On the Innovation and Idolatry in the Burdah Poem of al-Busiri -عن البدعة والشرك في قصيدة البردة للبوصيري

On the Innovation and Idolatry in the Burdah Poem of al-Busiri, and those that propagate it, and what is appropriate and inappropriate in praising the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him

 

عن البدعة والشرك في قصيدة البردة للبوصيري والذين يذيعونها

وما ينبغي وما لا ينبغي في مدح الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم

By Abu Salman Deya ud-Deen Eberle

أبو ســـلمان ضياء الدين ابرلي

 

some sample pages of this forthcoming booklet – insha-Allah – below

scroll down for the footnotes

 

 

Introduction: Extremism and exaggeration in general and about graves

Concerning the idea of “Noor Muhammadi” (peace and blessing be upon him)

Concerning Exaggerated Intercession

Concerning Exaggerated Praise

Concerning Swearing an Oath by other than Allah the Almighty and Majestic

Conclusion

 

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent in Mercy, the Most Merciful

All Praises are for Allah the Almighty and Majestic, and may Allah bestow His salutations of praises, peace and blessings on our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companion and all those who follow in faithfulness and goodness until the Day of Resurrection

 

Introduction

No Muslim doubts that the final Prophet and Messenger of Allah, Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Hashami al-Quraishi, (r) (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), may the most perfect salutations, prayers, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family, is the best of creation, the chosen one, the light unto all nations, and that he is the most worthy of the highest praise possible for a human being. Prose and poetry in oratory and in written works in praise of the Prophet is part of the noble legacy of Islam of which there are numerous fine examples.  No Muslim doubts that we all should give our best salutations to him, as Allah the Most Exalted has said:

{{إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا}}

“Indeed Allah and His Angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe, ask that blessings be upon him, and salute him with a worthy salutation of peace. (Surat-al-Ahzab 33: 56)

Our faith in Allah the Almighty and Exalted is attached to the love of the Prophet, (r) peace and blessings be upon him, as that only through him do we receive the message and do we have the perfect example of its human implementation with body, mind, heart and soul. The love of the Prophet is obligatory and he informed us as revelation from Allah, saying:

فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَالِدِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ

“By Him in whose hands is my soul, none of you believe until I become more beloved to him than his children and his parents and all the people.” [1]

And Allah the Almighty praised him in so many verses, like when he said:

{{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ}}

“And indeed you are upon great noble character.” [Surat-al-Qalam: 68:4]

And the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him, explained this when he said

إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الْأَخْلَاق

“I have been commissioned to complete righteous character.” [2]

And in a more detailed narration:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَرِيمٌ يُحِبُّ الْكَرَمَ وَيُحِبُّ مَعَالِيَ الأَخْلاقِ وَيَكْرَهُ سَفْسَافَهَا

“Allah is Most Generous and loves generosity, and He loves excellent character and hates low down character.” [3]

And the brother of Abu Dtharr informed Abu Dthar may Allah be pleased with them saying:

رَأَيْتُهُ يَأْمُرُ بِمَكَارِمِ الْأَخْلَاقِ

“I saw that he commanded the people with noble character….” [4]

Unfortunately there have arisen among the Muslims traditional and modern individuals and groups which exaggerate the praise and the eulogy of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to the extent of elevating his status to the attributes which are reserved only for God Almighty, which are exclusively for His Divine Exaltedness and therefore remain forever inviolable and sacrosanct. They praise the Prophet, (r) peace and blessings be upon him, in a manner making him far beyond the human traits of the humble slave and worshipper of Allah sent for our guidance and as an perfect example.  The first and foremost principle of the message that the Messenger and Prophet of Allah brought to us (r), is to worship Allah with sincerity and without any iota of idolatry, yet these individuals and groups brazenly violate this principle, and even criticize in the most insolate manner any Muslims that criticize their violations and attempt to give them sincere advise.  In this paper we present the following advise as a recommendation to all fellow Muslims to adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (r) and to abandon any and all forms of extremism.

