A King and the Moon – and the Beginning of a 1000 year Civilization from India

On my lunch break right now, so I can afford to share my thoughts. On my way to work I read the ARABIC Grammar book. Four English to Arabic phrases from this book knocked me off few hours ago. Here are the 4 lines:

  1. Al Hindu watanun Adheemun. India is a great country.
  2. Al Hindu watanee. India is my country.
  3. Uhibbu Watanee. I love my country.
  4. Al Hunudu kulluhum Ekhwatee wa Akhawatee. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.

The book was written by Mr Amanulla Vadakkangara, a respected educationist from Malappuram District in Kerala, India. The author taught Arabic in an international Indian school in Doha, Qatar. Are you surprised yet? If not, then let me explain this in bit more detail.

The outside world thinks that Muslims of India are basically north Indians speaking Urdu and having more in common with Central Asian cultures as in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan which produced raiders and conquerors whose very names still evoke some kind mixed feelings in the common people. Pakistani books usually credit a young general called Bin Qasem with the honor of bringing Islam by the sword to India going back to the 8th-9th century Umayyad dynasty. It is said that Bin Qasem in an effort to rescue a band of Muslims wrongly captured by Raja Dahir of Sind arrived with about a hundred soldiers defeating armies much more numerical superiority paving the way for the firm footing of Islamic governance in the western region of South Asia (basically Sind and Punjab to some extent in today’s Pakistan).

This story is refuted strongly by another Muslim community called the Shiites. They say that Bin Qasem was actually ordered by the great butcher Hajjaj ibn Yousuf to hunt down supporters of the Ahl-al-Bayt (peace be upon them) who had takn refuge in the court of Raja Dahir who himself being overtaken by the nobility of the Shiite Muslims refused to give them up to anyone and in the process lost his Kingdom to the young Muslim Arab general.

Now, let me tell you that there is yet another story which clouds both the narrations stated above. Islam is said to have arrived in India much earlier than Bin Qasem, if we follow the history of a certain king based in Kerala in the 7th century. Kerala boasts of an interesting geography located in the southwestern tip of India placed right next to Tamil Nadu in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west, basically the Malabar coast is the site of Kerala where natives speak Malayalam housing 56% Hindus and 26% Muslims in its state. The Kerala Muslims (or Malyallam Muslims) also called Mappas locally have a rich story to tell and it goes back to the 7th century at the time of the Holy Nabi Sallillahu alihi wa aalihi wa sallam.

According to legend a noble king called Cheraman Peruman was out at night when he witnessed the splitting of the moon. His amazement could not be explained by any scholar in his court except when he approached visiting Arab traders about it who only promised to search for answers in their journey on the sea. Years later, the Arab traders came back to him with answers, and the answer was in their desert country of Arabia itself for a man had arrived in their midst who declared his appointment as the leader of mankind being the last and final Prophet and Messenger of ALLAH Swt. It was the blessed Nabi sallillahu alihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam who had split the moon into pieces one day as his miracle for the doubters’ minds. The Prophet (swm) had split the moon by asking ALLAH SWT for a miracle and it was that miracle which the noble king had witnessed and it was this even t that was responsible for setting off waves of questions and thoughts in the heart of the noble king.

He had decided. He would go to Arabia, meet the blessed Messenger (swm) of ALLAH SWT so that he could become a Muslim at the hands of none other than the man who was the Ambassador of God. The noble King set out for Arabia with his Arab friends. He is said to have reached the kafela of Muslims during the time of the Farewell Pilgrimage. There, the King was given audience with the Noble Messenger of God (PBUH) where the king said his shahadah to enter the fold of Islam as a believer. How could this meeting take place without some exchange of gifts as India was famous in the world for its exquisite and extra-ordinary beauty and flavors. The noble king brought with him Garlic Pickle as a gift which the Noble Messenger (PBUH) accepted very happily choosing to share them with his companions.

On the return journey through Yemen, the noble king fell seriously ill, not being able to make it to his kingdom he summoned his Arab friends to take his money back to Kerala and inform his family of what had happened and instruct them to light up Islam in Kerala starting with a Masjid for which his money should be used completely. King Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu rests in Yemen while the Cheraman Jama Masjid in Kodungallor stands today as a testament to the noble king’s legacy.

