Songs are central to many cultures and communities across the globe and are used in a variety of contexts and purposes.
Frequently, religious communities employ songs to not only express devotion but also to transmit knowledge of their faiths.
In the Satpanthi Ismaili communities of South Asia (popularly known as “Khojas”), songs of devotion, composed and sung by various
artistes, are commonly called geets (or gīts).
Geets employ a broad range of poetic and musical genres in various languages. The evidentiary sources of geets in these communities go back to the early twentieth century, but these sources need to be studied more broadly to explore and understand the origins and evolution of geets, their themes and motifs, and their significance to these communities.
"The tradition of composing gīts, as we know in its present form, has been associated particularly with Nizari Ismaili communities of South Asian origin…. Unfortunately, we know precious little about its development. As is the case with many folk traditions that have been orally transmitted, its historical origins are quite obscure. Moreover, the gīts themselves have never been systematically collected and documented."
– Professor Ali Asani, Harvard University
Source: The Gīt Tradition: A Testimony of Love – Ecstasy and Enlightenment: The Ismaili Devotional Literature of South Asia, 2002.