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Al-Burda

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Illuminated frontispiece to the manuscript of Al-Kawākib ad-durriyya by Al-Busiri made for the sultan Qaitbay. Large lobed medallions in the center bear the name of the sultan (right) and blessing on him (left).[1] Above and below on the right is the certificate of commissioning stating the manuscript to have been produced for his library, while opposite, on the facing page, the upper and lower panels contain the title of the work. Cairo, c. 1470.[2] Chester Beatty Library.
Illuminated frontispiece to the manuscript of Al-Kawākib ad-durriyya by Al-Busiri made for the sultan Qaitbay. Large lobed medallions in the center bear the name of the sultan (right) and blessing on him (left).[1] Above and below on the right is the certificate of commissioning stating the manuscript to have been produced for his library, while opposite, on the facing page, the upper and lower panels contain the title of the work. Cairo, c. 1470.[2] Chester Beatty Library.
Illuminated frontispiece to the manuscript of Al-Kawākib ad-durriyya by Al-Busiri made for the sultan Qaitbay. Large lobed medallions in the center bear the name of the sultan (right) and blessing on him (left).[1] Above and below on the right is the certificate of commissioning stating the manuscript to have been produced for his library, while opposite, on the facing page, the upper and lower panels contain the title of the work. Cairo, c. 1470.[2] Chester Beatty Library.
A verse from the Qaṣīdat al-Burda, displayed on the wall of al-Busiri's shrine in Alexandria
A verse from the Qaṣīdat al-Burda, displayed on the wall of al-Busiri's shrine in Alexandria

Qasīdat al-Burda (Arabic: قصيدة البردة, "Ode of the Mantle"), or al-Burda for short, is a thirteenth-century ode of praise for the Islamic prophet Muhammad composed by the eminent Sufi mystic Imam al-Busiri of Egypt. The poem whose actual title is al-Kawākib ad-durriyya fī Madḥ Khayr al-Bariyya (الكواكب الدرية في مدح خير البرية, "The Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation"), is famous mainly in the Sunni Muslim world. It is entirely in praise of Muhammad, who is said to have been praised ceaselessly by the afflicted poet, to the point that Muhammad appeared in a dream and wrapped him in a mantle or cloak; in the morning the poet discovers that God has cured him.[3][4]

Bānat Suʿād, a poem composed by Ka'b bin Zuhayr was originally called as Al-Burdah. He recited this poem in front of Muhammad after embracing Islam. Muhammad was so moved that he removed his mantle and wrapped it over him. The original Burdah is not as famous as the one composed by Imam al-Busiri even though Muhammad had physically wrapped his mantle over Ka'b not in a dream like in the case of Imam al-Busiri.

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Muhammad

Muhammad

Muhammad was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is believed to be the Seal of the Prophets within Islam. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Sufism

Sufism

Sufism, also known as Tasawwuf, is a mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spirituality, ritualism, asceticism and esotericism. It has been variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the mystical expression of Islamic faith", "the inward dimension of Islam", "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", the "main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization" of mystical practice in Islam, and "the interiorization and intensification of Islamic faith and practice".

Mysticism

Mysticism

Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or spiritual meaning. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.

Egypt

Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip of Palestine and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northeast separates Egypt from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt, while Alexandria, the second-largest city, is an important industrial and tourist hub at the Mediterranean coast. At approximately 100 million inhabitants, Egypt is the 14th-most populated country in the world.

Muslim world

Muslim world

The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In a modern geopolitical sense, these terms refer to countries in which Islam is widespread, although there are no agreed criteria for inclusion. The term Muslim-majority countries is an alternative often used for the latter sense.

Composition

The Burda is divided into 10 chapters and 160 verses all rhyming with each other. Interspersing the verses is the refrain, "My Patron, confer blessings and peace continuously and eternally on Your Beloved, the Best of All Creation" (Arabic: مولاي صل وسلم دائما أبدا على حبيبك خير الخلق كلهم). Each verse ends with the Arabic letter mīm, a style called mīmiyya. The 10 chapters of the Burda comprise:

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God in Islam

God in Islam

God in Islam is seen as the eternal creator and sustainer of the universe, who will eventually resurrect all humans. In Islam, God is conceived as a perfect, singular, immortal, omnipotent, and omniscient god, completely infinite in all of his attributes. Islam further emphasizes that God is most-merciful.

Mawlid

Mawlid

Mawlid, Mawlid an-Nabi ash-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while most Shia scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date, though not all Shias consider it to be this date. It is also called Maouloud in West Africa.