Lets come back to my Arabic lessons. The fact that Kerala currently is called home by 8.8 million Muslims makes them a Muslim community equal to the Hashemite Kingdom Jordan. The Malayallam language should also be considered as an Islamic language if only to honor the brilliance of the Malayallam culture for upholding the dignity of Islam when the courageous followers of the noble king constructed the Islamic mosque letting the drops of Islamic knowledge accumulate over centuries into an ocean of art, culture, knowledge and scholarship for the benefit of all mankind.

Mr Amanulla chose to write the four sentences in Arabic and English it seems with another greater agenda more noble than learning another language for the sake of it. The agenda, it would seem to me is this, the word Hindu is an Arabic Islamic word, this should be known to all the Muslims in South Asia. Al-Hindu is the Arabic translation for India. In Sanskrit, India is called Bharat not Hindustan. It was the Islamic world that called Bharat as Al-Hind and the Central Asian Muslims called it Hindustan (as in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan etc). Every Indian should therefore be a Hindu I terms of ethnicity, according to Arabic Islamic understanding. The plural form of Hindu is Al-Hunudu, that is all Indians which naturally includes Muslims and non Muslims also signifies the above statement which says that Hindu is a nationality not a religion as such. It were the colonialists British who had to severe the brotherhood between the natives by splitting the religious harmony through categorizing where the great Hindu brotherhood of Muslims and non-Muslims fell apart once the Hindu was given the religious shape and color. On the other hand Muslims were pulled away by another form of religion advocated by the British loyalist “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan under the banner of the Two Nation Theory. It was a divisive theory that floated just after the First War of Independence conducted by the Sepoys in 1857 when Hindus and Muslims for the “second last” time united against a common foe. The “Last Time” for Hindu Muslim unity was under the banner of “KHILAFAT MOVEMENT” organized by Mawlana Mohammad Ali and his brother Mawlana Shawkat Ali, together called the Ali Brothers.

Islam’s forerunners were the noble companions among whom is the blessed king of Kerala Syedene Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu. His travel to the Arabian peninsula in order to meet the Leader of all Mankind was the reason and the heavenly door for the entry of Islam in India, also known as Al-Hindu in the Islamic Arabic language. For 1000 years Islam contributed to the economic, social and educational advancement of Al-Hind. The cultural character of present day India can never be separated from its Islamic identity no matter how hard certain right wingers may try. The tear drop on the cheek of time, the greatest throne of the material world, the fort of jewels, the tomb of the emperor, and so on and so forth are the fruits of a work created in the mausoleum of love nurtured by the brotherhood of respect and dignity and long dreamed by a lonely king taking a night walk staring at the beautiful face of the moon.






Harry Potter in Godric’s Hollow

My daughter asked me to read something to her. So I borrowed my little sister’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Kids like magic and fantasy stories, so why not read this famous children’s book to my little sweetheart. After the first chapter, I felt there was something wrong in it. Although my baby fell asleep but I simply couldn’t out the book down. JK Rowling had cast a reading charm on me it seemed. Next few weeks my girl saw less of me reading to her and more of reading for myself silently until I got all seven books completed.

The story begins with an orphan, whose parents have just been murdered in their very home in God-ric’s Hollow. Its not a mystery novel because that’s not how its presented. The identity of the murderer is not at all relevant but the thought behind the man is what really matters. All through out JK Rowling has the reader thinking about the purpose and motive behind this double murder. Why kill the Potter family?

Let me talk about my girl again. HP’s author is asking an 11 year old to walk into the mind of a “murderer”. What could my daughter say, “dad, tell me, why did you-know-who murder Harry’s parents? what was their fault? Why does he want to kill Harry so badly?” It makes me wonder, since when do children’s books target the lives and works of murderers and serial killers?

The murder scene at Godric’s Hollow is central to all the 7 books. Again and again we are reminded how the Dark Lord kills James and then moves towards HP. Lily pleads for Harry’s life. Move away you silly girl…as if to say “I just want the boy, not you, so just step aside”. Lily is murdered. Voldemort approaches Harry and wham. The Dark Lord falls. Harry rises.
Because the sacrifice of Lily was supremely cast in blood, being the purest form of miracle, it was stronger than anything any Dark power could ever muster. It was the power of pure love from a “Mugblood” that destroyed Voldemort when he was at the very top invincible, undefeatable, all powerful. It was SACRIFICE that brought the Dark Lord down to his knees. In Islam its called Shahadat, martyrdom.

