Monday, March 3, 2008
This introduction to the Burda (The Poem of the Mantle) by al-Busiri - is the most well known and oft-read poen about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Islamic world. Written to instill and fortify one's love of the Messenger of God (PBUH), its mere reading is widely believed to be efficacious. This beatiful rendition by Khalid Belrhouzi is both powerful and moving, and is complimented well with excerpts by Yusuf Islam in English. The popularity of the Burdah among scholars and laymen alike derives from the complex and brilliant use of the Arabic language, the author's deep love of the Prophet (PBUH), and also from the fact that poetry in his praise is a cultural practice followed with great literary success since the dawn of Islam itself. During the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH), poets celebrated his glories, using eulogies that, thanks to the special rules that apply to Arabic poetry, might sound extravagant if expressed in prose. The leading poet among the Companions was Hassan ibn Thabit, whose work is closely echoed in Busiri's ode.