Qasida Burda Shareef 1
Qasida Burda Shareef 2









Well known as




Shaikh Faizullah Bhai B. A.
Fellow of the University of Bombay



The main object of bringing before the public this Anthology of Arabic poems on Islam and its illustrious Preacher (Peace of God be on him), is to place them within the reach of such English-speaking people as take a keen interest in the faith of Islam and its- propagation, so as to enable them to see how Arabic poetry represents and -depicts the character of the noble Founder of Islam. With this end in view an English translation, simple and faithful to the original is given, with footnotes explaining in full all allusions to historical facts and events in the life of the holy Prophet, and all references to the Quran and the Traditions. At the same time, the interests of such readers as read the poem with a view to study the Arabic language for the sake of study has not been neglected, and in order to effect this end a literal version is given in the notes where the idiom and the construction of the English language make it imperative to make departure from a close version.

After making all due allowances for the play of imagination, on
Which Poetry mainly depends for its excellence, and in which the Eastern poets indulge very freely, it will be easy enough to see that the representations and the pictures in these poems possess the rare feature of not exceeding the bounds of propriety and reason. While the Prophet is represented as the best and highest model of human perfection, short only of divinity, he is admitted to be, after all, but a man and a servant of God. All representations are well borne out by historical facts and are sustainable by reason, at least from the point of view of Mohammedan theology. Thus in fact poetry here, unable to hold its own against the grandeur and sublimity of the subject, gives way to reality and facts and dwindles into a simple narrative.
The first volume just offered to the public contains one of the noblest poems in the Arabic literature of the Post-Islamitic time

And one that gives a very faithful picture of the Prophet. It has; besides, the rare advantage that its images, similes and sentiments are such as will not fail to command the appreciation of Western readers of the present time.

The next volume will contain such poems as were composed and recited in the defence and the support of Islam, at its very outset, by such persons as were well known for their high position, integrity of character, vast knowledge and sound judgement. They go far to prove clearly that Islam was never based on violence, force or use of the sword, but was only a form of religion founded on solid reason and pure morality, and quite in unison with the doctrines of God, previously preached by Abraham, Moses and Christ, and merely remodelled now according to the wants of the time. Thus they give a strong rebuff to those Orientalists who have so assiduously made futile attempts to diminish the merits of the faith of Islam by their misleading representations.

I must here admit my conscious incapacity for so high and undertaking, to which due justice can be done only by higher abilities. But I have an ample excuse in the fact that the cause of Islam has equal claims to the best services of all) whether small or great, in proportion to their abilities. It only remains for me now to appeal to the liberal judgement of my readers who, bearing in mind the difficulties that are likely to beset the course of one in my present position, will, I hope, never grudge me the favour of overlooking any shortcomings in the work. I will, at the same time, be thankful to those who will take the trouble of pointing out any faults they may find in the translation and the notes.

The treatment I expect this book to receive at the hands of the public is like what Scott expected for his well known poem, where he says:

Though harsh and faint and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of the nobler strain,
Yet, if one heart throbs higher as its sway,
The wizard note has not been touched in vain.

My heartiest thanks are due to the following gentlemen who have directly or indirectly helped so much the publication of the work. In the first place, I owe much to Mohammed A.R. Webb,

Manager of Islam Mission at New York, for his having first suggested the idea; in the second place, to Mr. Abdul-Hussain Abdulali Faizullabhai Moochala, a respectable leading merchant of Bombay and Honorary Secretary to Mulla Sahib Abdul Hussain Husamuddin, the late chief Mulla Sahib of the Daudi Bohra community, for his undertaking the publication of the work; thirdly, to Shamsul Ulama Mirza Hairat, Professor of Arabic and Persian, Elphinstone College, to whose kind encouragement, guidance and suggestions the present work owes a good deal of success; and lastly, to my learned brother Moulvi Shaikh Abdul Kadir, a deep scholar of Arabic, for his having kindly revised the Arabic portion of the work.


Adamjee Peerbhai Arabic School,
Queen's Road, Bombay,
14th July 1893.



The poet, Sharfuddin Abi Abdullah Mohammed bin Sa'eed al-Misree, was well known by his surname Busaree from Bushire, to which one of his parents belonged. The other is being from Dalas in Egypt. He also got a compound surname of Dalasaree. He was born in 608 and died in 695 A.H.
He cultivated the art of penmanship with great pains, and followed it as his profession, earning great distinction as an excellent calligraphist. He also took a good deal of interest in the study of oriental languages and usages.

His fame, however, depends not so much on his proficiency in calligraphy as on the several eulogistic poems, which he wrote about the Prophet Mohammad, (Peace of God be on him) of which three are well known. Of these three the present one is the most popular. Next comes the poem known as Hamziah, a very long, sonorous and beautiful poetic production, which redounds much to the credit of its writer. The third is a poem, written in imitation of the well known poem of Ka'ab bin Zuhair Al-Muzani, who recited it before the Prophet and was rewarded with a scarf.

Most of these poems were written at the desire and suggestion of Zainuddin Ya'qoob bin Zubair.


The Occasion that led to the writing of this poem was an event in the life of the poet which he describes as follows: The poet, according to his own account, happened to be affected seriously with paralysis which deprived one-half of his body of its vital powers and motions. He then thought of offering another tribute of devotion to the Prophet and wrote the present poem. Invoking the help of the Prophet and his intercession, he fervently prayed to God the Almighty, with tears repentance and sincerity of purpose, to grant him a speedy relief from the disease. He continued reciting the poem with ardent zeal again and again till he fell asleep. In his dream he saw the Prophet who passed his hand on the diseased part of the body and threw a 'Scarf' on him, which gave him instant relief. On waking, he felt himself able to move. He got up and went out of his house without informing any one of what had happened. He came across a pauper, who asked him for his poem composed in the praise of the Prophet during his illness. Reciting the first line exactly, the pauper said that he saw it in a dream recited before the Prophet, who continued moving to and fro like atenderplant, as a mark of his approbation, and them invested the reciter with a 'Scarf.' The poet gave him the poem, end the report of this incident spread out till it reached Bahauddin the Vazeer of King Tahir. He sent for the poet and, on obtaining the poem, took an oath to have it recited to him with bare head and naked feet. He and his people since then took great delight in its frequent recital.