Godric Hollow, James and Lily’s home town, was also the birth place of Godric Gryfindor, the Lion. Tom Riddle on the other hand is a descendent of Slazar Slytherin, the Snake. Godric, Slytheirn, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff founded Hogwarts. The Lion and the Snake were always at odds at almost everything, including Quidditch. Hogwarts was setup 1000 year ago. James and Lily died in 1981, so the school’s founding date must be around 1000 CE. Interesting, that was the time of the Crusades. It is well known that the European crusaders came into contact with an advanced Islamic civilization in Jerusalem (Al-Quds). One of the interesting areas where Arabs claimed world leadership was in their knowledge of Sciences like Physics, Biology, Medicine, Astrology, Mathematics and ofcourse – Chemistry (which they called Al-Kemia).

A particular branch of Al-Kemia dealt with transmutation, that is the study or research of how to turn lead into gold. Alchemy as it turns out had two aspects, physical and spiritual. The spiritual alchemy desired to transform ordinary men into purified souls. In Islamic terminology its called Tazakkah, to purify. The one who is purified is the one who is successful and is the one who will be accepted and received by the Lord of the Universe. Purification of the soul disregards obstacles such as blood, color, language, race, identity or any other prejudices.

The Knights Templars brought back with them newly found treasures from Jerusalem at the end of their missions. Some of those treasures were ancient books, wisdom, science and technology and ofcourse philosophy. It may just be a wild guess, but God-ric Gryfindor might have been a Templar who brought back the sword from the Arabs alongwith the ideological knowledge of Alkemia. Slytherin must have not liked very much to see his race loose power to half bloods and Mugbloods. For the preservation of his race he went the other way, over to the Dark side. This ideological conflict must have carried on down to the present age when Harry and Voldemort face off just like Dumbledore and Grindelwald did earlier.

Lets come back to Godric’s Hollow. This is where the story begins for this age, with roots that go back more than the crusades, even before the time of Christ (PBUH). It goes back to the Pharaos, especially to one known as Akhenaton, the first monotheist Pharaoh of Egypt. They say, Alchemy started here in Egypt. I don’t doubt that because Egypt (Misr actually) being the birthplace of civilization should have had world religious influence as well. The very idea of resurrection, return to God and submission to God’s will captures the essence of God-ric Hollow if seen through the Alchemist’s eyes. I that room, Lily represents Light, Life, Faith and Goodness while Voldemort brings the face of ego, envy, greed and hate. This war between the two sides started back in Eden and haunts us this very moment. How we respond to it, the choices we make, define us and our souls.

Connection Between Muslim Prayers and Olympic Gold

Let me restate my thoughts. Imagine you are Michael Phelps, the Olympian. You know your schedule, up at 6am everyday, hit the gym, do some hellish workout, and then in the pool, you must stretch the human limits of speed and endurance while in water. Now, you keep doing this day in day out. That’s all you’re doing , yeah, getting up early, exercising, pumping weights, swimming and eating well. After a while you might begin to think that this what it is, exercising and swimming, that is the purpose of your life, the reason for your existence and maybe at some point in time after doing this routine for months or even years, you begin to think that this is what Olympians do. They wake up early, exercise and swim or sprint or whatever, every single day. The objective you may begin to think for an Olympian Swimmer is to “Workout and practice” swimming.

You should be smiling at yourself if you really think that swimming practice is the objective. No. The Objective is to prepare for a day of competition against the world’s best swimmers. You need to think about this. Whenever you want to understand why Muslims pray, think about Michael Phelps and his training routines. He needs to be ready, mentally and physically, for that Big Day, and all his workouts, practices and trainings were designed to make him WIN.

What, prayers are exercises? No. They are part of the big training package which pushes the Believers to gear up for their Big Day. Every Muslim in this sense is an Olympian. He must get himself ready to compete and Win. It all boils down to preparation and training without which probability of winning diminishes pretty fast. 90% training and 10% performance.

