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Qasida Burda (The Poem of the Mantle)

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Qasidat al-Burdah

The Poem Of The Mantle



Anthology of Arabic poems

About the Prophet and the faith of Islam

Containing the famous poem of

Sharfuddin Abi Abdullah Mohammed al-Busiri






Love for Rasuluallah Sallallhu Alayhi Wasallam is the perfection of our lman.

This love can only be achieved if we know and understand of the perfections and exalted status of Sayidina
Rasuluallah Sallallhu Alayhi Wasallam in the sight of Allah Ta'alaa.

This translation and commentary of the Qasidat al-Burdah, highlights the lofty status and perfections of Sayidina Rasuluallah Sallallhu Alayhi Wasallam.

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The great poet, Sufi Shaykh Imam Sharfuddin Abi Abdullah Mohammed bin Sa'eed al-Misree Rahmatullahi 'Alaih
was born in 608 A.H or 1212 C.E. in Misr (Egypt). He was well known by his surname Busiri from Bushire, to
which one of his parents belonged. The other is being from Dalas in Egypt. He also got a compound surname of
Dalasaree. He studied in Cairo, where he specialised in hadith and Arabic literature, two disciplines that helped to
make him the foremost exponent of Muslim religious poetry. He was a disciple of Imam Abu'l 'Abbas al-Mursi
Rahmatullahi 'Alaih who was a Khalifa of Imam Abu'l Hasan ash-Shazili Rahmatullahi 'Alaih. Much of his
professional life was spent in the three holy cities, where he became a famous teacher of the Qur'an. After his
return to Egypt, where he managed a Qur'anic school, he passed on to his Lord. The exact year of his death is not
known, but 695 A.H. or 1296 C.E. is the most commonly-given date. He cultivated the art of penmanship with
great pains, and followed it as his profession, earning great distinction as an excellent calligraphist. He also took a
good deal of interest in the study of oriental languages and usages.


His fame, however, depends not so much on his proficiency in calligraphy as on the several eulogistic poems,
which he wrote about the Prophet Mohammad, (Peace of God be on him) of which three are well known. Almost
all of Busiri's written work takes the form of poetry, including a long and extraordinary poetic commentary on
Christianity and Judaism, based on his study of the Bible. He also wrote a Diwan, an anthology of poems on a
wide range of subjects. The poem known as Hamziah, a very long, sonorous and beautiful poetic production,
which redounds much to the credit of its writer. His best-known work, however, is the Burdah (Poem of the
Mantle), which rapidly became the most popular religious poem in the Islamic world, a position which it retains to
this day.


Poets raised in the Islamic world beginning with Hassan ibn Thabit and Ka’b ibn Zuhair put forth the most
mature works of their genius and art in eulogies and odes written for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). However, some
of these are considered to be more fortunate than others due not so much to the artistic value of their work, but to
the fame they gained. One of those heading this caravan is Imam Sharfuddin Abi Abdullah Mohammed bin Sa'eed
al-Misree who lived in Egypt in the 13th century. Born on Shawwal 1, 608/ March, 1212, in Behsim tied to the city
of Behnesa in Upper Egypt, Muhammad al-Busiri was a Berber from a family known as ibn Habnun from the
Hammad Fortress in Morocco. He is called Busiri from his father’s side and Delasi from his mother’s side. It is
seen that the poet sometimes combined the two words and used Delasiri. His childhood passed in Delas where his
family settled. Later, going to Cairo, he studied language and literature in addition to Islamic sciences. It is
understood that he was more preoccupied with hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and sirah (the life story of the
Prophet) and that, in view of the rebuttals he made against Judaism and Christianity, he had broad knowledge of
the Old and New Testaments. After working some time as a scribe in the treasury in the city of Bilbis, he returned
to Cairo and participated in educational and teaching activities in the Quranic private teaching institution. Later on,
while working as a scribe in the cities of al-Mahalla and Seha, he became very uncomfortable with the corruption
made by his fellow-workers who were Christian civil servants, and he expressed this in his poetry.


Short and weak, Busiri’s main complaints were his wife’s ill-temper, his large number of children and difficulty
making a living. Affiliating with Abul-Hasan es-Shazeli, the founder of the Shazeli dervish order, the poet
mentions the sheikh’s virtues and merits with praise in an elegy of 142 couplets ending with “branch” addressed to
Abul-Abbas al-Mursi, who replaced Sheikh Shazeli after his death. It can be understood that the famous sufi Ibn
Ataullah of Alexandria and Busiri were Sheikh Shazeli’s two most prominent disciples. However, while Ibn
Ataullah used the theme of divine love, Busiri celebrated more love for the Prophet.


