Extract from the book Qasida Butdah (ode to the scarf) comprising of ten chapters, authored by Hazrat Sharf-ud-Din Al-Busairi (RA) of Egypt 609-694 AH.
The reason for writing this poem
The writer Hazrat Imaam Saalih Shara-Fud-Deen Abu Abduliah Muhammad Bin Hasan Al-Busairi (RA) had become paralysed. His doctors and physicians gave up all hope of his recovery. Eventually in this state of complete helplessness and despair he composed this poem expressing the grandeur and excellence of Sayyidina Rasuluallah Sallallhu Alayhi Wasallam. Using this as his sole means of asking Allah Ta’alaa to cure him from his illness, he isolated himself in a quiet place one Thursday night and with complete devotion, concentration and sincerity, began reciting this poem. While reciting it, sleep overcame him. He had a vision of Sayyidina Rasuluallah Sallallhu Alayhi Wasallam. He told Sayyidina of his illness whereupon Sayyidina passed his blessed hand over Imam Busairi’s body. Through the barakat and blessing of Sayyidina, Allah Ta’alaa granted him complete cure from his paralysis. When he awoke he found a scarf or shawl on his body which he had seen Sayyidina place on his paralysed limbs. This resulted in the poem being named “Qasidah Burdah”.
In the morning, when due to some necessity he went to the bazaar, a pious dervish greeted him with salaam and requested him to recite the qasidah which he had composed in praise of Sayyidina Rasuluallah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. The poet said, “I have composed many poems in praise of Rasuluallah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, which one do you wish to hear?” The dervish replied: “The one which begins with, A-min Tazak-kurin (i.e. Qasidah Burdah)”. Upon this request the poet became wonder-struck and said, “I take an oath that no one knows about this poem. Tell me the truth, from whom did you hear about it?” The dervish replied, “I take an oath by Allah that I heard it from you last night when in a dream you had recited it to Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, whereupon Sayyidina became attentive towards you and because of its blessings Allah Ta’alaa granted you complete cure from your ailment.”
When this poem reached Baha-ud-Deen, the governor of the country named Tahir, he so highly regarded and respected it that he would stand while listening to it.
It is also narrated that Sa’aad-ud-deen Farouqi, who was a viceroy of Baha-ud-Deen, had became blind. In a dream he saw a pious person who told him to take the Qasidah Burdah from Baha-ud-Deen and place it on his eyes. In the morning he told Baha-ud-Deen about this dream. The Qasidah Burdah was brought and with full sincerity and conviction Sa’aad-ud-Deen placed it on his eyes. Through its barakat Allah Ta’alaa granted him complete cure and restored his eyesight.
In this chapter Allamah Busairi speaks of his love for Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. He tries to conceal this love and who his beloved is. For this reason he has not mentioned the name of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam directly in the whole chapter. By mentioning places and things close to Madinah, he alludes to Rasulullah. Due to this excessive love and devotion for Rasulullah, he has become completely restless, thus exposing this love to everyone.
1. Is it because of your remembrance of the neighbours of Dhi-salam
2. That tears mixed with blood are flowing (from your eyes)
3. Or is it because of the breeze blowing from Kaazimah
4. Or it is the lightning struck in the darkness of the night Idam
5. What has happened to your eyes, (the more) you tell them to stop, the more they continue flowing.
6. What is the matter with your heart, (the more) you tell it to come to its senses, (the more it is distracted).
7. Does the lover think that his love can be concealed
8. While his eyes are shedding tears and his heart is glowing?
9. Had it not been for the love, you would not have shed tears at the ruins (of your beloved)
10. Nor would you become restless at the remembrance of the cypress (tree) in the high mountain.
11. How do you deny love after the testimony
12. Borne against you by (such) reliable witnesses as yours and yours illness
13. Love has ingrained two lines of fear, and withered your face
14. On your cheeks like yellow rose and the reddish tree.
15. Yes! Thoughts of the beloved came to me at night and kept me awake
16. And love transforms pleasure into pain
17. You who reproach me, regarding my love, excuse me
18. From me to you if you do justice, you would not reproach me.
19. My state (of love) has been expressed to you, (now) my secret is no longer concealed.
20. From those who malign (me), nor is there (something to) check my agony.
21. You have sincerely advised me, I did not heed it.
22. For verily a lover is deaf to those who advise him.
23. I regarded with suspicion the advice of the elders in reproaching me.
24. (Wisdom) in the advice of the elders is above suspicion.
After claiming his love in the first chapter, and how to attain it, in the second chapter, Allamah Busairi begins the praises of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. He openly declares his love and shows the great qualities and prefect character of Rasulullah. While showing his love he also shows the unlimited love which Allah Ta’aala has for Rasulullah. When Allah Ta’aala has praised the beloved Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, then why should he and all of us also not try to excel in our praises and love for Rasulullah.