You must be asking, what is the Big Day and what sort of competition is this? Let me tell you in a simple way. Every Believer should know that he is capable of doing great things and that is what his life is all about, doing great things. There is no in-significant life at all. Every life is as important as any other. Our work, money, car and other worldly materials are the insignificant things, but our LIVES are SUPREMELY IMPORTANT. Its like the life of a gold medalist Olympian. Imagine that, you are just as important and significant as Michael Phelps or the late Muhammad Ali!

Phelps trains to win gold at the pool. what are you training for? Your goal is to win the gold in the arena where the great battle between good and evil is taking place. To defeat the evil forces must be a darn hard job. That’s because Satan has at its disposal numerous men and women capable of destroying  countries if needed with the help of weapons manufactured for mass destruction of human civilization. Satan has worked hard to raise his army of monsters. It wont be easy to defeat them, no not at all. At least not without the proper strategy for winning.

Sounds difficult doesn’t it. But I have news for Muslim readers. This “job” of defeating Satan happens to rest upon the shoulders of all the Believers. Sorry, there is no way to avoid draft in this case. You Muslims have only one job, on target, and that is to defeat the army of Satan. Any Muslim who thinks otherwise, unfortunately, ends in the boiling pot.

So, you want to be ready for the Big Day. When will that be? I’m afraid that Day can be any day, it can even be today. Satan and his soldiers are waiting to ambush you any moment you let your guard down. They have their eyes on you like a CCTV. One opening and wham! they will get to you. If they can throw their curse at you when you have nothing to defend yourself with, the results will not be hard to guess.

That means you need to make yourself strong and able and alert at all times. You need practice. Training and hard work. You can only choose to avoid between the pain of training or the pain of loosing. Cant have both. To avoid the pain of loosing, you also need to be before sunrise, preferably by 5am and start your rigorous training routine. Tahajjud, Fajr, break, work, eat, Dhuhr, break, rest, work, Asr, Break, Magrib, break, dinner, Isha, sleep. This routine of Salah is the Training, the Exercise the Workout  designed to make you successful in defeating the Satan and his followers.

Muslim prayers basically intend to churn out soldiers of Faith whose sole duty rests on liberating mankind from the grip of the Dark Lord. Prayer is the secret weapon with which Goodness shall prevail over Evil.












Islamic Tawheed – Earth Shattering Ideology

Never did a single statement make so much difference in the history of mankind. Islamic creed of Tawheed LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH MUHAMMADAN RASUL ALLAH. This sentence changed the world forever, and continues to do so. Tawheed – simple as it sounds is also at the same time an earthquake of 1 million ricter scale being as shattering to the power of infinity. Let me explain…

The first thing any Muslimah teaches her child is to say the Tawheed, also called Kalimah in the sub-con. The child may be as young as 1 year old or less! As the child grows, the meaning is easily explained by her mom. By the time a child is 2 years old, she has the Kalimah solidly enshrined in her mind as the most fundamental concept of life. She begins to know and understand that she is a Muslim, she is introduced to ALLAH (Subhana Wa Taala) and the Noble Prophet (Sallillahu alihi wa aalihi wa sallam). No confusion, no theology, no deep philosophical explanation required. Simple!

This is the reality in “every” Muslim family from the shores of the Atlantic to the beautiful coasts of Malacca. I don’t know of any other single sentence which is so beautiful to recite, repeat, memorize and simultaneously so easily saved in the hearts and minds of Muslims across the breadth and width of the world. Let me say, ALHAMDULILLAH! Such a creed must be the natural creed for all humanity. It is understandable by the most diverse groups of civilization and its wonderful races of every shade and brightness. It is the concept taught in the house of a monarch as well as the house of a migrant refugee.

But why is it Earth Shattering event? Lets think about this too.

Tawheed never stops for a second as an open challenge to every other concept, idea, ideology, thought, creed, system, government, monarchy, junta, democracy, or any other future life systems of mankind. La ILAHA, ie there is no SOVEREIGN but ALLAH – this means all mankind are slaves of the Sovereign.

