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Hamza Yusuf is well known to Muslims in the West. In 2002, he translated “the Qasidah Burda” (the poem of the mantle) by Busiri.
On his reasons for translating this shirk filled poem, he states in his common pseudo intellectual style:
“I was compelled to translate The Burda after a trip to Mauritania in which I realized it was everywhere, on everyone’s tongue, always present, always ready to ignite the instant, alter the ambience, enhance the state, bring the presence of the beloved into the room, the tent or wherever we happened to be. Sitting once with my teacher Abd Allah Ould Ahmadna, I heard for the first time a line from Imam Busiri, “If Allah places a people in the service of the serene, then they too become serene.” As those words flowed from the tongue of my serene teacher, I realized in that moment the reason for my existence; my soul was branded with the power of those words forever. That is Imam al-Busiri”.
The following article regarding the Qasidah Burdah is taken from Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zeeno (hafidhahullah). He states:
All praise is due to Allah, the Rabb of mankind, jinn, and everything that exists; and may the praise and peace of Allah descend upon his trustworthy Messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), his noble family, and all his noble companions. To proceed:
This poem by the poet ‘Busairi’ is famous amongst many people, especially the Sufis. If we were to reflect and contemplate on its meanings, then surely we would perceive and observe in it the infringement and violations against ‘The Noble Qur’an’ and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)! Busairi says in Chapter 10 of his poem, the Poem of the Scarf:
Most generous of mankind, I have no one to take refuge in;
Except you at occurrence of widespread calamity.
The poet Busairi is calling and seeking the help and aid of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and is saying to the Messenger of Allâh (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam): ‘I cannot find anyone to take refuge and shelter with at the time of general calamities and hardships except with you.’ This is classified as being major polytheism (Ash-Shirkul-Al-Akbar), which regulates the violator to remain and be destined to the Hell-Fire for eternity if he does not repent from it; hence the statement of Allâh:
“And invoke not besides Allâh any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if in case you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Dhâlimûn.”
(Surah Yunus: Ayah no: 106)
The word Dhâlimûn means: the polytheists and wrongdoers because associating partners with Allâh in worship is a great Dhûlm: wrong.
The Messenger of Allâh (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said: “Anyone who dies invoking others along with Allâh will definitely enter the Fire.”
For verily amongst your bounties is this world, and the hereafter.
This is denial of the Qur’an in which Allâh has stated:
‘And truly, unto us belong the Last [Hereafter] and the first [this world].’
(Surah Al-Lail Ayah no.13).
Therefore this world and the hereafter are both from Allâh and from amongst His creation. It is not from amongst the bounties and generosity of the Messenger of Allâh (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), and it is not that he (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) created them so that they are from amongst his creation.
And part of your knowledge is knowledge of the Preserved Tablet (Lowh), and the Pen.
The Messenger of Allâh (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) did not know anything that is part of the Preserved Tablet, because nobody has any knowledge of it except Allâh, Alone. This is in reality an overstated praise and exaggeration directed at the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) as far as to deem and believe that this world and the hereafter are from amongst the bounties and generosity of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).
Furthermore, the poem attributes that he (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) knows the knowledge of the unseen that is in the Preserved Tablet, and that whatever is in the Preserved Tablet is from amongst the knowledge of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). This exaggeration has been warned against by the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and he forbade us from exaggerating and over praising him, as he (sal- Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said: “Do not praise me excessively as the Christians did to Isaa the son of Maryam; verily, I am only a slave, so call me instead the slave of Allah and His Messenger.”
Busairi also wrote in Chapter Five the following:
Whenever time caused me any distress and I took refuge in him.
I receive shelter from him which was not misused.
Busairi is saying: ‘Whatever disease and distress has afflicted and stricken me, I beseeched and asked from the messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) for the cure and healing. So, for the relief of my distress no one but the messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) cured me and relieved me.’Whereas, Allah in the Qur’an narrates from Ibrahim (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) his saying:
“And when I am ill, it is He who cures me’
(Surah Ash-Shu’ara Ayah 80).
Allah, the Most High says:
‘And if Allâh touches you with harm, none can remove it but He,
(Surah Al-An’am Ayah 17)
The Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said: ‘If you ask then ask from Allah, and if you seek help then seek it from Allah.’
In Chapter Nine, he writes:
For verily I have a security from him due to my name.
(Being) Muhammad, while he is the most faithful of mankind in fulfilling his promise.
Busairi is saying: ‘Indeed I have a promise with the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) that he will enter me into paradise, because of my name being Muhammad.’