A famous example within the genre of exaggerated praise in poetry, of innovated eulogy, is the “Qasidat-ul-Burda[قصيدة البردة] (“Poem of the Mantle”) by Sharafuddin Muhammad al-Busiri (d. 1296) of Egypt, or sometimes transliterated as al-Busairi, or al-Busayri. The word Burdah could also be translated as Cloak or Scarf. Although the poem has been abbreviated among the masses as Qasidat-ul-Burda, the original title is “al-Kawakib ad-Durriya fi Madhi Khair-ul-Bariya” (”Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation”). Much has been said in lofty praise for this poem by those that are infatuated with this type of exaggeration.  For instance, one of them said:

“No other Arabic poem has been more frequently recited, translated, imitated or commented upon in so many languages of the Islamic world. The Qasidat al-Burdah, al-Busiri’s most famous poem in praise of the Prophet. Its appellation “al-Burdah”, meaning a mantle of woollen cloth in Arabic, refers to another highly esteemed poem in praise of Muhammad which is known after its opening words as “Banat Su´ad” and was composed by Ka`b b. Zuhayr. After the recitation Ka`b received, as a reward for his poem, the Prophet’s mantle. When al- Busiri, some 650 years later, suffered a stroke and remained semi-paralysed, the Prophet appeared to him in dream guise, touched him with his hand and threw his mantle over his shoulders. al- Busiri was instantly cured and set about to compose his poem called, in reference to this miraculous healing, the “Ode of the Mantle”.”[5]

Yet there has also been very severe criticism of this poem by the reputable scholars keen to uphold the sanctity of the worship of Allah without the violations of popular innovations, idolatry and blasphemy. Traditionally the poem has been connected with the saint worship of the ignorant Muslim masses, and all the associated hagiography writings, folk lore and practices, and innovated celebrations. Although some defenders of the poem have tried to exonerate al-Busairi from various exaggerations and innovations found in the poem, extremist leaders among the latter day Sufis propagate even today these very same exaggerations and innovations in their commentaries of the poem and their meetings and writings. The gullible masses are often keen to attend the celebrations where the “Burdah” is recited sometimes accompanied by musical instruments and dancing, because it has been promoted to give special blessings.  It can be said that some of the exaggerations and innovations in this poem lead to outright shirk (idolatry) by supplicating the Prophet, (r) may the salutations and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, instead of Allah the One Lord and God Almighty and Majestic.  Some of the ignorant ascribe to the Prophet (r) things that only God Almighty provides, and for which only He should be supplicated: in effect, making him into a partner with Allah most Glorified.  Those that defend the poem say that these are only unfounded accusations, and seek to interpret the controversial lines of the poem in ways that do not violate the correct creed and belief, but we will show that the violations are undeniable.

Some English works which clarify the ignorance, innovation and idolatry of this poem, include “Al-Burdah: The Cloak of Love or Ignorance” by Ahmad Musa Jibril, written in the year 1425 Hijri, and also “What do you know about The Poem of the Scarf?” by Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zenoo, may Allah increase them in good deeds.  There are numerous Arabic tracts exposing this poem’s transgression against the exclusive rights of Allah the Most Glorious and also against the Muhammad Prophet of Allah the praiseworthy one, may the best salutations and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.   I thought to utilize and expand on these works since nowadays we are seeing extensive propagation of the poem and all the innovated beliefs and practices associated with it, and moreover, a concerted effort to promote a “liberal” version of Islam that is suitable to the powers that be, for reasons that Allah knows best.

Allah the Almighty and Majestic warned against exaggeration leading to “shirk” (idolatry) when He said to the people of the Scriptures (the Jews and Christians):

{{يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ}}

“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion, and do not say about Allah except the truth…” (4:171)

And the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned against exaggeration in religion in general when he said, as narrated by Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them:

وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغُلُوَّ فِي الدِّينِ فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ الْغُلُوُّ فِي الدِّينِ

“Beware of exaggeration in religion since exaggeration in religion is what destroyed those that preceded you.” [6]

And in a warning against following the innovated ways of the Jews and Christians, Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَتَتْبَعُنَّ سَنَنَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ شِبْرًا شِبْرًا وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا جُحْرَ ضَبٍّ تَبِعْتُمُوهُمْ قُلْنَا

يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ

“You will follow the ways of those before you hand span by hand span and arm length by arm length to the extent that if they entered the lizard hole you would follow them. It was said, O Messenger of Allah, the Jews and Christians? He said: Who else? [7]