When the first group of Muslims around the Noble Prophet (sallillahu alihi wa aalihi wa sallam) talked of Tawheed there erupted a volcanic opposition to it. The ruling elite, the chiefs of Makkah, immediately identified Tawheed as a threat and a grave danger to Makkan and Arabian tribal society. They were actually right. Makkan chiefs understood very well that this concept, if allowed to survive, will someday change the social order most radically. Tawheed did indeed radically and dramatically change the social order of Makkah, Medinah, Taif, Khyber, Yemen, followed by all of Arabian Peninsula, and then the whole of the Arab world, then the Persians and the Romans and finally Europe (Spain and Eastern Europe up to Austria). Tawheed defeated imperialism, tribalism and other forms of life systems of 7th century within 60-70 years. Since its introduction, it withstood the attacks of Arabs, Persians, Romans, Egyptians, Europeans, Mongols, Chengez, Halaku, Crusaders, Soviet Communism, British imperialism, French colonialism, WWI, WWII, Gulf War I, II, Arab Spring, Syrian Crisis, Yemeni Crisis, and other crises present and future. But the fact is that Tawheed just cant be defeated.

Mankind stares at pages in history trying to understand how Tawheed always triumphed over all temporal volatile systems and concepts of life.

Qasidah Burdah | Poem of the Mantle | Most Recited Poem Ever

early 7th century, Medina,
Prophet’s Mosque

It was the dawn prayer congregation at the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina where a poet by the name Ka’b joined that morning. Ka’b ibn Zuhayr was considered one of the most outstanding poet of his time and continued his poetic talent after his father, who was also one of the chief poet of his generation.

After much soul searching Ka’b has decided to take hand with Prophet Muhammad and submit to Divine submission (Islam). This is a man who earlier vociferously rejected the Messenger and the new message of unity and wrote satirical verses against the Prophet. In recent past he was a relentless and vocal offender of the Prophet.

Upon ending prayer Ka’b approached the Prophet and as he made his identity known Prophet Muhammad forgave him instantly. At that point Ka’b recited an ode that he had composed earlier to praise the qualities of Muhammad, the Messenger. It was in the traditional Bedouin style, splendid in diction and highly melodious, with many vivid descriptions of nature; but the gist of it was to ask forgiveness. When he finished, the Prophet drew off his famous stripped Yemeni cloak or mantle and threw it over the shoulders of the poet in recognition of his beautiful eloquence.

It’s not surprising that Prophet Muhammad appreciated beauty in the eloquence of poetic expression. One of the famous saying of his is, “Divine is Beautiful and Loves what is Beautiful.” Prophet Muhammad’s elevated maqams (stations) include the maqam of ceaseless witnessing and affirming of the Jamal (Beauty) of God in all manifestations. May profound divine peace and blessings be upon his perfumed soul.

About 650 years later Prophet Muhammad will bless another poet in the same manner by wrapping his mantle over the poet for his sincere and beautiful words; but this time it will happen in a magnificent dream and the baraka (blessing) of the Prophet will make the very poem the single most celebrated and known poem in any language in human history.

12th century, Maghrib, Misr (Egypt)

Poet Busiri’s name is well known not only in his own land but well beyond the continent for his elegance and unparalleled poetic talents. Due to his merit, in earlier part of his life he became a very successful poet patronized by royal courts and secretary of states of the land. Now coming towards more mature age his life took an unexpected turn. By a sudden stoke half of his body became completely paralyzed and the conditions only worsened by every day. Through his serious physical affliction coupled with a deeper spiritual aspiration Busiri turned inward whole-heartedly.

Invoking the help of Prophet Muhammad 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 paralysis. With inspiration and love for the Prophet the poetic instinct of Busiri composed a tribute to the Prophet as a hymn (qasidah). He continued reciting the poem with ardent zeal again and again till he fell asleep. In his sleep state Busiri had the most amazing dream unlike any he had ever before.

In that magnificently lucid dream Prophet Muhammad appeared to him and 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 wish?” the Prophet indicated the last by reciting the first verse. While Busiri recited the ode, the Prophet listened with pleasure, swaying from side to side. Then as a sign of his approval and reward, the Prophet wrapped his famous mantle around the poet.

The dream came to an end.

Busiri woke up with profound joy. While pleasurably trying to gather the dream together, he realized that his paralysis had vanished, and he was astounded with happiness. Read from the account of the poet himself: “I was suddenly paralyzed 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. 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 historical record of the incident continues and as Busiri woke up from the dream near the dawn, the time of morning prayer were approaching. He took ablution (muslim way of baptism before prayer) and started towards the mosque where he saw a sufi dervish. With much surprise to Busiri the dervish wanted to receive the ode he recited in the presence of the Prophet the night before.