From where did he get this promise and guarantee? We know many people who are transgressors and communists from amongst the Muslims whose name is Muhammad. Is naming somebody with the name Muhammad a justification for them to enter paradise? Whereas the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said to his beloved daughter
Fatimah may Allah be pleased with her: “Ask me of what I have anything you wish; I possess nothing with which to protect you from Allah.”
In Chapter Ten, Busairi writes:
Perhaps the mercy of my Lord when distributed.
Would be distributed in proportion to the sins.
This is [everything] but truthful and authentic. If the mercy of Allah brings distribution accordingly to the degree of the sins committed as indicated by Busairi in the aforementioned poem, then as a result, it would be incumbent upon the Muslim to increase in his or her sinning until they obtain more from the mercy of Allah. This is something that no Muslim or any intellectual person could say, because without doubt, it contradicts the statement of Allah:
‘Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good doers.’
(Surah Al-Araaf Ayah no: 56)
And also His statement:
And My Mercy embraces all things. That mercy I shall ordain for those who are the Muttaqûn [Allah fearing slaves], and give Zakât; and those who believe In Our Ayât.
(Surah Al-Araaf Ayah no: 156)
In Chapter 3, He writes:
How can the necessities of such a noble personality incline him towards this world.
For had it not been for him this world would not have come out of non existence.
Busairi is saying: ‘Had it not been for the Messenger of Allah, the world would have not been created?’ [i.e. this world was created for the Messenger of Allah.]
Allah, the Most High proves him to be a liar and states:
And I [Allâh] created not the jinns and humans except they should Worship Me Alone.
(Surah Ad-Dhariyat Ayah no 56.)
Even the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was created for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah alone and calling to this, Allah states commanding the Messenger of Allah:
And worship your Rubb until there comes unto you the certainty [i.e. death].
(Surah Al-Hijr Ayah no: 99)
In Chapter Five, he writes:
I take an oath (of truth) by the moon that was split, it bears.
A connection with his heart (which shows) the truth of my oath.
The Poet Busairi is swearing and taking an oath by the moon, where as the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) has indeed said: “Whosoever swears by other than Allah has indeed disbelieved or committed the act of Shirk [associating partners with Allah in worship].” This is an authentic Hadeeth reported by Imam Ahmed in his Musnad.
In Chapter Three, he writes:
If his miracles were proportionate (according) to his rank, in greatness,
Then his name would have, when called out, brought decaying bones back to life.
The meaning of the aforementioned two lines of poetry is the following: ‘If the miracles of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) were ordained proportionately according to his rank in greatness, the dead who have become decayed would arise and come back to life with the remembrance of the name of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).’
Of course, this did not happen. Therefore, [according to Busairi] Allah, the Most High did not grant the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) his right from the miracles. It is as though Busairi is objecting to Allah, the Most High, because Allah, the Most High, did not grant and give the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) this right!!
This is a lie and fabrication upon Allah, the Most High, because Allah, the Most High has indeed granted every single prophet proportional miracles for him. For example, Allah had bestowed and granted upon Isa (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) the miracle of healing the one who was blind, and the leper, and bringing the dead alive [by Allah’s permission], and He, the Most High, also granted and bestowed upon our leader Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) by giving him the miracle of the Noble Qur’an, increasing the little food and water he had, and the splitting of the moon etc.
In conclusion, what is strange is that some people believe this poem has been called and named the ‘Poem of the Scarf’ and ‘The Poem of Healing’, because the poet Busairi – as they claim – became sick, then he saw the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), who gave Busairi a long outer garment open in front with wide sleeves [like a robe]. Busairi wore this garment and was relieved from his sickness. This is indeed a lie and a fabrication from these people in order to elevate the significance and importance of this poem. How can the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) be pleased with these types of words that contradict and oppose the Qur’an, the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and in which there is explicit polytheism?
It is known that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and said to him: “Whatever Allah wishes and you wish,” so the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) responded to him by saying: “Have you taken me as a partner with Allah! Say whatever Allah wishes alone.” This Hadeeth has been reported by Imam Ni’saee in his Sunan with a good chain of narration. And the Arabic word An-Nid means an equal [Al-Mithl] or a
So beware O Brother and Sister in Islam! From reading the ‘Poem of the Scarf’ and everything that is similar to this that opposes and contradicts the Qur’aan (and) the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). What is really strange in some Muslim countries is that some people read this poem whilst they bid farewell to their dead or when they escort them to the graveyard, and they add other innovations along with this misguided action. However, the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) has commanded silence at the time of escorting and bidding the funerals farewell.
( Translator: Zulfiker Ibrahim al-Memoni al-Athari)