Let me give the background before sharing a remarkable story.
This is a kids and youth community group reciting the Burda(h). Every Friday night the youth get together and recite the Burda, gradually tutoring the kids at a place they go to. However, should any of the locals invite them to come over ot their home, this group would come around and recite it there.
They are not paid and the attendees are not served food. A round of water and coffee is served. Incense burned to bring more fragrance to the gathering. Maybe a small pack of biscuits to bring home and for sweet memory of the get together. Similar is done for the weekly khatm (completion) of Qur’an at all mosques. This video was taken at my uncle’s place as he had invited them.
Al-Busiri and his works
The Burda (Poem of the Cloak) is a set of poems composed by Imam Sharaf ad-Din al-Busiri expressing his love for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He also wrote two other famous poems called the Mudariyya and the Muhammadiyya. These poems are read widely, for centuries across the Muslim world.
It is unheard or unfamiliar to some of us today as we have given preference to other forms and motives of literature like fiction books, YouTube videos and pop songs, largely void of tradition and purpose. When our connection with those who truly loved the one Most Loved is severed, things like the Burda becomes foreign and our comprehension of what ought to be loved more is lost.
In school over here, we read it every Monday after Asar (before dusk). Womenfolk here read it every Friday before lunch when the men go to the mosque. Occasionally, there are gatherings where people come just to recite it and nothing else. No meals, no lectures, no books.
Also called Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation
He was partially paralysed by a stroke and during which wrote the Burda, his most famous work, ‘longing for greater nearness to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and in regret that some of his former life had been spent as a court poet, where he felt he had wasted his time in the flattery of worldly figures.’
‘The words of these poems wait only for the hearts of the lovers of the Prophet (pbuh) to bring them alive. They describe the sublime characteristics of the one most beloved to the Lord of the Worlds, the one whom all Muslims seek to emulate.’
The remarkable story
He sang ‘the Burda over and over again, and on one occasion, falling asleep, he was granted a dream which was to transform his life.’ In it, he saw the Prophet (pbuh) cast a cloak over him and upon waking up found himself completely cured.
‘To add to this miraculous occurrence, when he ventured outside, he met a dervish on the road, who asked him for the poem, recited part of it and revealed that he knew of its existence through having heard it in a vision, recited before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself.’