You may find this awkward, funny, weird, or whatever, up to you. Now allow me to share what I heard in a second but took me one week long to get back to my normal state, albeit, this kind of “ailment” had already consumed me before that up to this time I have not yet recovered!
The program would start at ten o’clock in the morning. I glanced at the clock. Few minutes more, it would strike ten! As I was done with my “homemaker’s” duty, I ran to the site and sneaked into the conference room and felt a sudden guilt at my late arrival. But finding a vacant seat in the middle row made me comfortable.
Now I was in a forum entitled “Spirituality and Terrorism” at UP Institute of Islamic Studies on October 22, 2016. A young Hafiz from Singapore was their guest speaker. As I gazed at him from a distance, I saw a gleam of illumination in his face. It was no surprise that he spoke well. The All-Preserver inspired him.
The question and answer session came. What shall I ask? I wondered. But there was no question that bothers my mind. Maybe I will just ask the Hafiz what inspired or prompted him to come to our place or I just scribble a “thank you” note to him for sharing his thoughts. I began to scribble on the paper when the Hafiz, requesting for a song number before he answers questions, grabbed my attention.
Then the young man who sat beside him grabbed the microphone, uttered few words and began to sing. I had no idea that there was some singing going to happen at this gathering! As he went on, singing a melodious tune, my heart melted that I was nearly in tears.
As the euphony of sound continued to echo through the room, my eyes felt like a tank leaking with water. How committed the Beloved’s Bartender to his duty that I almost pleaded! Please don’t give me a drop to drink; I have a proneness to insobriety!
Now my eyes brimmed heavy with tears. So I stood up and walked out of the conference room and cried my eyes out near the stairways to the library.
Can anyone help me wipe the salty water dripping down my lips?
What my heart drunk in secret made my lips run out of words! I wanted to stop the tears dripping from my eyes as I wiped them. But the tuneful verses could still be heard outside that made me weep more like a small child longing for his beloved mother. There were at least five people walked in front of me whose attentions were caught by my, so to say, “drunken imbecile” mode.
When the lady guard saw me from a distance, she approached me. “Ma’am, are you all right? Is there something happened inside that you did not like?” She was a bit surprised and concerned.
Yes! Something happened I did not like. An army of my Beloved shot my heart with a love’s bullet that brought tears to my eyes.
“Yes, I’m fine.” I replied instead. Then a friend bumped into me; we chatted for a while until my tears dried and my sobs weakened to snivel. Now tell me if it is appropriate for me to say, “What a shame!” You be the judge.
So what was the melody that moved my longing spirit? It was the Qasida Burdah (Poem of the Cloak).
Qasida Burdah is an ode written by an Egyptian poet, Imam Al-Busiri in praise of the beloved prophet Muhammad (saw).
Accordingly, Imam Busiri prayed to God sincerely and invoked the help of the beloved prophet to intercede for him to cure his paralysis until he fell asleep. He dreamt of the prophet wrapping him with his cloak as he recited the poem he had written for him. When he came to his senses, he was surprised that his paralysis was gone.
Burdah is the most widely recited poem by Muslims globally. Accordingly, there are benefits and wonders of reading (and perhaps of hearing) it. But the excellence and the powerful soothing rhythm of the Quranic verses can never be denied. Perhaps this poem is just one of the ecstatic melodies that can enrapture one’s soul.
On the contrary, it had caused many controversies that it favors innovation (bida’ah) and polytheism (shirk) according to some Islamic sects. But bid’a and shirk are nonentities in the spiritual world as long as the Truth (Haqq) is perceived.
Our beloved prophet (saw) loves poetic expression when he said, “Divine is Beautiful and loves what is beautiful.” If poetry can elevate our states, any poem or melodious ode (qasida) in its deepest meaning can never be an obstruction to progress on the journey towards Love, for the “The highest goal of music is to connect one’s soul to their Divine Nature, not entertainment.” says Pythagoras.
All praise be to the Wise One who brought good armies to our pathways. – JoyWadi
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