Busiri became paralyzed towards the end of his life, but it is related that he recovered by means of a eulogy he
wrote for Prophet Muhammad and died in his eighties (696/1296-97) at Alexandria after a long life. Almost all the
works of Busiri were written in verse and are odes written about the Prophet. They are extremely sound and lyrical
in regard to poetical structure and style. For this reason, his odes and eulogies have been shown great interest over
the centuries in every region of Islamic geography and are among poems read most at religious gatherings.
Consisting of twelve eulogies which were dispersed in classical sources, his poetry was gathered together and
published under the name of Diwan al-Busiri (pub.Muhammad Sayyid Kaylani, Cairo, 1374/1955). His most
famous work world-wide in the field of Islamic literature is the160 or 165 verse poem known as the Poem of the
Mantle (Qasidat al-Burdah). An enthusiastic lover of the Prophet, Busiri called the ode that made him famous “al-
Kawâkib al-durrîya fî madh khayr al-barîya”. It being called the “Poem of the Mantle” stems from the dream he saw.





The Occasion that led to the writing of this poem was an event in the life of the poet which he
describes as follows: The poet, according to his own account, happened to be affected seriously with
paralysis which deprived one-half of his body of its vital powers and motions. He then thought of
offering another tribute of devotion to the Prophet and wrote the present poem. Invoking the help of
the Prophet and his intercession, he fervently prayed to God the Almighty, with tears repentance and
sincerity of purpose, to grant him a speedy relief from the disease. He continued reciting the poem with
ardent zeal again and again till he fell asleep. In his dream he saw in his dream the Prophet Muhammad
asked Busiri to read the ode the poet wrote for him. When he said, “O, Messenger! I wrote many
eulogies for you; which one do you want,” the Prophet indicated this one by reciting the first verse.
While Busiri recited the ode, the Prophet listened with pleasure, swaying from side to side. Again it is
related that in order to reward Busiri, the Prophet took off his mantle and covered the sick poet who
was lying down. Another narration states that the Prophet rubbed his hands over the paralyzed part of
Busiri’s body. The poet woke up excitedly. While pleasurably trying to gather the dream together, he
realized that his paralysis had vanished, and he was astounded with happiness. The cause of its
compilation was described by the author himself, as follows:


“I was suddenly paralysed down one side of my body by a stroke. I decided to compose this ode, the Burdah. I hoped that it would be a means unto Allah, by which He would cure me. So I recited it again and again, weeping, praying, and petitioning God. I fell asleep, and in a dream, I saw the Blessed Prophet (PBUH). He moved his noble hand across my face, and placed his cloak upon me. When I awoke, I found that I had recovered my health.”


At this time dawn and the time of morning prayer were approaching. When Busiri took ablution and
started towards the masjid, he saw a dervish. The dervish wanted Busiri to give him the ode he recited
in the presence of the Prophet the night before. Reciting the first line exactly, the dervish said that he
saw it in a dream recited before the Prophet, who continued moving to and fro like atenderplant, as a
mark of his approbation, and them invested the reciter with a ‘Mantle’. The poet gave him the poem,
and the report of this incident spread out till it reached Bahauddin the Vazeer of King Tahir. He sent
for the poet and, on obtaining the poem, took an oath to have it recited to him with bare head and
naked feet. He and his people since then took great delight in its frequent recital.


....more in the pdf download in the first post

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By Mufti Muhammad Kadwa
Posted: 11 Safar 1424, 13 April 2003



Q.) I wanted to know if the Burdah Shareef by Imam Busairi is okay to read. I've heard some people say it's bidah due to some of the verses, but others say it's for the love of Prophet saws.gif. Please let me know. [sara]


A.) Yes, it is permissible to read Qaseedah Burdah as the verses merely portray the immense love of the author for Rasulullah saws.gif.

However, this in no way can compare to the recitation of the noble Qur'an which is of paramount importance. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

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Does the Qasida Burda Contain Shirk


Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf





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Is the Claim That There is “Blatant Shirk” in the Qasida Burda of Imam Busiri True?


Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Question: Some scholars claim that there is “blatant shirk” in many parts of the Qasida Burda because it goes against Allah’s Oneness of Lordship, His Oneness in Names & Attributes, and also His Oneness in Divinity.  Is this true?


Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His Beloved Messenger Muhammad, his noble folk, righteous companions, and all followers


No, the Qasida Burda doesn’t contain “shirk” (associating partners with Allah) or other deviations from sound Islamic belief. Rather, it is a pure expression of deep and passionate love for the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), whose love is a condition of faith.


The Qasida Burda has been accepted by the mainstream of Islamic scholarship as one of the greatest statements of love for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). It is recited across the Muslim world, from East to West, as it has been for centuries. There are dozens of commentaries on it, by many of the greatest scholars of Islam, none of whom saw any “blatant shirk” in its beautiful praise of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). However, given its eloquence and depth, certain verses-such as those criticized by our respected critic-need to be understood as the author meant them. It is unfair to interpret others’ words in ways they did not mean.


[1] The critic cites the opening of the verse as an example of “shirk” in the Oneness of Allah’s Lordship (tawhid al-rububiyya):


“From our generosity is the world and its partner [the Hereafter]…”


Our respected critic claims that this refers to the creation of the world and there hereafter-as if Busiri is claiming that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his generosity created them! The Arabic text if this verse doesn’t mention “creation” in it.