Islamic view of miracles

Islamic view of miracles

A number of terms are used in Islam to refer to the claims of events happening that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws, subjects where people sometimes invoke the supernatural. In the Quran the term āyah refers to signs in the context of miracles of God's creation and of the prophets and messengers. In later Islamic sources miracles of the prophets were referred to by Muʿjiza (مُعْجِزَة), literally meaning "that by means of which [the Prophet] confounds, overwhelms, his opponents"), while miracles of saints are referred to as karamat (charismata). I'jaz al-Quran – literally the inimitability of the Quran – refers to the Quranic claim that no one can hope to imitate its perfection, this quality being considered the primary miracle of the Quran and proof of Muhammad's prophethood. In recent decades, the term I'jaz has also come to refer to the belief that the Quran contains "scientific miracles", i.e. prophecies of scientific discoveries. Kharq al'adad – "a break in God's customary order of things" – was a term used in "theological or philosophical discussions" to refer to miraculous events. Karamat – "gifts or graces" – was usually used for miraculous performances of Sufi saints often used to convert unbelievers to Islam.

Tawassul

Tawassul

Tawassul is an Arabic word originated from wa-sa-la- wasilat. The wasilah is a means by which a person, goal or objective is approached, attained or achieved. In another version of the meaning of tawassul in another text: Tawassul is an Arabic word that comes from a verbal noun, wasilah, which according to Ibn Manzur in Lisān al-'Arab means "a station of King, a rank, or act of devotion". In other words, it refers to a position of power due to one's proximity to the king or sovereign. While the tawassul or tawassulan is the use of wasilah for this purpose. In religious contexts, the tawassul is the use of a wasilah to arrive at or obtain favour of Allah.

Dua

Dua

In Islam, duʿāʾ is a prayer of invocation, supplication or request, even asking help or assistance from God.

Popularity

Sufi Muslims have traditionally venerated the poem. It is memorized and recited in congregations, and its verses decorate the walls of public buildings and mosques. This poem decorated Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the mosque of Muhammad) in Medina for centuries but was erased but for two lines.[5] Over 90 commentaries have been written on this poem and it has been translated into Hausa, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Berber, Punjabi, English, French, German, Sindhi, Saraiki, Norwegian, Chinese (called Tianfangshijing), and other languages. It is known and recited by a large number of Sunni Muslims, ordinarily and on special occasions, such as Mawlid, making it one of the most recited poems in the world.

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Mosque

Mosque

A mosque or masjid is a place of prayer for Muslims. Mosques are usually covered buildings, but can be any place where prayers (sujud) are performed, including outdoor courtyards.

Medina

Medina

Medina, officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (Arabic: المدينة المنورة, romanized: al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, lit. 'The Enlightened City', Hejazi pronunciation: [almadiːna almʊnawːara], and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second-holiest city in Islam and the capital of Medina Province in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. As of 2020, the estimated population of the city is 1,488,782, making it the fourth-most populous city in the country. Located at the core of the Medina Province in the western reaches of the country, the city is distributed over 589 km2, of which 293 km2 constitutes the city's urban area, while the rest is occupied by the Hejaz Mountains, empty valleys, agricultural spaces and older dormant volcanoes.

Hausa language

Hausa language

Hausa is a Chadic language spoken by the Hausa people in the northern half of Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin and Togo, and the southern half of Niger, Chad and Sudan, with significant minorities in Ivory Coast.

Persian language

Persian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. Persian is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of the Cyrillic script.

Berber languages

Berber languages

The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages or Tamazight, are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise a group of closely related languages spoken by Berber communities, who are indigenous to North Africa. The languages are primarily spoken and not typically written. Historically, they have been written with the ancient Libyco-Berber script, which now exists in the form of Tifinagh. Today, they may also be written in the Berber Latin alphabet or the Arabic script, with Latin being the most pervasive.

English language

English language

English is a West Germanic language in the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England. It is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the island of Great Britain. Existing on a dialect continuum with Scots and then most closely related to the Low German and Frisian languages, English is genealogically Germanic. However, its vocabulary also shows major influences from French and Latin, plus some grammar and a small amount of core vocabulary influenced by Old Norse. Speakers of English are called Anglophones.

French language

French language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spoken in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

German language

German language

German, or more precisely High German, is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Western Europe and Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol. It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as a recognized national language in Namibia. Outside Germany, it is also spoken by German communities in France (Bas-Rhin), Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary (Sopron).

Norwegian language

Norwegian language

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is an official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Age.

Chinese language

Chinese language

Chinese is a group of languages spoken natively by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China. About 1.3 billion people speak a variety of Chinese as their first language.

Muslims

Muslims

Muslims are people who adhere to Islam, a monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abraham as it was revealed to Muhammad, the main Islamic prophet. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith).

Mawlid

Mawlid

Mawlid, Mawlid an-Nabi ash-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while most Shia scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date, though not all Shias consider it to be this date. It is also called Maouloud in West Africa.

Translations

The poem has seen several different translations, into a variety of languages.[6] Arguably the most important translation of recent times is that by Timothy Winter into English.[7] The book was also translated into four different languages: Persian, Urdu, Punjabi and English by Dr. Muhammad Hamid.