It is said that Sa'duddin Fariqee, the seal-keeper of the minister, afterwards suffered severely from a serious opthalmia which threatened him with a total loss of sight. In a dream he saw some one bidding him go to the Vazeer and ask him to place the 'sacred Scarf' on his eyes for an immediate cure. The Vazeer, on being in formed of the matter, said that among the sacred relics of the Prophet in his possession, he had no such thing as a 'Scarf.' But then recollecting that it probably meant the poem of Busaree, he took it and placed it on the eyes of Sa'duddin which he instantly found permanently cured. Such are the circumstances related to have given birth to the poem, and to have given it the name of:

Allusions are often made to parallel Lines from it in the footnotes.


This poem is regarded by the Mohammedans with deep reverence and respect, and is generally recited and read an solemn occasions as an auspicious source of blessing. Several lines are said to have great influence in curing diseases, removing sufferings and affording relief from distress and calamity, if recited and read repeatedly according to certain prescribed formulae.


This poem is one of the noblest poetical productions of the seventh century after Islam. It holds its own against any of the best poems of the Abbaside times in florid diction, choice of words, and propriety  of expression. perspicuity and charming eloquence of language, natural development of the train of thoughts, the subtlety of its transitions, current and harmonious flow of the metre, and absolute freedom from any kind of solecism. The poem abounds in a variety of images, similes and metaphors, which far from being indistinct, remote or forced are very distinct clear, apposite and happy, and are such as add greatly to the graphic description of the narrative and to a clear elucidation of the incidents alluded to, while monotony in the metre and the language is greatly relieved by various verbal figures so much indulged in by the Post-Islamitic poets. The figures of speech, both verbal and rhetorical, are such as command deep admiration on account of their exquisiteness, elegance and propriety of application.

This poem is universally popular throughout the Moslem world in consequence of its holding no polemical views and its tolerance of views and opinions not shared by the poet.


Beginning with an exquisite allusion to the subject matter (   ) in accordance with the almost established custom of introducing poems with Love Description (   ), the poem gives a short description of the woeful plight of a tender lover during his separation from his sweetheart (1-8). This kind of introduction being incongruous to the sublime and grave subject of the poem, the poet, in trying to avoid this uncongruity, artfully gives it a better turn by calling in the agency of the reproachers, who come to discover his secret love, betrayed by his tears and pale colour (9-12). Naturally availing himself of the opportunity to expostulate with the lover, he exhorts him to give upsuch light pursuits as being inconsistent with his old age (13-16). While pointing out what the old age requires him to do instead, while showing the manner in which it peremptorily bids  him refrain from the indulgence of lust and passions (17-25), and while proposing to himself to make the best amends for the time he wasted therein (26-28), he slyly glides into his subject (  ) (29), viz.; the panegyrics of the Prophet (God's Grace be with him).

Proceeding to  mention how the Prophet abstained from wordly indulgences (30-33), how he called people to the won ship of one God  (34-37), how he excelled all the noble prophets that preceded him in social, moral and mental Qualities (338-40), how he was then as a reward, invested by God with the enviable rank of a favourite (41-42), the poet tells us how mankind, at all times, being at a Loss to comprehend his true nature, not with standing his kindly taking every care not to try them with anything, beyond their capacity, had to admit his  claims to every greatness and excellence, short only of divinity, he being but a human being after all (43-56); and how, while he stood so high among the prophets, and commanded the best respect of the people, he was always extremely affable, polite, accessible and gentle to his people. (57-61)

The poet is here naturally led in a poetic strain to sing of the wonderful and supernatural incidents that occurred at the time of the Prophet's birth and predicted his high mission (62-72),

He then sings of the few out of many miracles showed by him in support of the truth of his mission (73-94), the greatest of them being the glorious and the inimitable Quran (95-108) and  the Ascension of the Prophet to the heavens (109-I 15), ending with his being invested by God with honours and ranks too high for any other prophet to attain (116-119).

Thus giving a short and lively description of the warlike deeds of the Prophet and of his noble disciples, who assisted him with their military achievements in support of his high mission (120-138)  the poet assures us how ready and prompt he is in defending  his own people against any calamities and in helping them in their distress (139-143).

At this stage the poet, reflecting on his past life and regretting the waste of his energies in serving and eulogising wordly people, which would rather compromise his interest in the good of the next world, makes amends by devoutly offering the poem to the Prophet (144-149), and tenders his apology, feeling confident in the generosity of the Prophet and the promises held forth by him to his people, which leave him no reason for despair even in spite of the enormity of his sins (150-152). Then gently hinting at the object he asks for
) (153-154),and not coveting the gain of any wordly good (155), he invokes the promised intercession of the Prophet on his behalf on the Day of Judgement for the pardon of his sins and crimes, and thus consoles his despairing sinful conscience (156-160).

After a short prayer for himself (161-162) he finishes the poem (  ) very elegantly and appropriately, with invoking the eternal blessings of God on the head of the Prophet, his followers and his posterity, in well-rounded lines (163-165).




Is it from the recollection of friends at Zu-salam, 1* that thou haste mixed the tears, flowing from thy eyes, with blood?

Or is i' because the wind has blown from the direction of Kazimah? 2* or is it because lightning has flashed in the darkness of night, from the mount of Izam? 3*

What is the matter with thy two eyes, that the more I tell them to desist from tears, the more they flow; and what is the matter with thy heart, that the more I ask it to come to its senses, the more it is distracted by love?

1*. Name of a place near Madeenah
2*. Name of a place.
3*. Name of a mountain.
These places being near Madeenah, their special mention gives a gentle hint on the main subject of the poem being at Madeenah. The kind of subtle allusion in the beginning of a Poem is generally indulged in by the post-Islamic poets

Does the ardent lover think that his love can remain secret while his eyes are shedding tears and his heart is glowing with ardent low ? 1*

Had it not been for love, thou shouldst not have shed tears at the ruined abode of thy friend, nor shouldst thou have lost sleep at the recollection of the cypress 2* and the high mountain. 3*

How durst thou deny thy love after the evidence, given against thee by such equitable witnesses as thy tears and illness ?

And even now that thy ardent love has stamped on thy two cheeks the two lines of tears and emaciation like Buphthalmus 4* and Carob tree fruit. 5*

Yes, the phantom of the sweetheart, whom I love, "visited me at night and drove away my sleep.. And love interrupts pleasures with pain.

O thou, who reproaches" me regarding my love for one of the tribe of ' Uzrah, excuse me 6* and shouldst thou do me justice, thou wouldst not reproach me.

