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Composed by:
Rahmatullahi 'Alaih

An Appreciation by Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad

The Burda, or the Prophet's Mantle is a qasida (poem) composed by the great Sufi Shaykh Imam Sharafuddin Muhammad Al-Busiri Rahmatullahi 'Alaih who was born in Misr (Egypt) in 608 A.H. (1212 C.E) and died in 695 A.H. (1296 C.E). 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.

He composed the Burda while suffering from a stroke which had paralysed half of his body. After praying to Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala to heal him, he fell asleep and in his dream recited this qasida to the Holy Prophet Sayyidina wa Mawlana Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam who touched the paralysed part of his body and threw his mantle (Burda) over him. On arising, he was miraculously cured, the news of which spread far and wide. Hence the qasida came to be called Qasida tu'l Burda and received veneration among all Muslims as a qasida especially approved by the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam. Its verses are often learned by heart and inscribed on the walls of public buildings. It is congregationally recited in the majalis (spiritual gatherings) of the Zaakireen (those who remember Allah Ta'ala) all over the world. It cures diseases as well as purifies hearts if recited with love and devotion.

More than 90 commentaries have been written on this qasida and it has been translated in Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Berber, Punjabi, English, French and German, among other languages.

The Burda is in 10 parts and has 160 verses all of which end in the Arabic letter Meem, hence it is a "Meemiyya". The 10 parts of the Burda are about

  1. Love for Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam
  2. A warning against the desires of the nafs
  3. Praise of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam
  4. Events occuring on his birth
  5. His miracles
  6. Praise of the Glorious Qur'an
  7. The "Isra" and "Mi'raj" of the noble Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam
  8. His battles
  9. Repentance, asking forgiveness from Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala and seeking intercession of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam
  10. Supplication to Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala

Reproduced here are verses 34 to 42 from Part 3 in praise of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him. The translation is by Thoraya Mahdi Allam.

Blessings and Salutations
of Allah be upon him

Muhammad, leader of the two worlds
and of Man and the jinn,
Leader also of the Arabs and
non Arabs and their kin.
Our Prophet, Commander of right,
prohibits evil's way,
Yet no one's speech more gentle could be
than his nay or yea.
Beloved by Allah is he upon
whose pleading we depend
From terrors of the Day of Judgement,
which on us descend.
He summoned people unto Allah,
they to him did adhere,
And clung fast to the rope that none
could ever rent or tear.
In morals and features
he, all prophets did exceed,
None could approach his knowledge,
or his bounty e'er precede.
And thus from Allah's Apostle
they acquired and did gain,
A handful of the vast sea
or a sip of gen'rous rain.
So other prophets in their rightful place
before him stand,
Regarding knowledge and the wisdom
that they understand.
He perfect is in traits concealed,
and features bright and clear,
And Man's Creator chose him
as His most beloved and dear.
Too far above all men is he
to have a partner who
Has equal qualities, because
the essence of virtue
That in him lies is indivisible,
and wholly true

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