali Sethi will also present The Art of the Ghazal 5 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Fong Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here