1* Lit, in the midst of a flowing tear and a burning heart.
2* The cypress among the Arabic poets is often a symbol of the straight stature of a sweetheart.
3* The " high mountain " here refers to the abode of the sweet-hear!.
4* Proverbial for its yellow colour.
5* Proverbial for its red colour.
6* Lit., take an excuse from me to you.

May my evil plight pass on to thee; for, neither is my secret concealed from my revellers, nor can my disease stand a check.

Thou hast sincerely offered me admonition; but I would not heed it; indeed, the lover is  deaf to his reproaching critics.

Verily, I regarded the monitor of grey hair with suspicion in his censures passed on me; whereas grey hair is the farthest removed from suspicions in his censure.


For, my soul, which incites me to evil deeds, takes no lesson on account of its folly, from the warning grey hair and decrepitude.

Nor has he2 prepared a feast of good deeds for entertaining a guest,3 that has lodged in my head without any reserve.4

Had I known that I would not be able to revere him,5 I should have tried to conceal his secret, which is now disclosed, by means of a dyed

1 Lit, from the warner of grey hair and of decrepitude. 2 i c., the soul.
 3 i e., the grey hair. 4 The poet means to say that his soul in his old age still indulges in the childish pranks of love, which arc by no means consistent with the gravity of old age. 5 i.e., the guest. 6 The idea here is that if the poet had known the difficulty of respecting grey hair, he would have tried to appear young by dyeing his grey hair.

Who can guarantee me to restrain refractory passions from their error, just as Manageable horses are curbed by bridles?
Do not try to subdue its appetite by means afillicit indulgence; for' verily, food increases more and more the appetite of a glutton.

And the soul is like a child, who, if thou indulgest him, will grow up with the love of sucking, but will keep away if you wean him.1

Then, check its inclinations and take care, lest thou allowst it mastery over thee; for certainly, the lust, whenever it gets power, gives either a mortal blow or tarnishes the character.

Watch it well, while it is pasturing on the field of its actions; and should it make choice of any pasture,2 do not let it roam free, lest the choice prove unwholesome.

How often does it make a man approve of a deadly pleasure; since he does not know that there is poison in the fat?
And fear the secret machinations both of hunger and satiety'3 for, sometimes hunger is more mischievous than indigestion.

1 The poet here compares the animal soul to a child. Just as a child will suck its mother's breasts so long as the mother suckles it and will never give up its habit until it is forcibly weaned, so the soul will give up its evil habits so long as the possessor of the soul will indulge in them but it will keep to its evil habits if measures are taken to wean it from evil habits.
2 Lit., consider as pleasant.
3 The poet says, "Be always temperate, for the extremes of hunger and saticty are both alike injurious."

And shed tears unsparingly from the eye, which has been full of forbidden sights, and keep strictly to abstinence, In the shape of penitential exercises. 1

And resist both the self and Satan and disobey them, and should they sincerely offer thee any advice, regard them with suspicion.

And do not listen to them either as a litigant or an arbitrator; for, thou well knowest the tactics of such a litigant and arbitrator.

I ask God to pardon me for preaching without practice: for wearily thereby I claim offspring for a barren person.

I recommended fee practice of virtue to thee, but I did not myself conform to it; I did not keep to it; what, then, can be the effect  of my telling thee to keep to it?

Nor have I provided myself with any voluntary devotions against the next world before the approach of death; nor have I offered any other than the compulsory devotion, nor have I observed any fasts.

1. The poet plays the physician here. Just as the physician recommends to his patient a purgative for cleansing his system and puts him to a particular diet with a view to preventing him from indulging in injurious food, so the poet recommends his readers to shed tears and thus purge their eyes of the evil sights they may have seen and to indulge in penitential exercises, and thereby abstain from evil deeds.


I transgressed the law of the Prophet, who passed the night in adoration, until his feet complained of injury from pain.

He tied his bowels on account of hunger, and bound his waist with folds of delicate skin with a stone in it. 1

High mountains of gold tempted him, but he showed them extreme haughtiness. 2

1. Lit, He folded under the stone a waist, delicate of skin.
The allusion his to the tradition that the Prophet used to pass is nights in praying so long that his long standing caused swelling and pain in his feet. He abstained from food, being indifferent to worldly luxury, and put tip with hunger, so that he had often to support himself with tying a stone on his abdomen to deaden the feelings of hunger. This state of things continued until God desired him to discontinue the practice, and addressed him thus; " O Taha, we did not send down the Koran to you, in order that you might be miserable." (Vied Koran, Sura xx. v. 1.)

On being asked why he exerted himself so vehemently in devotion, when God had already forgiven him all his crimes, (Vied Koran, Sura xlviii. v. i.), he replied: " Shall I not be a grateful servant?”

2. This verse alludes to the tradition that the Angel Gabriel said once to the Prophet, “ God presents compliments to you, and ask; whether you wish the mountains to be turned into gold for you, to accompany you wherever you go. "

“O Gabriel," replied he, " worldly wealth is to be courted only by him who has no good to expect in the next world."


Hi' poverty urged him to be indifferent to them,'1 for poverty never prevails over the immaculate.

And how could poverty incite one to worldly prosperity, for whom had it not been, the world should not have come out of nonentity ?2

- Mohammed is the lord of the two worlds and of the two noble creations (men and genii) and of the two nations, namely, Arabs and non-Arabs.

He is our Prophet, who enjoined us to do good, and who prohibited us from doing wrong, because there is none more veracious than he in saying, 'no' or 'yes.' 3

He is the favourite of God, whose intercession is to be hoped for in every kind of surprising distress.

He called the people to God; so those who cling to him, cling to a rope which never snaps. 4

l. His indifference to worldly wealth and luxury v as proverbial. His resources were always impoverished by supporting the poor and the needy. It is said that the great wealth he got from his wife Khudija, as a gift alters his marriage, was soon spent in charity. (Vice ham. 134.)

2. The: allusion is to the divine address to the Prophet, saying, (   )had it not been for thee, I should not have created the heavens."

3. The Prophet, even before his mission, was well know among the heathens for his veracity and was given the appellation (  ) he trustworthy.'

4 (Vice Koran Sura ii, v. 258) (   )then he certainly holds fast the strong handle which shall not break.

He surpassed all the prophets, troth in physical and moral qualities; 1 while they did not approach him either in knowledge or in noble nature.

