The Beautiful Tradition of Poetry in Praise of our Dear Prophet Muhammad (s)

By Dr. Tasneema K. Ghazi

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believers! You also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.” (33:56)

Alhamdulillah, all of us (millions of Muslims) follow the above injunction of the Allah (swt) and recite the Salawat to invoke blessings on our dear Prophet Muhammad (s). All Muslims recite and act upon the teachings of the Qur’an because of our deep love and reverence for our Creator, Allah (swt). Next to the love of Allah comes the love of our dear Prophet, Allah’s last Messenger, Muhammad al-Mustafa (s). Adoration of the Prophet Muhammad (s) is an important aspect of our Islamic way of life.
Allah (swt) has bestowed all human beings with the unique ability to express their love for their loved ones in words and gestures, especially if the loved one has unique qualities of being an exemplary human being. Poems, speeches, and essays in praise of the beloved Muhammad (s) are the rich part of Islamic tradition from the time of Muhammad (s) himself. Writings of such praise are a special genre of literature in almost every language read and spoken by the Muslims around the world.
The tradition of poetry in praise of the Prophet Muhammad (s) began in his lifetime. His uncle Abu Talib was one of the first poets to compose beautiful poems in praise of his supreme attributes and exemplary morals.
Then, there is the loving “Tala’ al-Badru ‘Alayna” the song sang by the children and people of Madinah to welcome the beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) to Madinah. This early song is still recited by Muslims all over the world.
Hasan ibn Thabit Al-Ansari (r) composed many beautiful poems in praise of the Prophet (s). Hasan ibn Thabit was born in Madinah. He belonged to he belonged to the same tribe as Aminah, the Mother of the Prophet (s). He became known as the “Poet of the Prophet.” Many noble Sahabah used to recite his poems in defense of the Prophet (s) and Islam.
Another Sahabi poet was Abdullah ibn Rawaha (r), who was from the tribe of Madinah. He composed moving poetry at the time of Prophet’s Hijrah to Madinah.
So we find that the tradition of composing poems and reciting them was well established during the time of the Prophet (s) himself. It is a beautiful tradition which began in the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and continues strong throughout the history of Muslims all over the world.
Most famous of the poems written in praise of Muhammad (s) after his death is the Qasidah Burdah by the 13th century CE North African poet Al-Busiri. The Qasidah Burdah has been translated into many languages. Muslims recite this Qasidah in gatherings to honor the beloved Prophet (s), especially in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the month of Prophet’s birth.
Gatherings of Muslims to attend the celebrations of the Sirah of Muhammad (s) and recite some of the most beautiful songs and poems in praise of the Prophet (s) is one the most popular way to learn about the Sirah of our beloved Prophet (s) and follow his high character.
Persian and Urdu poetry is full of Na`t literature, which is increasing each day.
As we are celebrating the birth and ba`that, of Rasulullah (s) we are also sadly mourning the shahadat of one of the greatest singer, reciter, and muballigh of Na`at and Hamd, Junaid Jamshed. While his death is mourned, his Na`ats are in every Islamic channel and millions of lips. The love of the Prophet (s) is the eternal gift that with which Allah (swt) has blessed the Muslim community. We thank Allah (swt) for this loving gift and pray we live and die with this love and are raised in the company of Rasulullah (s) and drink the water of Kawsar by his blessed hands and stand under of banner of al-Hamd, Ameen ya Rabal Alamin
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