What exactly are the exaggerations that the Prophet (r) specifically warned against and was especially worried?  In a word: exaggerations about the righteous people, and often after their death and at their graves!  The Jews, Christians, (and unfortunately as we all know, many Muslims) continue to make gravesites and mausoleums places of false idol worship, directing their devotions to the person in the grave instead of directly them exclusively to Allah directly. The Prophet of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, forbade taking graves as places of worship and prostration (Masaajid) in many authentic traditions, like his saying:

إنّ من كان قبلكم كانوا يتخذون قبور أنبيائهم وصالحيهم مساجد، ألا فلا تتخذوا القبور مساجد فإني أنهاكم عن ذلك

“Those who were before you took the graves of their prophets and righteous ones as Masaajid (places of prostration), so I warn you not to take the graves as Masaajid (places of worship) for indeed I prohibit you from that.” [8]

The Jews, Christians, and unfortunately many Muslims continue to make gravesites places of false worship and for this reason the Prophet of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, forbade taking them as places of prostration (Masaajid – Mosques) in many authentic traditions like his saying:

وَإِنَّ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ كَانُوا يَتَّخِذُونَ قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ وَصَالِحِيهِمْ مَسَاجِدَ أَلَا فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْقُبُورَ مَسَاجِدَ إِنِّي أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْ ذَلِكَ

“Those who were before you took the graves of their prophets and righteous ones as Masaajid (places of prostration) So I warn you not to take the graves as Masaajid (places of worship) because verily I prohibit you from that.” [9]

And ‘A’isha reported that Um Habibah and Um Salamah, may Allah be pleased with them, mentioned to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, about a church which they had seen in Abyssinia and which had pictures in it. The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:

إِنَّ أُولَئِكَ إِذَا كَانَ فِيهِمْ الرَّجُلُ الصَّالِحُ فَمَاتَ بَنَوْا عَلَى قَبْرِهِ مَسْجِدًا وَصَوَّرُوا فِيهِ تِلْكَ الصُّوَرَ

فَأُولَئِكَ شِرَارُ الْخَلْقِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“When a pious person among them died they build a place of worship on his grave, and then made these pictures. They are the worst of creatures on the Day of judgment in the sight of Allah.”

And he specifically forbade coming periodically to his own grave when he said, peace and blessing be upon him,

لا تَجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ قُبُورًا، وَلا تَجْعَلُوا قَبْرِي عِيدًا، وَصَلَّوْا عَلَيَّ، فَإِنَّ صَلاتَكُمْ تَبْلُغُنِي حَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ

“Do not take you homes as graves, and do not take my grave as a place of periodical celebration (eid), and pray salutations upon me for your salutations reach me wherever you are.” [10]

And Ata ibn Yasaar (رضّى الله عنه) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (r) said:

اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَجْعَلْ قَبْرِي وَثَنًا يُعْبَدُ اشْتَدَّ غَضَبُ اللَّهِ عَلَى قَوْمٍ اتَّخَذُوا قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ مَسَاجِدَ

“O Allah, do not turn my grave into an idol that is worshipped. May the curse of Allah be upon those who take the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” [11]

The Prophet cautioned us specifically about inflating the status of any person and particularity himself, when he said, peace and blessings be upon him:

لَا تُطْرُونِي كَمَا أَطْرَتْ النَّصَارَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا عَبْدُهُ فَقُولُوا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولُهُ

“Do not exaggerate my praise as the Christians exaggerated the praise of (Jesus) son of Mary, verily I am only a slave, so say: the slave of Allah and His Messenger.”  [12]