All of them obtained from the Messenger of God merely handfuls of water from the ocean, or sippings from continuous rains

They stop before him at their assigned limits: either of a point of knowledge or of a figure of philosophy

For, he is one in whom both the inward and the outward form attained to perfection, 2 and then the Creator of the soul chose him as His favourite.

He has no competitor in his noble qualities, 3 for, the substance of goodness in his nature is indivisible

Discard what the Christians claim for their Prophet, 4 and then decide and judge as you like of him as a matter of praise.

1. Vied Koran  Sura [xviii., v. 4] (  )Verily thou art of a noble disposition.

2.  According to Mahomedan philosophers everything has two forms, ( ) and () which correspond to the Subjective and Objective phenomena of Western Philosophy.

3. Lit, He is free from a competitor.

4 i. e., Jesus, The poet denunciates the Christian doctrines of Union with Godhead, incarnation, Trinity Transmission of Divinity, Emanation from the [father, and the like, which are inconsistent with the doctrine of the Divine Unity. He regards the Prophet as the incarnate beau ideal of mankind, falling short only of divinity.

You may then ascribe to his person any noble quality you which and you may attribute to his dignity as much of greatness as you desire.

For, verily, the excellence of the apostle of God has no bounds for, if, it had, a speaker might be able to express it with his mortal mouth.

If his miracles were proportionate to his high rank in greatness, his name should, when invoked, have resuscitated rotten bones. 1

He did not try us with what should confound our mental powers, out of keen interest in us; 2 and consequently, neither were we suspicious about the genuineness of his mission, nor were we distracted by his doctrines.

1. Jesus is said to have resuscitated a man long dead from his tomb. The poet means to say that the Prophet is so superior to Jesus that his name, rather than his person, suffices to resuscitate the dead,

2.  The faith of Islam has no mysteries and no philosophy too deep or too abstruse for human understanding. Nor does it present any doctrines not acceptable to common sense, or irreconcilable with scientific teachings. Nor does it prescribe rules and observances too hard or too fast for human nature.
The Prophet says (  )I brought a code of law free from straitness and fair." The Koran says (Sura  ii. v. 256), "God will not force any soul beyond its capacity; it will have the good of what it gains, and suffer the evil of what it commits. O Lord! do not punish us, if we forget or fail; O Lord! do not lay on us a burden like the one that Thou hast laid on those before us. Nor O Lord! make us bear what is beyond our strength, but pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy on us."

His inner nature kept the people away from apprehending it, 1 and so there was not found, near or far, a single man who was able to express himself regarding it.2

He is like the sun, which appears small to the eyes from a distance, but dazzles the eye from near.

The intellects of the people were perplexed regarding his real nature, and so their descriptions of him were merely hypothetical resembling the interpretations of dreams.

I did not see anything remote from their reality or approximate to it, but was unintelligible.

And can sleepy people in this world, who neglecting him contented themselves with vague reveries, comprehend his real nature?

1 Lit. The apprehension of his inner nature baffled the people.

2.  Lit, but one unable to express himself regarding it. The people of his time were perplexed regarding his true nature. Many vague and hazy notions were formed, but none to the mark. It is said that Waleed, son of Mugheera (the wisest man of the time), called a meeting of Quraish to discuss how they should represent him to the people, who came to Mecca on pilgrimage, lest they should contradict one another. They proposed to call him a 'soothsayer.' He said that he could not be so called, as his rhymes did not resemble theirs. They offered to call him 'possessed by a devil,' which he disapproved, They suggested to call him 'a poet.' He said that it would not serve their purpose, as poetry was known to all. They said that he might be called a 'magician,' which he did not approve. They said that they failed to find any other word. He said that, although none of the words suggested justly represented him, yet the word 'magician ' was the nearest to the truth, as his doctrines led to disunion between the members of a family. (Vice Koran, Sura [xxiv, v. 11,)

So, the extreme range of our knowledge regarding him is that he is a man and that he is the best of the creatures of God.

And all the signs, that the noble prophets have brought, have merely been derived by them from his light.

For, he is the sun of excellence 1 and they are the stars, which show their lights to the people, only in the dark.

So that when he shone in this world, his light spread over the world, and gave life to all the nations.
How noble are the physical qualities of a prophet, adorned with good nature; who was invested with beauty, and distinguished by cheerfulness. 2

He is like the flower in its freshness; and tiles full moon in its splendour; and the ocean in its copiousness; and time in its irresistible courage.

Even when he is alone, its appears on account of his majestic dignity, as if he were in the midst of a large army and retinue.
And he was so eloquent that it seemed as if there were pearls, well preserved in the oyster, in his two mines of speaking and smiling. 3

1. Vide Ham' 135.
2. (Vice Ham, 126—133.)
3 i.e., the teeth in his mouth, which was like a mine of eloquence and cheerfulness, were like pearls of the first water, freshly obtained from an oyster.

No perfume equals the dust, which contains his bones; may good luck come to him who smells and kisses it!


His birth showed distinctly his good origin Oh! The excellence of his beginning and his end.

It was a day from which the Persians discovered that they were warned with the approach of misfortune and punishment.

 And the palace of Kisra was affected with rents in its walls'1, just as his army was scattered up not to unite again'2

The flames of his fire subsided from regret for him'3 while the river had a sleepless eye from excessive grief '4

1. It is said that at the time of the birth of the Prophet, the well-built wall of the palace of Cyrus (as Kisra,) King of Persia, slit, and fourteen of its cornices broke down, which amazed him terribly. He sent a messenger to Nu'man, son of Munzir III., King of Yaman, asking him about its mysterious significance. He sent him to Sateeh, a famous soothsayer, whom he found just on the point of death. He, however, interpreted the portent and said that it foretold the approaching collapse of his empire and the death of as many Persian Kings as the number of the falling cornices that fell down. ( Vide  Ham. 15-18 )

2. This alludes to the subsequent conquest of Persia by the Mohamedans,

3 The great fire of Persia, which had been burning for 1,000  years and had been under the strict watch of a large number of Mobids, went out suddenly on the birth of the Prophet.

4. The river Euphrates was so restless with Brief that it ceased to flow and changed its  course.

Sawah was troubled with the subsidence of the waters of its lake, while every one, who went there thirsty' had to return angry with the disappointment.]

As if the fire was struck with the moisture of the water out of grief, while the water was affected by the blazing of the fire.