Reciting the first line exactly, the dervish informed that he also witnessed it in a dream recited before the Prophet, who continued moving to and fro like a tender plant, as a mark of his approbation, and then invested the reciter with a ‘Mantle’. Hearing the exact description of the dream Busiri gave him the poem. The report of this incident spread out and soon enough the poem would famously be called “Qasidah al-Burdah” or “The Poem of the Mantle”.

Full name of Imam Busiri was Abu Abdallah Sharafuddin Muhammad ibn Sa’id ul-Busiri (1211–1296). He was born and lived in Egypt. He himself was a sufi shaykh in the lineage of Shadhiliyya school of sufism. He was a disciple of Imam Abul ‘Abbas al-Mursi who was a Khalifa of Imam Abul Hasan ash-Shadhdhuli, the epitome founder of Shadhdhuli sufi order. Busiri and Ibn Atallah as-Iskandari were contemporary and both were student of Abul ‘Abbas. May God be pleased with them all.

Originally titled as al-Kawākib ad-Durrīya fī Madh Khayr al-Barīya (“Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation”), the ode of praise for Prophet Muhammad is more famously known throughout the world as Qasidah al-Burdah (also written as Qasida Burda) or “Poem of the Mantle” because of the blessed dream of the Prophet and his mantle incident associated with the poem. In sufi tradition the symbology of giving someone or blessing someone with personal cloak / mantle is very deep. Often time its associated with highest transmission of wisdom, permission, appraisal and approval.

the single most popular poem in any language

“Historians look at the Burdah, we very soon realize that what we are dealing with is very probably the most influential and the most popular single poem in the history of any language. there simply is no other text from ancient or recent times that has been done in so many languages, not just for some rarefied literary elite but for the people…” – Timothy J. Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad), Cambridge University, UK

Qasida Burdah as a poem has had a unique history. Even in the poet’s lifetime it was already regarded as sacred. Over 90 commentaries have been written on this poem by many of the foremost scholars and imams of Islam, including Ibn Hajar, Mulla Ali al-Qari, Ibn Allan, Bajuri, and others. It has been translated into Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Berber, Punjabi, English, French, German, Sindhi, Dutch and other languages. It is recited across the world in sacred ceremonies, mosques, on blessed days even in social gatherings such as marriage etc. The poem is memorized and recited in congregations, and its verses decorate the walls of public buildings and mosques.

From coasts of Senegal to the Philippines, from Russia to South Africa, everywhere Qasida Burdah is recited as a token of love for the Prophet and to ask for blessings. In some circles it is a major and regular practice to recite the Burdah. In Indonesia for example, its a normal routine for the students of religious training to read Burdah on the Friday morning after sunrise or Saturday afternoon. Some having it thrice a week while others may have it the whole week in the early morning. In Java, Burdah is one of their Spiritual Culture.

composition of the Burdah

The Burda is divided into 10 chapters and 160 verses. Each verse ends with the Arabic letter mīm, a style called mīmīya. The 10 chapters of the Burda comprise of Love Yearning for the Prophet, Warnings about the Caprices of the Self, the Praise of the Prophet, his Birth, his Miracles, the Exalted Stature and Miraculous Merits of the Qur’ān, the Ascension of the Prophet, the Chivalrous Struggle of God’s Messenger, Seeking Intercession through the Prophet and Intimate Discourse and the Petition of One’s State.

In its ten chapters, the Burda, in essence a madih (loving praise of the Prophet Muhammad) and mawlid (Prophet’s lifestory), expresses the core values, meanings, and sentiments of Islam. Most commonly performed as inshad (musical recitation), especially on the occasion of the Prophet’s birth (12 Rabia al-Awwal), in Sufi rituals, or other devotions, the Burda became the most widely-recited poem in the Muslim world.