Here the saying “Abdullah (the slave of Allah)” is a rebuttal against those that may elevate the status of the Prophet too high, by reminding them that he is still a human and a servant and slave to Allah the Lord Master and One God, and this is the main trust of his warning.  The saying “His Messenger” is a rebuttal against those that may degrade the Prophet below his honored status, by reminding them that he is the specially chosen Prophet and Messenger of Allah, meaning that as such he must be loved, honored, obeyed and followed as the best model and example for mankind, since he has been sent by Allah the Most High and Exalted for our benefit and as a mercy for all the worlds.  It is clear that exaggeration of Prophets and those deemed especially righteous and holy, is one of the greatest causes of idolatry, innovation, and sectarianism,   The corruptions of the Christians from the monotheism of Jesus peace be upon him, and his direct followers, to the trinity of later centuries is clear for those that discern truth from falsehood and research history. Are not the noble and wise words of the Prophet above, peace and blessings be upon him, a crystal clear warning against excessive praise and eulogy? Thus a Muslim is always keen to remain between the two extremes: the extreme of praising him too much thereby intruding a upon the exclusive rights of Allah the Most Exalted; and the extreme of not giving him due respect of praise, for his name is Muhammad, the one worthy of praise, may the salutations and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family, and he is the chosen last and final Prophet of Allah.

And let us listen to the wisdom and warning to the Mother of the Faithful Um-al-Mumineen, his most wife who was the daughter of his most beloved companion, ‘A’isha bint Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them, when she narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him, said during his illness from which he never recovered:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ : { قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي مَرَضِهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَقُمْ مِنْهُ لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى اتَّخَذُوا قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ مَسَاجِدَ . قَالَتْ : وَلَوْلَا ذَلِكَ أُبْرِزَ قَبْرُهُ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ خُشِيَ أَنْ يُتَّخَذَ مَسْجِدًا }

“Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians that they took the graves of their prophets as Masaajid (places of prostration and worship mosques.” ‘A’isha then said: Had he not said that, his grave would have been left as an open place, but it could not due to the fear that it may be taken as a Masjid (place of prostration and worship).” [13]

This is his particular warning to the nation of Muslims and the warning of his wives and companions, and yet many of the ignorant masses and even some ignorant pseudo-scholars committed the exact sin he warned us about.  And fear of this idolatry is the main reason for the prohibitions concerning the graves like the narration of Jabir may Allah be pleased with him, said:

نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يُجَصَّصَ الْقَبْرُ وَأَنْ يُقْعَدَ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْ يُبْنَى عَلَيْهِ

“Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) forbade that the graves should be plastered or they be used as sitting places (for the people), or a building should be built over them.”[14]

And it is reported that Jabir may Allah be pleased with him, said:

نَهَى أَنْ يُبْنَى عَلَى الْقَبْرِ أَوْ يُزَادَ عَلَيْهِ أَوْ يُجَصَّصَ أَوْ يُكْتَبَ عَلَيْهِ

“Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) forbade that one should be build on the graves or increase upon them (raising them up) or plastered them or to write upon them.”[15]

And Abu Marthad may Allah be pleased with him, said:

لَا تَجْلِسُوا عَلَى الْقُبُورِ وَلَا تُصَلُّوا إِلَيْهَا

Do not sit on graves and do not pray towards them.” [16]

And it was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, said:

الْأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدٌ إِلَّا الْمَقْبَرَةَ وَالْحَمَّامَ

“All the Earth is a Masjid (mosque) except graveyards and washrooms.” [17]

Ali ibn Abi Talib may Allah be pleased with him, sent Abu Hayyaj al-Asadi on a mission and said:

أَلا أَبْعَثُكَ عَلَى مَا بَعَثَنِي عَلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللهِ r ؟ أَلاَّ تَدَعَ صُورَةً إِلاَّ طَمَسْتَهَا، ولا قَبْرَاً مُشْرِفَاً إِلاَّ سَوَّيْتَهُ

“Shouldn’t I commission you with what the Messenger of Allah r commissioned me with? Do not leave a picture but that you blot it out, and do leave a raised grave but that you level it.” [18]

And Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet said r :

لَا تَجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ مَقَابِرَ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنْفِرُ مِنْ الْبَيْتِ الَّذِي تُقْرَأُ فِيهِ سُورَةُ الْبَقَرَةِ

“Do not make you homes into graveyards, and indeed the Satan runs away from a home in which is read Surat-al-Baqara.” [19]

And he indicated  that house that doesn’t have the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers made in it is like a grave since no Salat is made in a graveyard lawfully, when he said r:

اجْعَلُوا فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ مِنْ صَلَاتِكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوهَا قُبُورًا

“Make some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.” [20]