While the genii were shouting’2 and lights were glistening’3 and truth was displaying itself both literally and metaphorically'4

They were blind and they were deaf; the explicit good tidings of his birth were not heard, and the lightning of warning was not seen by them;

1.  A country between Rai, (i e., Tehran) and Hamazan which had a very large lake nearly 6 miles in length. It was surrounded by a large number of churches, synagogues' and gardens which all went to ruin at the sudden drying up of the lake at the time of the birth of the Prophet.
Lit. and its comer was turned back with much wrath when he was thirsty.

2.  During the night of the birth of the Prophet supernatural voices of the genii were heard announcing the birth of the Prophet on the mounts of Hujun and Abu Qubais. (Vide Ham. I4. )

3.  Many strange lights were seen at the time of the birth of the Prophet. As for instance, the mother of Abdool Rehman bin 'Auf says. When the Prophet was born, and he cried when in my lap, I heard some one bless me, and show me with a light all between the East and West, until I could see the palaces of Rome; Vide i & (Ham.  (126-27)
It is also said that the place where the Prophet was born was illuminated by supernatural lights.
A light was also always seen between the two eyes of the father of the Prophet till it ceased with the conception of his mother.

4.  Here a reference is made to the words of previous prophets, such as David, Isaiah, Joshua, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jesus and the like, prophesying the advent of the Prophet and alluding to him with the word Pharaclates, which were verified now literally as well as metaphorically. (Vide Ham. line 7.) Also the mystic auguries of the soothsayers regarding the Prophet based on information obtained from the overhearing devils were now fulfilled,

After that the soothsayer had informed the people that their crooked creed would stand no longer' 1

And after that they had witnessed shooting stars on the horizon, falling, just as idols were falling on the earth' 2

Until the devils fled one after another away from the track of the descent of the Revelation, from heaven. 3


In their flight they seemed as if they were the brave warriors of Abrahah, 4 or an army put to flight when shot with pebbles from his hands; 5

1. This alludes to the genii who, before the birth of the Prophet, used to ascend to heaven to overhear the conversation of the angels about future events. They subsequently instructed the soothsayers, who gave them out to the people as prophecies. (Vice Koran, Sura xxxvii, v. 7; and Sura Ixxii.)

2. on the birth of the Prophet shooting stars were appointed to guard the heavens against the devils. The result was that soothe saying failed, and the soothsayers had no access to the mysteries of the heavens. (Vide Ham, 46-48.)

3.  i. e., the path by which the Angel Gabriel used to come to the Prophet from heaven. It was now shut against the devils, and such as ventured to approach were driven headlong by the shooting stars.

4. Vide Koran, Sura CV. In the very year that the Prophet was born, Abrahah, Viceroy of Yaman, invaded Mecca with a large army of elephants with a view to destroy the Kabah. They were miraculously killed by a large flock of swallows that came flying from the seacoast with three stones, one in each foot and one in the bill, which they hurled at the elephants. (Vice Ham., 62.)

5. Vide Koran, Sura viii., v. 15.  During the well-known battle of Badr, he took a handful of pebbles and dust and threw them at the idolaters, who numbered 1,000.  None escaped being struck in the eye, and all took to flight. (Vide Ham. 145.)

Which he threw after their praying in his hands'1 just as fonas when he praised God was thrown out from the stomach of the swallowing fish.2

Do not deny his dreams to be a kind of revelation'3 for, surely, he had, a heart, which never slept while the eyes were asleep. 4

That was at the time of his attaining maturity in his prophetship’5 and consequently, the condition of an adult in mental power, cannot be denied to exist in him.

God be blessed; revelation is not a quality to be acquired'6 nor is the Prophet to be suspected regarding the mysteries, he knew by revelation.

1. It is said that pebbles in his hands used to utter praises of God. (Vide Ham. 63)
2. I.e., the Prophet Jonas, who, on his leaving his people tired of their obstinacy, and angry with the pardon they obtained from God on their re pen was thrown overboard and was swallowed by a large whale while in the belly of the whale, he prayed to God, Who induced the whale to v omit him out on the coast.

Lit. Do not deny the revelation to be from his dream.

3. It is in the Hadeeth (Traditions) that his dreams were among his miracles. It is also said that a true dream is one of the forty-six parts of prophet ship.

4. (Vide Ham, 126.)

5. I.e., at 40 years of his age, when his mental faculties were fully developed, and his experience of the world was perfect and mature, which the poet metaphorically considers to be the stage of puberty for a prophet.

6. I.e., it is not a rank, position or degree, to be acquired by any one, but a gift bestowed by God on those whom he selects for his mission. ((Vide Koran, Sura vi. v. 124)

How often has his hand granted freedom from diseases with the touch’1 and set idiots free from the fetters of madness'2
And his prayer revived the starlings year of famine'4 which abounded in harvest until it resembled in its fame a white conspicuous spot on the forehead of black times'5
By means of a cloud which rained so abundantly, that you would think the large valleys were inundated by the ocean or by a torrent overflowing the Dam'6

1. As an instance, it is said that a boiling cauldron fell on the hands of Mohammed son of Hatib and hurt him seriously. A touch of the hand of the Prophet cured him at once.
2. Ibn 'Abbas related that a woman brought her son to the Prophet, complaining that he was affected with madness. The Prophet rubbed his breast with his hand, when the infant vomited out something like a black whoop and was at once cured. (Side tam. '7—176. touch,1)

3. Which has no raining clouds to conceal the stars from view.

4. Before the advent of the Prophet, the heathens regarded his face as an auspicious one, and his presence as promising good luck to them. Whenever they were threatened by famine, they used to take him to a desert with a request to ask God for rain on their behalf, and they were sure to get abundance of rain.

It is said that the people of Madeena were once sorely tried by a severe famine. The Prophet went with the people to an open desert for prayer. He had hardly finished, when the heaven was overcast by dense clouds, which sent down such hard showers that the people were afraid of being inundated. The Prophet beckoned at the clouds saying—No longer upon us, but now about us. The clouds at once dispersed. This year yielded as plentiful a harvest as any.

According to another tradition, while the Prophet was once delivering the usual oration on a Friday a Bedouin Arab came and complained of famine. At the prayer of the Prophet his people were blessed with abundant rain. The Arab returned on a similar occasion next Friday, complaining of a ruinous inundation caused by the incessant rain. At the prayer of the Prophet, the clouds dispersed and the sky became fair. (Vice Ham. 146-153.)

5. Black horses with a brilliant white spot on the forehead are highly appreciated by the Arabs. Hence, a white spot on the forehead of a horse is often metaphorically used by Arabic poets for a conspicuous and notable event or thing.