miraculous power of the Burdah

The Qasida Burda is revered to both orthodox traditional muslims as well as mystical path oriented sufis. Up to the present time its verses are used as amulets. The Burda is credited with extraordinary spiritual therapeutic and protective power (baraka) stemming from its author’s personal relation to the Prophet (recitation, and miraculous cure), and is believed capable of reproducing such a relation for others who recite it. To some sufi account it is narrated that if one recite the Burdah with pure intention and love for 10 days, one will meet the prophet in one’s dream by God’s permission. Many have their share of experiences of miracles after reading the Burdah or attending a gathering where Burdah is recited.

the start and the end of the journey is Love

Qasidah Burdah, the ode was originally composed and recited out of deep love for the Prophet – the same tradition continues by those who preserve it. In spiritual tradition, the teacher of the time is the axis of attraction and Prophet Muhammad is the Last Messenger (till the end time before the arrival of second coming of Christ) and Seal of the sacred brotherhood of all messengers of God. He is the pinnacle and pole (Qutub) of all poles. On the rank of the Prophet Muhammad, Rumi wrote: ‘Now, you should know that Muhammad is the leader and guide. As long as you don’t come to Muhammad first, you won’t reach us (saints and friends of God). Jesus is the comrade of Moses and Jonah is the comrade of Joseph, but Muhammad sits alone, ‘distinct’. Love is the ocean of deep spiritual meaning, and everyone in the ocean is like a fish. And Muhammad is the pearl in the ocean. Look! I keep revealing this!’

In Islamic path, the love for the Prophet is a pivotal station which every seeker of truth strive to arrive. Quran speaks of it (3:31): “Say (O Muhammad), if you do love God, follow me, God will love you (in return) and forgive.” A saying of the Prophet in paraphrase: None of you will enter the mystery of iman (conviction to reality) until I am more beloved to him than his own family, wealth and all the people.

Love is the path and road of our Prophet.
– Rumi

Loving the Prophet is a pathway to open the heart and a signpost towards the divine love. All praise and sending blessing to the Prophet is motivated out of only one cause, which is to be able to generate that pure love in the heart which purifies the being and elevate its human status.

“He (God) loves them and they love Him”
– The Quran 5:54

He who loves Me, knows Me,
and He who knows Me, finds Me.
– traditional sufi saying

There are many virtues and miracles of reading the Burdah but the ultimate aim for one who recites it out of love is to provide the heart with a compass to find the pure love (mahabba) with beloved Prophet Muhammad,who is the Seal and bearer of message of unity.

Grab the cloak of Muhammad, the Messenger,
and hear the call to prayer of Love
every moment from the soul of Bilal.
– Rumi

Qasidah al-Burdah: Online resources

. Audio of the Burdah Shareef
. Qasida Burda by Fez Singers

. A video introducing Qasida al-Burdah of Imam Busiri
A documentary on Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s production of Imam al-Busiri’s “The Burda” or “The Poem of the Cloak”, an incredibly powerful poem that is famous across the world. Includes commentary by Shaykh Hamza, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, and Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore.

[>] Youtube videos with translation: Urdu Qawwali styled, Qasida Burdah Nasheed, al-Burda a beautiful recitation

. Qasidat al-Burdah: An Analogy of Arabic and Urdu Poems by Syed Mohiuddin Qadri
. Full english translation and original arabic text

[>] Audio Samples of the Burdah recitation:
1. Imam Jilani
2. Qasida by Junaid Jamshed
3. Qasida Burdah by Fez Singers
4. Jalwa e Jana by Junaid Jamshed
5. Tunisian Burdah, Indonesian Burdah, Morrocan Burdah
6. More Audios of Qasida Burdah

# Reference:
1. Muhammad: His Life based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings
2. Qasidat al-Burdah: An Analogy of Arabic and Urdu Poems by Syed Mohiuddin Qadri
3. Qasida al-Burdah @ wikipedia

.. (picture) the chest that preserves the cloak of the Prophet, chamber of sacred relics, Topkapi Museum, Turkey

# Further: . Complete Burdah in Arabic Script (pdf) . Translation of the Burdah and other resources
. Recitations of Qasida Burdah
. Qasida Burda Hadra @ Osmanli Naksibendi Dergah
. Qasida al-Burdah explanations
. Burdah Night @ Zaytuna
. Qasida Burdah in Arabic

# Related:
. Prophet Muhammad and Poetry appreciation
. Habib Allah: The Mystery of beloved one of Allah
. dreaming the Prophet

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