The clear meaning of these narrations is that there should be no prayers with bowing and prostrations in the graveyards, for the word “Masjid” (مسجد) is from the Arabic root word for prostration (Sajada) (سجد), and thus masjid means place of prostration. Prayers in the meaning of Dua (supplication) and Istaghfar (asking forgiveness) is allowed of course, and the proper manner of visitation of the graves is as it is mentioned in many of the narrations, like when he taught the following supplication to be said:

السَّلَامُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الدِّيَارِ مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ وَيَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ الْمُسْتَقْدِمِينَ مِنَّا وَالْمُسْتَأْخِرِينَ

وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لَلَاحِقُونَ

“Peace be upon on people of the residences (graves) of the believers and Muslims: may Allah forgive the ones that proceeded and those that come after, and we are, by the will of Allah, following you (to the grave).” [21]

One of the common misunderstandings that confuse some people is the fact that the Messenger of Allah is “alive” in his grave, and that he returns the salutations of peace upon those that send them to him, as it is narrated in an authentic narration wherein the Messenger of Allah r said:

الأنبياء أحياء في قبورهم يصلون

“The Prophets are alive in their graves praying.” [22]

And he said, r :

إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَلَائِكَةً سَيَّاحِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُبَلِّغُونِي مِنْ أُمَّتِي السَّلَامَ

“Verily Allah has angels who travel about and convey the salutation of peace of my community to me.” [23]

And as mentioned above, he said, r:

وَصَلَّوْا عَلَيَّ، فَإِنَّ صَلاتَكُمْ تَبْلُغُنِي حَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ

“…and pray salutations upon me for your salutations reach me wherever you are.”

And he said, r::

مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ مَرَّةً وَاحِدَةً كَتَبَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ بِهَا عَشْرَ حَسَنَاتٍ

“Whoever gives me salutations of peace, ten good deeds will be written for him.”

and in another narration Allah miraculously returns the Prophet’s soul to him while in the life of the grave, so that he can return that salutation, as he said:

مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ إِلَّا رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ رُوحِي حَتَّى أَرُدَّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامَ

“There is no Muslim who says salutations of peace upon me, but that Allah returns my soul so that I may return to him the salutation of peace.” [24]

The fact that his soul returns to give back the salutations is one of the special favors of Allah upon the Prophet,r, and all these narrations inform us about our obligation to pray salutations of peace and blessings upon the Prophet, and that these salutations reach the Prophet  r no matter where we are on the earth, (therefore there is no need to be close to his grave) and that we get ten times the reward of our original act of giving him salutations of peace.

Another special favor of Allah upon the Prophet,r, is the special status of what is called “Waseelah” (means of coming close to Allah) of the Prophet,r, and his special “Shafa’ah (intercession) for the believers, both of which are confirmed for him by authentic narrations and thus are part of our faith and creed.  The Messenger of Allah peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ النِّدَاءَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هَذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ حَلَّتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“Whoever says when he hears the call to prayer (adthan): ‘O Allah Lord of the This Complete Call and the Established Prayer, Give to Muhammad the Means of Approach and send him (on resurrection) to the Praiseworthy Station’ then my Shafa’a (intersession) will be allowed for him.”[25]

And the Messenger of Allah peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

إني اختبأت دعوتي، شفاعة لأمتي، فهي نائلة ‑ إن شاء الله‑ من مات من أمتي لا يشرك بالله شيئًا

“And I have saved my supplication as intercession for my nation, and it will reach, by the will of Allah, whoever of my nation who dies and doesn’t commit Shirk.” [26]

And the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, also said:

شفاعتي لأهل الكبائر من أمتي

“My intercession is for the ones who do grievous sins of my Ummah.”[27]

 

And yet certain categories of sinners will not receive intercession and we have mentioned before the narration about the one who does “shirk” (idolatry), which is the greatest sin, and another narrations that indicates this is in the very long explanation of the Shafa’ah when he said:

“…حتى إذا أراد الله رحمة من أراد من أهل النار، أمر الله الملائكة : أن يخرجوا من كان يعبد الله، فيخرجونهم ويعرفونهم بآثار السجود، وحرم الله على النار أن تأكل أثر السجود، فيخرجون من النار، فكل ابن أدم تأكله النار إلا أثر السجود، فيخرجون من النار قد امتحشوا فيصب عليهم ماء الحياة، فينبتون كما تنبت الحبة في حميل السيل، ثم يفرغ الله من القضاء بين العباد، ويبقى رجل بين الجنة والنار، وهو آخر أهل النار دخولا الجنة،….”

