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The tomb of Imam al-Busiri in Alexandria, Egypt
A verse from al-Busiri's famous and much-loved poem, the al-Burda, on the wall of al-Busiri's shrine in Alexandria

Al-Būṣīrī (Arabic: ابو عبد الله محمد بن سعيد بن حماد الصنهاجي البوصيري, romanizedAbū ʿAbdallāh Muhammad ibn Saʿīd al-Ṣanhājī al-Būṣīrī; 1212–1294) was a Sanhaji Berber[1][2][3] Muslim poet belonging to the Shadhiliyya order, being direct disciple of Sheikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi. His magnum opus, the Qaṣīda al-Burda ("Poem of the Mantle"), in praise of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, is one of the most popular Islamic poems praising the prophet, and it is in Arabic language, as much as his other ode named Al-Hamziyya.


He was born in Dalāṣ,[4] a small town in Beni Suef Governorate in Egypt (despite the similar name, this town is not to be confused with Dellys, in Algeria), and wrote under the patronage of Ibn Hinna, the vizier. His father was from Abusir, hence his nisba Al-Būṣīrī. Sometimes he also used his nisbe Dalāṣīrī as his mother belonged to the town of Dalāṣ.[1]

In his Qaṣīda al-Burda, he claims that Muhammad cured him of paralysis by appearing to him in a dream and wrapping him in a mantle. The poem has had a unique history (cf. I. Goldziher in Revue de l'histoire des religions, vol. xxxi. pp. 304 ff.). It has been frequently edited and made the basis for other poems, and new poems have been made by interpolating four or six lines after each line of the original. It has been published with English translation by Faizullabhai (Bombay, 1893), with French translation by René Basset (Paris, 1894), with German translation by C. A. Ralfs (Vienna, 1860), and in other languages elsewhere.[5]


  1. ^ a b Kaya, Mahmut (1992). BÛSÎRÎ, Muhammed b. Saîd - An article published in Turkish Encyclopedia of Islam. Vol. 6 (Besir Aga Camii - Cafer Pasa Tekkesi). Istanbul: İslâm Ansiklopedisi. pp. 468–470. ISBN 978-97-53-89433-3. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  2. ^ His family came from southern Morocco before settling in Egypt. "الإمام شرف الدين محمد بن سعيد بن حماد الصنهاجي البوصيري". Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  3. ^ "al-Busiri | Arabian poet". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  4. ^ Ibn Shākir al-Kutubī, Muḥammad (1974). Fawāt al-wafāyāt (1st ed.). Beirut: Dar Ṣādir. p. 362 (vol. 4). Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  5. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Būṣīrī". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 873.

Further reading[edit]

  • For a long list of commentaries, etc., cf. C. Brockelmann's Gesch. der Arab. Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), vol. i. pp. 264–267
  • La Burda du désert, T. Ikbal, F. Tidjani, M. Vâlsan, Science sacrée, 2015