As Imam Ibrahim al-Bajuri makes clear in his commentary on the Burda, what this means is that the best of this world and the next is from the gift the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) gave-by Allah’s granting-to humanity.

The best of this world is the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), by which alone this worldly has any meaning; and the best gift of any human to humanity in the Hereafter is the intercession the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) makes-as established in rigorously authentic hadiths, as we will see below.

There is a basic principle in knowledge that, “Ruling on a matter comes after sound understanding of it.” To criticize someone’s words, one must first soundly understand them as the author intended them-not as one’s own understanding determines.


[2] The critic then cites the following verses as example of shirk in Allah’s Names & Attributes,


“And from your knowledge is knowledge of the Pen and Tablet”


It is established that Allah commanded the Pen to write the details of all matters until the Last Day-namely, before the Resurrection and Hereafter-as related in authentic hadiths in Ahmad and Tirmidhi. These hadiths were considered mass-transmitted by al-Amir al-Kabir in his commentary on Laqani’s Jawharat al-Tawhid, as Kattani relates in Nadhm al-Mutanathir.


In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The first of Allah’s creation was the pen.” Then he mentioned that Allah commanded it to, “Write everything that will occur, until the Last Hour.” [Ahmad 21649, from Ubada ibn Samit (Allah be pleased with him)]


It is authentically established that Allah granted His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) knowledge of the events of this worldly life.


There is no “shirk” in this: (1) it is authentically established in the sunna; (2) it is by Allah’s granting, so there is no point of comparison between the Absolute, Infinite, and unacquired Knowledge of Allah and the acquired, and limited (though unimaginably vast) knowledge of the Best of Creation (Allah bless him and give him peace).


The knowledge of the Pen and Tablet-being this knowledge of worldly events until the Last Day-is “from” the knowledge of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) because he was also granted tremendous knowledge of matters of the hereafter, and of Allah and His Attributes-the greatest of all knowledge.


What we need to understand is that Allah granted His Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) tremendous knowledge of the Unseen, including details of matters of this life and the next; and He granted His Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace) greater knowledge of Himself than any of His creation.


Thus, there is no element of shirk in this verse. It simply affirms what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself affirmed, not more and not less.


[3] Our respected critic then cites the following verse as an example of “shirk” in Allah’s Oneness in Divinity (tawhid al-uluhiyya):


“And who else there, besides you, who I can call out, at times of distress and problems?”


This is our critic’s suggested translation. A sounder translation is:


“O Most Honored of Creation! Whom can I turn to

But you when the Encompassing Event befalls?”


The “Encompassing Event” (wrongly translated us “times of distress and problems”) refers specifically to the distress that befalls all creation on the Day of Resurrection. As authentic hadiths in Bukhari [3092], Muslim [287], and elsewhere affirm, all of creation will go from one prophet to another, each of whom is busy with themselves-out of absolute awe of Allah-and tells them to go to another prophet. Finally, all of creation goes to our Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), seeking respite from the tremendous tribulation and distress of that Day. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) answers their call, affirming that this is from what Allah granted him, and turns to Allah seeking respite for creation, and this is granted to him by Allah.


There is no suggestion in this verse that a believer shouldn’t turn to Allah Himself when distress and problems occur. Rather, it is simply affirming something the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) affirmed: that Allah has granted His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) general intercession for all creation from the intensity of the tribulations of the Day of Judgment, and that on that Day all creation will find none in creation to turn to for assistance but Allah’s Beloved (Allah bless him and give him peace).


This also shows that seeking the assistance of creation-whether in material or spiritual matters-does in no way negate one’s understanding that Allah alone is the ultimate granter. But our Giving Lord has shown us that there are both material and spiritual means one seeks, while fully aware that the Giver and Granter is none but Allah.


This is the aqida of the mainstream of Muslims: we affirm the taking of material and spiritual means, and affirm that the granter is only Allah Himself. This is the understanding of the great Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Rabi`ah ibn Ka`b al-Aslami (Allah be pleased with him), who said, “O Messenger of Allah! I ask you for your company in Paradise!” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Assist me concerning yourself with much prostration.” [Muslim (754)]

[ref: The commentaries on Busiri's Burda by Bajuri, Hamzawi, Ibn Hajar, and Shaykh Zada]


And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani


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Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode)


Commentary on Imam Busiri’s classical poem

in praise of the  Most Noble Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace)


Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf


This poem is arguably the most memorized and recited poem in the Muslim world. It discusses the sublime character and exalted rank of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). This is the same poem that used to grace the walls of the famous houses of Baghdad and still graces the Prophetic Rawda in Madina Munawwara

and Salahuddin’s Tomb in Damascus.


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 1


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 2


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 3


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 4


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 5


Qasida Burda (The Mantle Ode) Part 6


Parts 7 - 22

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