“…until Allah wishes to have mercy on those of the inhabitants of Hellfire he chooses to, He will order the angels to remove those who used to worship Allah, and they will remove them and know them by the marks of prostration — Allah has made it illegal for the Hellfire to consume the marks of prostration, …” [28]

And add to this other kinds of sinners as the Prophet of Allah informed us, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him:

صِنْفَانِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي لَنْ تَنَالَهُمَا شَفَاعَتِي: إِمَامٌ ظَلُومٌ، وَكُلُّ غَالٍ مَارِقٍ

‘Two categories of my Ummah will nor achieve my intercession: the leader who is tyrannical and unjust, and the extremist rebel.” [29]

The true way of love of Allah the Almighty, and love of the His blessed Prophet (r) peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is shown by obedience to Allah and to His Prophet (r) and by following the Prophet’s Sunnah (way), as Allah Himself said:

{{قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ}}

“Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): ‘If you love Allah, then follow me Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Al Imraan 3:31]

Part of the guidance and Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is to avoid any kind of extremism, even in worship. It was reported that…

أَنَّ نَفَرًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سَأَلُوا أَزْوَاجَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ عَمَلِهِ فِي السِّرِّ فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لَا أَتَزَوَّجُ النِّسَاءَ وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لَا آكُلُ اللَّحْمَ وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لَا أَنَامُ عَلَى فِرَاشٍ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ مَا بَالُ أَقْوَامٍ قَالُوا كَذَا وَكَذَا لَكِنِّي أُصَلِّي وَأَنَامُ وَأَصُومُ وَأُفْطِرُ وَأَتَزَوَّجُ النِّسَاءَ فَمَنْ رَغِبَ عَنْ سُنَّتِي فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي

“Some of the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, asked the wives of the Prophet about his deeds in private (his private worships), and when they heard about it, they considered their own deeds to be insignificant.  Some said: ‘I will never marry women’, another said: ‘I will never eat meat’, another said: ‘I will never sleep on a bed’, and another said: ‘I will fast and never break fast’. When this was related to the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, he said: “What is the matter with some people who say such and such? I make prayer and sleep. I fast and break the fast.  And I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah (way) is not of me”. [30]

It has been customary for those that celebrate the infamous innovation in religion, the so-called “birthday” (“Milad” or “Maulid”) of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, to deliver a rendition of Busairi’s Burdah poem on that night, and many of the attendees believe that there are immense and special rewards for the readers and listeners. A complete analysis of the numerous innovations of the “birthday” issue are outside our present focus which is to concentrate upon the exaggerations of the Prophet’s status, may the best salutations, peace, and blessing be upon him and his family, in this poem of the “Burdah.”

The exaggerations in the Burdah are related to the following common false beliefs, propagated by pseudo scholars, and held ignorantly by the masses:

-(-1- ) The exaggerated idea of the “light of Muhammad” (called the Nur Muhammadi) (النور المحمدي) as the “pre-existent” first creation from which emanate all other creations, i.e. like some intermediary force of creation.  Sometimes this idea is called the eternal reality of Muhammad, (al-Haqeeqah Muhammadiyyah) (الحقيقة المحمدية), and the Shia have similar ideas about the origins of their Imams, and the Sufis in the origins of their saints, emanating from this original light.

-(-2- ) Exaggerating the Intercession (at-Tawassul) (التوسل) of the Prophet, Imams and saints, meaning that devotees call upon the Prophet or an Imam or a Saint rather than Allah, making them an intermediary between themselves and Allah, who alone should be supplicated and solicited since He alone is the Almighty Lord Master who answers the prayers.  They have perverted the true Intercession into a false one as will be explained.

-(-3- ) Exaggerated praise (Itra`a) (الإطراء), which has been warned against, as noted above, since it leads to idolatry just as the exaggerated praise lead to the Christian’s idolatry of Jesus, peace be upon him.

