"This project which Rohail Hyatt has started is indeed great and I would like to be a part of it for a long time. The music that comes out of this project reaches both the heart and soul and it always compliments the lyrics without overriding the true message of the kalams. This platform builds on those messages of our Sufi elders."
Parveen had already begun performing at Dargahs and Urs in the early 1970s, but it was in 1973, on Radio Pakistan, that that she achieved her first real breakthrough with the Sindhi song Tuhinje zulfan jay band kamand widha. In 1977 she was introduced as an official singer on Radio Pakistan. Since then, Parveen has risen to prominence and is now considered one of the finest vocal artists of Pakistan. She has imbued Sufi music with a new identity, marking the beginning of this journey at Sultana Siddiqui's AwazoAndaz in 1980.
In 1975, Abida married Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, senior Producer at Radio Pakistan, who had retired from his job in the 1980s to manage and mentor Parveen's career. After he died of a heart attack on an international FLIGHT in the early 2000s, their daughter Maryam took up that role. There is a sense that Parveen's career has taken a more commercial route as a result of it. The couple has two daughters Pereha Ikram and Marium Hussain, and a son Sarang Latif who is a music Director. All three children act as her advisors. Her family understands her need for riyaz ( daily vocal music practice) and its required space to do that practice.
Parveen travels internationally, often performing at sold-out venues. Her 1988 performance in Chicago was recorded by the Hazrat Amir Khusrau Society of Art and Culture, which issued a LP of her songs. Her 1989 performance in London's Wembley Conference Centre was broadcast on the BBC. Parveen cites her motivation for international travel as being to spread Sufism, peace and the Divine message. In doing so, she also promotes Pakistani culture.
In the 1990s Parveen licensed her spiritual ghazals to Bollywood, since her "spiritual brother", Khan, recorded songs for Bollywood. Recently Abida also performed at the grand finale of Sindh Festival by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Thatta.
Parveen began performing on the internationally acclaimed Pakistani show Coke Studio in 2010. She sang three songs: "Ramooz-e-Ishq", "Nigah-e-Darwaishaan", and "Soz-e-Ishq" in episodes 1 (Reason), 3 (Conception), and 5 (Realization), respectively of season 3. Parveen said she admired the programme because it offered a Dargahi environment. She commented:
She was invited back in season 7 in 2014. She sang "Mein Sufi Hoon" with Rais Khan and performed "dost" as a solo. She also performed "Chaap Tilak" (A popular Sufi poem by Sufi poet Amir Khusro) in a duet with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Parveen is referred as one of the world's greatest mystic Singers. Parveen is reportedly among highest paid Singers in Pakistan. She sings mainly ghazals, Thumri, Khyal, Qawwali, Raga (raag), Sufi rock, Classical, Semi-classical music and her forte, Kafis, a solo genre accompanied by percussion and harmonium, using a repertoire of songs by Sufi poets. Parveen sings in Urdu, Sindhi, Saraiki, Punjabi, Arabic and Persian. She had also sung a famous song in Nepali language called "Ukali Orali Haruma" by Nepali singer Tara Devi in a concert in Kathmandu, Nepal which was attended by Govinda. In 2017, she was designated a 'Peace Ambassador' by SAARC.