1. I transgressed the sunnat of him (Nabi, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) who passed the night (in ibaadat)
2. Until his feet complained of injury due to being swollen.
3. And he tied and folded, on account of hunger, around his stomach
4. A stone beneath which is his delicate skin
5. And high mountains of gold (tried to) tempt him
6. Towards it, but he was (completely) disinclined due to his high courage.
7. His piety increased inspite of his need.
8. For verily need never prevails (overpowers) the infallible.
9. How can the necessities of such a noble personality incline him towards this world?
10. For had it not been for him this world would not have come out of non existence.
[verses 11- 18 are well known, always being recited, sometimes in jum’ah, also in naats]
11. Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the leader of both worlds and both creations (man and jinn).
12. And of both groups, Arabs and non Arabs.
13. Our Nabi, the one who commands (good), forbids (evil). There is none (like him).
14. More truthful than him in saying “No” or “Yes”
15. He is (Allah’s) most beloved, whose intercession is hoped for
16. For every fear (and distress) that is going to come (on the day) of agony (and fears).
17. He called (people) towards Allah, so those who cling to him
18. Clinging to a rope which will never snap.
19. He transcends the Ambiyaa, physically and in (noble) character.
20. And (the other Ambiyaa) cannot come near his in knowledge and noble kindness.
21. They all obtained from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)
22. (Like a) handful (of water) from the ocean or (a few) sips from continuous rains.
23. And they all stopped before him at their (assigned) limits
24. (Either) of a point of knowledge or to gain one wisdom from (his) wisdom.
25. For he is the one with whom ended all outward and inward perfection.
26. And then the creator of all creation chose his as (His) most beloved.
27. He has no equal in his magnificence.
28. The jewel of (excellence) in him is indivisible.
29. Discard what the Christians claim about their Nabi
30. Then decide and say what you wish in praise of him (Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
31. And attribute towards his personality whatever you wish of excellence
32. And attribute to his dignified status as mush greatness as you wish
33. For verily excellence of the Messenger of Allah has no (limits)
34. Bounds, that a speaker might (be able to) express with his mouth.
35. If his miracles were proportionate (according) to his rank, in greatness,
36. Then his name would have, when called out, brought decaying bones back to life.
37. He did not try to (test) us with that which would confound our minds
38. Out of keen interest (kindness) for us, neither were we suspicious about the truthfulness (of his mission) nor were we confounded (by his doctrines).
39. His perfect inner nature made people helpless from comprehending, so it was not understood
40. By those near and far, except according to their (helpless) imperfect understanding.
41. Like how the sun is seen by the eyes from afar
42. Verily small, yet hurts (dazzles) the eye (when you stare at it)
43. And can the reality of him be comprehended in this world
44. A sleeping nation whose description of him are (like interpretations of) a dream.
45. So the extreme depth of (our) knowledge concerning him is that he is a man.
46.And verily he is the best of all the creation of Allah.
47. Every miracle which all the Nabis showed
48. Verily they have been derived from his Nur.
49. For verily he is the sun of virtue (and) they (Ambiyaa) are its stars.
50. Which show their lights to people only in the dark.
51. Until when the sun rose his light spread
52. Universally and gave life to all the nations.
53. How noble are the physical qualities of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, adorned with good character
54. (Who) was vested with beauty and disguised by pleasant temperament
55. (He) is like a blooming flower in its freshness and the full moon in splendour.
56. And the ocean in generosity and time its fearless courage.
57. Even when alone, it appears so to his grandeur
58. As though (he is) in the midst of a large army and its retinue
59. It is like pearls well preserved in oysters
60. From the two mines, of his speech and his smiles.
61. No perfume equals the dust (earth) which is touching his (Rasulullah’s) body.
62. Glad tidings be to the person who smells it (the dust) and kisses it.
Allamah Busairi in this chapter speaks of the birth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. The blessed day on which Rasulullah was born is a praiseworthy event. The birth of Rasulullah illuminated the entire universe. Some miracles and incidents which took place at the time of birth are mentioned in this chapter. Rasulullah came to remove all difficulties and calamities from the world.
1. His birth distinctly showed his pure origin
2. The excellence of his beginning and his end
3. On that day the Persians discovered that they (were going to face misfortune)
4. Were warned with the approach of misfortune and punishment.
5. And the walls of the palace of Kisra trembled and crumbled
6. Like how the army of Kisra was scattered never to be united again.
7. And the fire (of the Persians) took a cool breath (subsided and died out) out of regret
8. While the rivers (of Persia) had sleepless eyes (dries up) from excessive sorrow.
9. Saawah (village in Persia) became grief stricken with the drying up of its lake
10. And the (thirsty) water bearer returned in anger with disappointment.
11. It is as though fire became wet like water.
12. Due to grief, while water was (affected by) the blazing fire
13. And the jinn was shouting (at the appearance of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Nur was glistening.