-(-4- ) Swearing an oath by other than Allah the Almighty, which has been prohibited in the strongest terms by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

Below we will present in brief some of the controversial verses of the Burdah and the deviated beliefs associated with these verses, and explain why they have deviated from the correct understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah.  It must be noted that not all the controversial verses are analyzed in this brief paper, or the acceptable even commendable verses of his famous poem.

Our commentary of the Burdah, which consists of 10 chapters and 160 verses, will be according to the three exaggerations mentioned above, by citing the original Arabic, then the transliteration, and then the translation, sometimes noting more than one translation. In summary:

– (-1- ) The exaggerated idea of “Nur Muhammadi) (النور المحمدي)

– (-2- ) Exaggerating the Intercession (at-Tawassul) (التوسل)

– (-3- ) Exaggerated praise (Itra`a) (الإطراء)

– (-4- ) Swearing an oath by other than Allah the Almighty (الحلف بغير الله)


[1] Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim and others.

[2] Reported by al-Bukhari, Ahmad, and others, and in a version, (مكارم الاخلاق) “noble character,” and another version, (حُسْنَ الْأَخْلَاقِ) “good charter,” and the meanings are similar and they indicate the universal values of goodness, righteousness, and nobility in behavior.

[3] Reported by at-Tabrani, Ibn Habban and others, and confirmed as authentic by al-Albani.

[4] Reported by al-Bukhari,, Muslim and others.

[6] Reported by an Nasa`e 5/268, Ibn Majah 2/1008, Ahmad 1/347 and its chain of narrators is good as Ibn Taimiyyah said in Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqeem 1/289, and al-Albani in as-Silsilah as-Sahihah no.1283, no.2144.

[7] Reported by al-Bukhari  8/191, no.7320 and Muslim 4/2054, no.2669.

[8] Reported by Muslim

[9] Reported by Muslim.

[10] Reported by Abu Da`ud, Ahmad, and others, and declared authentic, some with wordings of similar meaning.

[11] Reported by Imam Malik with an authentic chain of narrators to the Taba`e (follower) and without the Sahabi (companion).

[12] Reported by al-Bukhari 4/171, no. 3445.

[13] Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.

[14] Reported by Muslim

[15] Reported by an-Nasa`e.

[16] Reported by Muslim, Abu Da`ud at-Timidthi and others.

[17] Reported by Ahmad, Abu Da`ud, at-Tirdthi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Habban, al-Hakim and others with authentic chain of narrators.

[18] Reported by Muslim.

[19] Reported by Muslim.

[20] Reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da`ood, at-Tirmidthi, an-Niaa`e, and others.

[21] Reported by Muslim.

[22] Reported by al-Bazzar, ibn Eeddi, al-Baihaqi and others and declared authentic by al-Albani.

[23] Reported by an-Nasa`e, Ahmad, Ibn Habban and others and declared authentic by al-Albani.

[24] Reported by Abu Da`ud, Ahmad and others with a good chain narrators.

[25] Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Da`ud, at-Tirmidthi, an-Nasa`e, Ibn Majah  and others.

[26] Reported by Muslim and at-Tirmidthi.

[27] Reported by Ahmad, Abu Da`ud, an-Nasa`e, ibn Majah, Ibn Habban and others, and confirmed as Sahih (authentic) by al-Albani in As-Sahih al-Jame as-Sagheer no.6027.

[28] Reported by al-Bukhari, and in a version it reads:

“…أن الله عزوجل أمر الملائكة أن يخرجوا من النار من لا يشرك بالله شيئًا، ممن يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله فيخرجونهم ويعرفونهم بآثار السجود…”

“…Verily Allah the Most Almighty and Majestic ordered the angels to take those who testify LA ILAH ILL-A-LLAH and do not associate partners with Him out of the Hellfire and they will know them by their prostration marks…”

[29] Reported by at-Tabrani and others  and verified as ‘hasan’ (good) by al-Albani in as-Silsalah-as-Sahihah no.470]

[30] Reported by Muslim, an-Nasa`e, Ahmad, Ibn Habban, and others, and there are other versions of the narration in al-Bukhari and others

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