In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


may Allah grant him mercy

Imam al-Busiri's Burdah; a universal fount
Where seekers from all sufi spiritual paths dismount

Its celestial lights resplendently shine from east to west
In high esteem and loving praise for the creation's best

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

Sayyidina Muhammad the guiding luminous lamp
Upon that ode he has bestowed, his own approving stamp

When its author was ailing and to Allah he appealed
He saw the Prophet in a blessed dream and he was healed

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

He healed him with his touch, upon hearing its recital
Covered him with his mantle, thus it received its title

Imam al-Busiri like Hadrat Ka'b ibn Zuhayr
Received a gift to which worldly riches cannot compare

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

The Mantle: couplets stitched together with the letter meem
Its verses are so eloquent it flows just like a stream

Sweet and pure, a cure for spiritual paralysis
Its goodness overflows into a sea of chalices

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

Bejeweled and sparkling with similes and metaphors
Imam al-Busiri's pen, opens spiritual doors

Allah connected him, so blessings flowed naturally
From Imam Abu'l `Abbas from Imam ash-Shadhili

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

All the way back to the Prophet , so let us all unite
With all the lovers from around the world as they recite:

May blessings and peace always and forever, O Patron
Be upon Your beloved, the best in all creation

Mawla ya salli wa sallim daiman abada
`ala Habibika khayril khalqi kullihimi

Allahumma salli wa sallim `alayh

Irshaad Ahmad Rashid
Rabi' al-Awwal 1439 A.H.
Toronto, Canada


Imam al-Busiri: the great Sufi Shaykh Imam Sharafuddin Muhammad al-Busiri who was born in Misr (Egypt) in 608 A.H. (1212 C.E) and passed ahead in 695 A.H. (1296 C.E)

Sufi Spiritual Paths: Turuq in Arabic

Stitched with the letter meem: Each couplet in the Burdah ends with the Arabic letter meem, hence it is a meemiyya

Celestial lights in praise of the Best of Creation : the title of Imam al-Busiri's poem (al-Kawakib ad-Durriyya fi Madh Khayr al-Bariyya in Arabic), more commonly referred to as Qasida al-Burdah [the Poem of the (Prophet's ) Mantle]

Hadrat Ka'b ibn Zuhair : a Companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad . When Hadrat Ka'b finished reciting his poem Banat Su`ad to Prophet Muhammad , the Prophet drew off his burda (cloak) and put it over his shoulders in appreciation. This poem "Banat Su`ad" which contains verses in praise of the Prophet is often referred to as the original Burdah.

Connected: this "connection" refers to the Arabic word "ta`alluq"

Imam Abul `Abbas: that is Imam Abu'l `Abbas al-Mursi, of whom Imam al-Busiri was a disciple (may Allah bestow upon them His mercy)

Imam ash-Shadhili: that is Imam Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili after whom the Shadhiliyya spiritual path to Allah is named (may Allah bestow upon him His mercy)

May blessings and peace always and forever, O Patron - Be upon Your beloved, the best in all creation: this is a poetic translation of the couplet most commonly repeated and associated with Qasida al-Burdah (Mawla ya salli wa sallim daiman abada, `ala Habibika khayril khalqi kullihimi in Arabic)