14. And the truth (nubuwaat) appeared with these anwaar, and with their voices.
15. (The kaafir) became blind and deaf, to the announcements of glad tidings.
16. Nor did they hear and the lighting of warning was nor seen by them.
17. After their fortune tellers had informed the people
18. That their false religions would not stand
19. And even after they witnessed shooting stars on the horizon
20. Falling, just as (their) idols were (falling) on earth
21. So much so that they kept running from the path of wahi
22. The devils (shaytaan), one after the other.
23. As though in running away the shaytaan were the army of Abrahah.
24. Or like that army (put to flight) upon whom (Rasulullah) threw pebbles at
25. Which he threw after their making tasbih in his (mubarak hands)
26. Like how (Hadhrat Yunus Alayis Salaam) when he made tasbih (of Allah) was thrown out from the stomach of the swallowing (fish).
1. The trees answered his call, prostrating
2. Walking towards him on shins without feet
3. It is though writing lines that were written
4. With their branches, calligraphic writing of his perfection
5. Like the cloud following him wherever he went
6. Sheltering him from the intense heat, (as that) of an oven in the blazing summer
7. I take an oath (of truth) by the moon that was split, it bears
8. A connection with his heart (which shows) the truth of my oath
9. What excellence qualities and noble deeds the cave contained (in it)
10. While every eye (of the disbelievers) was blind to him.
11. The truth (sidq) and the true (siddique) in the cave were not seen (by the disbelievers)
12. And they were saying, “There is no one in the cave”.
13. They thought a wild dove and a spider would not
14. Lay an egg, or spin a web for the best of creation
15. The protection of Allah (made him) defended with double
16. From armours and high forts.
17. Whenever time caused me any distress, I took refuge in him.
18. I receive shelter from him which was never misused.
19. I did not ask for the wealth of the two worlds from his hand
20. But I received a great gift: the best hand that was ever kissed.
21. Do not deny that his dreams are revelations (wahi), for verily his
22. Heart does not sleep, when eyes sleep.
23. And this was at (the period of) puberty of his prophethood
24. At that time dreams cannot be denied
25. Great are the blessings of Allah that wahi is not earned
26. Nor was any Nabi accused (of lying when) giving knowledge of the unseen
27. His miracles are (completely) clear, not hidden from anyone.
28. Without it justice cannot be established amongst people.
29. How often has his hand granted freedom (cure) from disease by (his) touch
30. And set free the insane from the chains (fetters) of insanity.
31. He revived the starving year (of famine) through his dua
32. Until it resembled a white spot on black times
33. By means of a cloud which rained so abundantly, you would think large rivers
34. Gushing forth from the sea or like the torrential flood of Arim.
After discussing the life of Rasuluallah, his perfection, and exalted status, Allamah Busairi in this chapter seeks forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala through the intercession and Waseela (agency) of Rasuluallah. Allamah Busairi says that his life was wasted in sin and disobedience; he regrets his misdeeds and turns towards Allah Ta’aala seeking forgiveness and repentance. He uses this poem as a Waseela through Rasuluallah to gain acceptance in the court of Allah.
1. I served him with praise, by means of which I ask to be pardoned.
2. The sins of a life passed in poetry and serving (other)
3. As these two have garlanded me with that consequences which I fear.
4. As though I am due to it (poetry and serving others) a sacrificial animal
5. I obeyed the misleading passions of youth in both conditions and
6. I achieved but sin and remorse.
7. The great regret of my soul in its transaction
8. It did not purchase Deen with the world, nor had I negotiated for it
9. The person who sells his future for his present
10. His being defrauded in the sale and its negotiation.
11. If I had committed any sin my covenant is not (likely to be) violated
12. With my Nabi Rasuluallah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam and nor is my rope broken.
13. For verily I have a security from him due to my name
14. (Being) Muhammad, while he is the most faithful of mankind in fulfilling his promise.
15. If at my resurrection, he should not take me by my hand
16. Out of kindness, then say O! the slipping of my foot
17. I seek the sanctuary (in Allah) that he should not deprive one who is hopeful of his graces
18. Or that his neighbour (follower) returned from him dishonoured
19. And since I have devoted my thoughts to his praises
20. I have found him to be best sanctuary for my salvation.
21. His bounty will never escape from (my) hand which has been soiled
22. For verily rain causes flowers to bloom on rocks
23. And I did seek the flowers (wealth) of the world which were plucked
24. By the hands of Zuhair through his praises of Haram.