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Reader's Reflection: Burdah of Imam al-Busiri

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It is not an exaggeration to say that the Qasida al-Burdah is the most famous poem in Islamic civilisation. It has been translated and reproduced the world over. So how does this new translation differ from countless others? The publishers, Essential Islam, started with the intention of instilling the love for the Prophet among contemporary Muslim society, and they sought to do this by working on an accessible, easy to read edition of the Burdah. We think they have achieved this and much more because this new work, bound in tan leather and featuring classical illumination on each page positively crackles with baraka.

As you open the book, you see that on the right page is the Arabic text which we can confirm is very clear and easy to read. The English translation runs in smaller font under the Arabic verse. The left page is for commentary and further explanation. The back of the book has a biography of Imam al-Busiri, the extraordinary circumstances of the writing of the Burdah, as well as an ijaza (authorisation) to read and benefit from the Burdah with a chain of transmission reaching back to Imam al-Busiri himself.

It is essential to read about Imam al-Busiri as well as how he came to write the Burdah because the reader has to understand the context and provenance of the poem in order to appreciate it on an intellectual and emotional level. This, together with the explanations provided in the commentaries will give English-speaking Muslims access to layers of meaning hitherto unknown because of the intricacy of the classical Arabic in which the poem is written.

With this edition of the Burdah, readers will feel as if they are reading this very familiar poem for the first time and with fresh eyes. And what a wonderful gift this is. Thank you Essential Islam.


Burdah of Imam al-Busiri
Naveed Hameed, Shaykh Adnaan Raja, Shaykh Mufti Wajid Iqbal
Essential Islam

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