The Qasida Burdah
is the beautiful poem composed by Imam Sharaf Al-Din Abi Al Busiri. This composition remains a magnificent tribute to Rasulullah
(salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam).
Imam Al Busairi expressed his tremendous love for the Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam) through
the ‘Qasidah Burdah’, which means ‘Poem of the Cloak’, in the form of a step by
step description of the most perfect of all creation. This classic literature was written by Imam Busairi when he was in a
state of pain and suffering due to being afflicted by paralysis. It was to seek
solace from expressing his tremendous love for Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) and through praising
his rank that Imam Busairi beseeched Allah (swt) to cure him. The Burdah has been ranked alongside the most powerful poetry
written in honour of Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) and has frequently been compared to the works
of the beloved Prophet’s (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) companion; Hasrat
Hassan Ibn Thabit (Ra).
The Burdah has the hallmarks and similar traditions of poetry as expressed by the great companions of Rasulullah
(salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam) in that the words touch the heart as well as contain the history of Islam, and
invites others to the way of Allah and His most noble of Messengers.
SHARAF AL-DIN ABI ABDULLAH AL-BUSAIRI
Sharaf al-Din al-Busiri was born
in Egypt to a family of Berber origin. 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. 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 1296 is
the most commonly-given date.
Almost all of Imam Busairi’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. His best-known work, however, is the Burdah (Poem of the
Cloak), which rapidly became the most popular religious poem in the Islamic world, a position which it retains to this day.
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 (saw). 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'.
The news of this miracle spread, and every section of the population began
to learn the Burdah, hoping for some share of its blessing.