Audio

The full rendition of this famous poem has been produced by The Adel Brothers. They have sung the full poem in over 20 different styles.[8]

Legacy

The Burda was accepted within Sufi Islam and was the subject of numerous commentaries by mainstream Sufi scholars[9] such as Ibn Hajar al-Haytami,[10] Nazifi[10] and Qastallani[11] It was also studied by the Shafi'i hadith master Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852 A.H.) both by reading the text out loud to his teacher and by receiving it in writing from a transmitter who heard it directly from Busiri himself.[12]

The founder of Wahhabism, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, considered the poem to be shirk (idolatory).[13]

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Ibn Hajar al-Haytami

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami

Shihāb al-Dīn Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī al-Makkī al-Anṣārī known as Ibn Hajar al-Haytami al-Makki was an Egyptian Arab muhaddith and theologian of Islam. He came from the Banu Sa'd tribe who settled in the Al-Sharqiah province in Egypt. Ibn Hajar was specialized in Islamic Jurisprudence and well known as a prolific writer of the Shâfi'î school. With al-Imām Aḥmad al-Ramlī, he represents the foremost resource for fatwa for the entire late Shâfi‘î school.

Al-Qastallani

Al-Qastallani

Shihāb al-Dīn Abu'l-‘Abbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr al-Qasṭallānī al-Qutaybī al-Shāfi‘ī, also known as Al-Qasṭallānī was a Sunni Islamic scholar who specialized in hadith and theology. He owed his literary fame mainly to his exhaustive commentary on the Sahih al-Bukhari entitled Irshād al-Sarī fī Sharḥ al-Bukhārī.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī or Ibn Ḥajar, was a classic Islamic scholar "whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of Hadith." He authored some 150 works on hadith, history, biography, tafsir, poetry, and Shafi'i jurisprudence, the most valued of which being his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, titled Fath al-Bari.

Wahhabism

Wahhabism

Wahhabism is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist movement originating in Najd, Arabia. Founded eponymously by Arabian scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Wahhabism is followed primarily in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab ibn Sulayman al-Tamimi was an Arabian Islamic scholar, theologian, preacher, activist, religious leader, and reformer from Najd in central Arabia, considered as the eponymous founder of the Wahhabi movement. His prominent students included his sons Ḥusayn, Abdullāh, ʿAlī, and Ibrāhīm, his grandson ʿAbdur-Raḥman ibn Ḥasan, his son-in-law ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Muḥammad ibn Saʿūd, Ḥamād ibn Nāṣir ibn Muʿammar, and Ḥusayn āl-Ghannām.

Shirk (Islam)

Shirk (Islam)

Shirk in Islam is the sin of idolatry or polytheism. Islam teaches that God does not share his divine attributes with anyone. Associating partners with God is disallowed according to the Islamic doctrine of Tawhid (oneness). Mušrikūn مشركون are those who practice shirk, which literally means "association" and refers to accepting other gods and divinities alongside God. The Qur'an considers shirk as a sin that will not be forgiven if a person dies without repenting of it.

Source: "Al-Burda", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 12th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Burda.

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References
  1. ^ Blair & Bloom 1995, p. 113.
  2. ^ James 1983, p. 26.
  3. ^ "Anthology of Arabic Poems about the Prophet and the Faith of Islam Containing the Famous Poem of Al-Busaree". Archived from the original on 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  4. ^ "The poem of the scarf by Shaikh Faizullah Bhai B. A. – University of Bombay – Published by Taj Company Ltd". Archived from the original on 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  5. ^ "BBC – Religions – Islam: al-Burda". Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  6. ^ See section, "Popularity"
  7. ^ "Imam al-Busiri, The Mantle Adorned", Timothy Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad), (London: Quilliam Press, 2009)
  8. ^ 'The Mantle of Praise', see 'External links' below.
  9. ^ Meri, Josef W. (2005-10-31). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 9781135455965.
  10. ^ a b Krätli, Graziano; Lydon, Ghislaine (2011-01-01). The Trans-Saharan Book Trade: Manuscript Culture, Arabic Literacy and Intellectual History in Muslim Africa. BRILL. p. 126. ISBN 978-9004187429.
  11. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1997) [1st. pub. 1978]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. IV (Iran-Kha) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 737. ISBN 9004078193.
  12. ^ Sobieroj, Florian (2016-05-24). Variance in Arabic Manuscripts: Arabic Didactic Poems from the Eleventh to the Seventeenth Centuries – Analysis of Textual Variance and Its Control in the Manuscripts. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 65. ISBN 9783110460001.
  13. ^ Commins, David (2006-02-20). The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia. I.B.Tauris. pp. 59. ISBN 9781845110802. The Wahhai mission.
Bibliography
Further reading

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