6. Arim a stupendous mound or dam forming a vast reservoir above the prosperous city of Saba in Yaman, the inhabitants of which for their great impiety, pride and insolence, were punished with a terrible flood caused by the sudden break of the dam. (Vide Koran, Sura xxxiv, 13.)

The trees came at his bidding, prostrating them selves, while they walked towards him on stems without feet.)

They were effacing along their way of walking the marks of their prostration, but their very obliteration betrayed the traces on their middle path;

As though they drew ruling lines for the wonderful writings written by the boughs as if they were pens;
Just as the cloud did, which followed him wherever he went'2 sheltering him from the intense heat, as that of an oven, blazing in the high noon.

1. As an instance, it is related that at the request of an Arab of the desert the Prophet bade a tree come to him. The tree moved and, drawing up its root from the ground, walked towards the Prophet, dragging its roots and shedding tears, until it stood before him and saluted him with. `'Peace be on you, Apostle of God." At the request of the Arab, it w as bid to return to its place, which it did at once. The Arab asked the Prophet to be permitted to prostrate himself before him. He forbade his doing so, saying that if he were to permit any one to prostrate himself before any creature, he should have ordered a woman to do 50 before her husband.

It is also related that the Prophet, having once complained to God of the apathy of his people, and of his being afraid of their doing mischief to him, was bid to go to a valley, where at his bidding a branch of tree, which was there, came to him as a token of the protection of God. It stopped before him for a time and then returned to its place at his bidding.

Lit, for what their branches wrote of wonderful writing with pen.

2 A cloud is said to have always gone with the prophet, sheltering him from the sun. Many people of the time who had studied the books of the ancient Prophets recognised the Prophet from this sign. (Vice Ham, 50 and 136-139

I swear by the Moon, which splits’1 into two at his bidding, and ver that verily, it bears a similarity to his heart,2 which shows the veracity of my oath.

What the Cave3 contained of excellent qualities and noble deeds in his person kept his enemies of, while every eye of the infidels was blind to him.

Then the Truth and the True were at the Cave, which they did not quit; while people said that there was nobody in the Cave.4

1. This allusion refers to the famous miracle, exhibited on the demand of the heathens. Ibn Mas'ud relates that the Moon was split into two at the bidding of the Prophet, one half-appearing above the top of the mount Hira and the other at about its middle. The heathens said that it was but a magical performance, and on inquiring of the people of other countries they were told that the latter also had seen it split into two. (Vide Koran, Sura liv, V. T. and Ham. 144.)

2. The reference is to the following revelation by the Prophet. " While I was once grazing cattle, when young, with a foster brother of mine from Bani Said bin Bakr, two men, clad in white came to me with a basin of gold full of snow They took me and cutting my chest and heart, took out a black piece of blood.  which they threw away. Then they washed them clean with the snow. Then one, of them took something and sealed my heart with a seal of a splendid lustre and light which was with him, filling it with knowledge, wisdom and philosophy, and restored it to its proper place. Then the other one passed his hand on my chest and it united as before.( Vide Ham. 41 43.)

3 The famous cave at the top of Mount Thawr, where the Prophet resorted I for shelter when pursued by his enemies on their becoming aware of his ! starting from Mecca for Madeenah. They passed by the cave. but they saw   no one there. (Vice Ham. 68-71)
Some interpret the line thus, "And sing of what the cave contained, etc." | 4 By 'Truth,' the poet means the Prophet himself and by 'True' Abu Bakr the, 1st Khaleefah, surnamed Siddeeq (true), who was in company with the Prophet and who cried out of grief at the likelihood of their being exposed in such an un-sheltered and solitary place. He was pacified by the Prophet and was told that he had no reason for grief, since God and His protection were with them. (Vice Koran, Sura ix., y, 40)

The people thought that the doves and the spiders did not weave webs and did not hover over the Prophet, the best of man kind'1

The protection of Clod made him dispense with double armours and high castles.

Time never caused me any wrong while I sought his protection, but I received a shelter from him, which were not abused 2

I did not beg for the wealth of the two worlds from his hand, but I received an ample donation from the best hand that was ever kissed.

Leave me to describe’3 his many miracles that appeared as conspicuous as the fire of hospitality at night on a high mountain.

For the pearl indeed displays greater beauty when it is strung, but it loses nothing in value when unstrung.

For, the aspirations of eulogy dare not aim at the noble dispositions and the innate qualities, which he possessed.

 1.  Spiders are said to have woven thick webs at the entrance of the Cave, where doves sat cooing; thus misleading those who drew near by giving them the appearance of a desolate place, where there was no one. (Vide Ham. 66-67)

2.  The reference is to the escape of the poet from the disease of Paralysis on his asking for the blessing of the Prophet. (Vide Intro.)

3. Lit. Leave me and my describing, etc.


The verses are the signs of truth descended from God, newly created as well as eternal’1, which is an attribute of God, Who is described as Eternal.2

They are not connected with any period of time,3 while they tell us of the future of the world, as well as of 'Ad and of Iram.4

1. The Mohamedans differ very much in their views as to the age of the Koran. Some say it existed in eternity at the Eternal Table along with God, while others say that it was newly created by God. The latter argue that the doctrine  of the former is quite inconsistent with that of divine unity, but they in their own turn are accused of their views being no less inconsistent with the doctrine of unity, inasmuch as their views involve the hypothesis of the susceptibility of God to different actions. The poet here tries to reconcile both the views and says that so far as the language and the external form are concerned, the Koran is newly composed; but as regards the ideas and notions, it is eternal with God just as his other attributes are.

2 Lit., On' described as being eternal.

3 He means to say that though the Koran is independent of time, which came into existence only after the creation of the heaven and the earth, yet it can tell us of all periods of time,—of our future lot after death as well as of the stories of such ancient nations as 'Ad and Iram.

4 The tribe of Ad were the descendants of 'Ad, grandson of Iram, grandson of Noah. They lived at Ahkaf, or winding sands near Hadramut. Their King Shaddad, son of 'Ad, built in imitation of the Paradise in Heaven, a very splendid palace and a beautiful and gorgeous garden, which he called {ram, not sparing any cost or labour to adorn them. But as he claimed to be venerated by his subjects as God, he was punished with a sudden destruction just as he approached the garden in great triumph. (Vice Koran Sura, lxxxix., v. 6.)

