Guardian of the Cloak - In Defence of al-Būṣīrī's Ode al-Burdah
Loving and praising the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is an essential cornerstone of every believer’s faith. This core facet of the faith has manifested itself in the form of beautiful poetic eulogy from his own time until today. For centuries, the Qasīdah al-Burdah [The ode of the cloak] of al-Būṣīrī (d. ca. 696 AH) has been arguably the most popular eulogising ode of this kind. As such, it has been passed down ever since by successive and countless Muslim communities, by both layperson and authoritative scholar alike. Recent history, however, has witnessed grave accusations emerge against the poem, with claims that some of its lines contain polytheism (shirk) and disbelief (kufr). This treatise, Guardian of the Cloak, is a thorough and scholarly response to such charges.
The author of this work was Shaykh Dāwūd ibn Sulaymān al-Baghdādī al-Naqshabandī al-Khālidī al-Shāfiʿī (1815–1882). He was originally from Baghdad, but travelled extensively throughout the Muslim world, including the Hejaz, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt. He authored numerous works, in addition to this treatise, including a defence of the four Sunni schools of Islamic law, and a refutation of the Wahhabis and Maḥmūd al-Ālūsī.