Music is incorporated into the rituals of several South Asian Sufi shrines and it contributes to shaping the experiences of those who visit them. This paper analyses two qawwali performance occasions in the dargāh of Nizz̤ām al-Dīn Auliyā’, a major shrine located in New Delhi. I explore how qawwali is used during the death anniversaries of the saints (‘urs) celebrated in the shrine. A first observation reveals the variety of pilgrims’ aspirations and experiences, encompassing spiritual, material and carnivalesque elements.