The Adites, having in course of time left the worship of God and fallen into idolatry, were long warned by their prophet Hud, but to no purpose. They would not accept the truth of his mission, and were punished with a scorching and choking wind, which blew upon them for seven nights and eight days.
(Vice Koran Sara, xi, v. 52 xlvi 24-25 and lxi. 15-16.)

They remained forever with us, and so they excelled every miracle of the other prophets, since the latter appeared, but lasted not'1

They were never opposed by any eloquent writers, but the most bitter of the opponents turned away from the contest, tendering submission to them'2

Their eloquence rejected the claims of their opponent, just as a jealous husband keeps off the hand of a transgressor from his harem.

They have innate ideas, which are like the waves of the sea in their abundant flow'3 but superior to its pearls in beauty and value.

The wonders of the Koran cannot be computed and comprehended completely; nor are they given up in disgust, notwithstanding repetition of reading.

They are confirmed and perspicuous'4 leaving no room for ambiguities to the advantage of any adversary, nor do they require any judge to decide their significance

1. All the laws and the books of the previous prophets were abrogated by the subsequent ones. But the Koran and the faith of Islam being the last of them are not to be abrogated by any other, but will continue to be in force till the day of judgement.

2.  The Koran in itself is regarded as or considered to be as great a miracle as any; for it is remarkable for its inimitable purity of language and eloquent style. Many eloquent speakers and writers of the highest genius both in and after the time of the Prophet made but futile attempts at the imitation, and had at last to give them up confessing their sheer inability. They were even challenged to produce even one verse like it, but none dared to come forward. (Vice Koran, Sure, ii. v. 21.)

3.  Vide Koran, Sura, xviii. v. 110

4. Vide Koran, Sura, iii. v. 5.

The eye of their reader was contented with them, and I said to him; Verily, you have won the rope of Good, and so hold it fast.

'If you being afraid of the flame of the fire of Hell read them, you will put out the flame with their cold water.'

They are as clear and pure as Pond of the Prophet,1 the washing at which gives a fair complexion to the faces of the disobedient, when they come to it as black as coals’2

They are like the Straight Bridge’3 and like the Balance’4 in their exact equilibrium and rectitude; so that equality cannot be established among the people without them.

1. The famous Pond in Paradise, supplied by a river called Kauthar, (Vide Koran, Sura, cviii.), which it will be the lot of the blessed to drink of when entering the Paradise. According to a tradition of the Prophet, God has promised him abundant good in it. Its water is sweeter than honey, whiter than milk, cooler than snow, and smoother than cream; its banks are of chrysalides, and the vessels to drink the water thereof are of silver, shining as stars; its perfume is more fragrant than musk; and those who drink of it shall never thirst.

2. The allusion here is to the story of the Moslem sinners, on their coming out of the fire at the intercession of the Prophet; having been burnt black as coals, they will go to the pond, where they will drink of its water and wash themselves. Their faces will get a fair and bright complexion and their flesh will grow afresh.

3. The Bridge, extended over the midst of Hell, sharper than the edge of a sword, and thinner than a hair, over which the people will have to pass on the day of judgement, the people of Paradise passing over it with their deeds, some like a dazzling lightning, some like a violent wind, some like a fleet horse, some running, some walking, and some dragging themselves along, according to the sum-total of their good deeds. The fire will allow the good to pass, while it will cause the feet of the unbelievers to slip and will hurl them headlong into the fire.

4. The famous Balance in which the deeds of mankind will be weighed by the Angel Gabriel on the day of judgement, the good deeds being placed in one scale and the evil ones in the other, and their fates will be decided according as the one or the other scale preponderates, The scales are large enough to contain both heaven and earth.

Do not wonder at an envious opponent who denies them, pretending ignorance while he is most shrewd and intelligent.

The eye fails to see the light of the Sun from ophthalmia, and the mouth denies the taste of water from illness."


O thou best of those, to whose court the seekers of munificence resort, running and mounted on the backs of fleet camels'2

Who art the greatest sign of God for a considerate thinker, and who art the noblest bounty of God for one who avails himself of it. Thou travelledst at night from one sacred place to another'3

Just as the full moon travels through intense darkness’1"

1. Compare the parallel description of the Koran in Ham. 11. 184-197.

2 i e, the pilgrims, who continually go on visit to the holy shrine at Madeenah either on foot or riding on camels.

3 The line refers to the travelling of the Prophet from the holy shrine at Mecca to that of Jerusalem a distance of 40 days' travelling on the occasion of his ascension to the heaven, which took place in the night of 27th of Rajab, five years, and according to others, one year before the Hijra (Vice Koran, Sura xvii., v.i).

The Angel Gabriel brought the Prophet the Buraq, a certain riding beast smaller than a mule but bigger than an ass, and like the lightning, both in intense brightness of its hue and its great speed. (Vice Ham. 74). He rode on it to Jerusalem, where he found all the past prophets and apostle, assembled. At his desire they formed themselves in lines and he led a short prayer of two bowings, (i.e. two Rakat Vive Line 113) The Angel Gabriel then brought three vessels, one containing wine, another milk, and the third honey. He made choice of milk, which was approved by the angels being a production of nature. In the meanwhile, the prophets and apostles left for their respective places in the heavens.

Thou continuedst ascending until thou attainedst a position at the distance of two cubit's length’2 from God, such as has neither-been attained nor sought by any other.

In that position, all the prophets and apostles gave thee the precedence of a suzerain over feudatories'3

While thou west passing by them, through the seven heavens, in a procession, wherein thou west the leader of the standard'4

Until when thou leftst no goal of approach for any competitor to Precede'1 nor any place of ascent for any advancer'2

2 The Prophet continued his journey from Jerusalem upwards through the heavens, until he approached the curtain of glory that veils the Divinity within two cubits', or bows', distance of him' and even nearer 75-a distinction and a privilege never allowed to any other of the preceding Prophets. (Vice Kor. Sura liii. v. 7).

3. The Prophet travelled in a splendid procession consisting of Angels through the seven heavens, and while passing he was received, welcomed and greeted by the various prophets in each heaven. It is said that he met Adam in the lowest heaven; Jesus end John in the next higher: Joseph in the third; Idress in the fourth; Aaron in the fifth; Moses in the sixth; and Abraham in the seventh

4. The allusion is to the arrival of the Prophet at the end of his heavenly journey at the Lote-tree, beyond which no being is allowed to pass, nor does any human knowledge extend. It is a tree in the seventh heaven on the right side of the Throne of such an extent that a fast rider takes 70 years to travel under its shade. While passing through the heavens, the angels separated from the procession, each stopping at the heaven to which he was permitted to ascend, thus leaving the Prophet alone when he reached the lote- tree
1. i.e., the angel Gabriel acting at his guide, or the angels in the procession. 2. i.e, the spirits of the prophets, apostles and saints. 3. It refers to the following traditions:—

Thou advancedst rendering every position inferior in comparison to shine when thou west addressed by God in exalted terms,  as the unequalled lord of mankind; 3

In order that thou mightst win a union'4  with God, deeply concealed from the eyes of others, and a mystery, extremely abstruse.

(1) The prophet says: " The angel Gabriel left me, and all sounds grew inaudible. I then heard the words of my Lord saying—' Let your heart he at rest, O Muhammad. Draw near, draw neat'! 1 then drew nearer until I heard the creaking of his pen."

(2) On his approach the Prophet greeted God with (Greeting and pure blessings unto God). God greeted him with  (Peace be to you,  O Muhammad). He said in reply  (Peace be with us and with the virtuous servants of God).

(3) God asked the Prophet whether he had any object to ask for. He replied: `'Thou madest Abraham a friend and Moses a discourser Thou gayest David and Solomon a large kingdom' and Jesus power to heal the blind and the leper." God said: "I take you as my favourite and send you as my apostle to all mankind." The position of a favourite is evidently the highest to be aimed at.

(4) The reference here is to the Prophet's seeing God and his communion with Him The theologians differ in their views as to whether the interview was bodily, spiritual, or by God's assuming the form of the angel (Gabriel. The poet seems to be of the opinion that the interview and the union were not corporeal and tangible, but that the Prophet saw his high ram; with God, the display of the lights of His knowledge, and the revelation of the secrets of His mystery and His great power. It is related of the Prophet that he said :- My Lord put Thy hand on my back, and I continue to feel its cooling pleasure as  yet All the mysteries of the earth, heaven and hell were revealed to me."

So, thou acquiredst every glory, unshared by bothers'1 and thou passedst every position, not contested by others'2

It was hardly possible for any other to attain the ranks conferred on thee; and the dimension of the bounties bestowed upon thee was great.

Happy news for us, O people of Islam! We have a strong and unyielding support from the providential favour.

Since God has nominated the Prophet, who called us to His worship, as the noblest of the prophets, we are, consequently, the noblest of the nations.

The news of his advent struck the hearts of his enemies with terror, just as a sudden alarm scares away heedless sheep.

He never ceased to encounter them in every scene of battle, until they were left by the effects of lances like flesh on shambles.

They chose flight, in so much so that they would almost envy the lot of those mangled corpses, which had been carried by vultures and eagles.

1. i.e., the special distinctions conferred on the Prophet, such as, his high rank, his excellent qualities, the privilege of free intercession, the river of Kauthar (abundance) in paradise, the Standard of praise, and the like.

2. i.e. the rare distinctive ranks won by the prophets, such as friendship, discoursing; or those of the saints, to whom the divine secrets are disclosed.

They were so very match terrified, that nights would pass away without their knowing the number so passed so long as they were not the nights of the sacred months'1

As if it were, that the faith of Islam was a guest, that alight at their quarter with every brave warrior, greedy of the flesh of the enemies.

He used to lead an ocean of an army mounted on fleet horses; and would strike the enemy with a dashing wave of brave warriors;

Each of them volunteering himself for the cause of God, looking for a reward from Him, fighting with a resolutions, exterminating and destroying infidelity

Until the faith of Islam became, through their exertions, after her estrangement, honoured and exalt in society, with her ties of relationship firmly strengthened'2

She was always taken care of by the Prophet as her most affectionate father and as her husband, and so she had to suffer neither orphanage nor widowhood.

They (i.e., the followers of the Prophet) were like mountains, and you may inquire about them of him who fought with them, as to what his experience was in each contest.
1. The four months, Zul-Ka'dah, Zul-Hijjah, Moharram, and Rajab, during which the Arabs refrained from fighting. This usage was rigorously observed since the time of Abraham and Ismail and was continued in Islam.

2.  Here the faith of Islam is personified and metaphorically represented as a lady miserly cast in a foreign country, and subsequently restored to the happiness of the society of her relations.

You may ask Hunain'1, You may ask Badr and you may ask Ohod’3 which were reasons of destruction for the heathen more mischievous than an epidemic.

They brought out their swords, red with blood, after they were plunged into every black lock of hair of their enemies.

1. A valley, ten miles from Mecca, which was the scene of a great battle in the year 8 A. H. between the Prophet and the tribe of Hawazin. The Moslem army was 12,000 strong while the heathens mustered 4,ooo. The former, however, presuming upon their superior number, gave the heathens the advantage of making a fierce attack, which struck them with a sudden panic. But the presence of mind of the Prophet and his bravery, and the heroic deeds of his followers won him the victory at last
(vice Kor., Sura ix., v. 25).

2. A watering place between Mecca and Madeenah which was the scene of a famous battle in the 2nd year of Hijra. A caravan, belonging to Quraish, under Abu Sufian, on its return from Syria to Mecca, was afraid of an attack by the Prophet, and consisted only of 30 or 40 unarmed men. At the desire of Abu Sufian a party of succour, 1.000 men strong, set out fully armed and equipped under Abu Jehl. The Moslems were given choice between the intercepting of the caravan and gaining a victory against the succours, Some chose the former on account of easy booty, but others chose the latter in spite of the disparity of numbers and equipment. The Prophet, deciding in favour of the latter choice, set out to meet the succours. The heathens had the advantage of better position and water, while the Moslems suffered from the inconveniences of a dry sand without water, which were, however, soon removed by a good rain. After a hard fight, the Moslems, assisted by angels, had a signal victory over the heathens, who lost heavily (Vide Kor. Sura, viii., v, 7 & 8).

3. A mountain, about four miles north of Madeenah, which wag the scene of a fierce battle in the third year of Hijra. The people of Quraish, who were either defeated at Badr, or had lost their relatives, burning with a keen desire for revenge, set out in a large retaliative expedition against the Prophet at Madeenah. They had all the advantages over the Moslems, and were 3,ooo strong with 200 horses. At first the Prophet thought of remaining at Madeenah, but at the desire of some of his people, he set out at the head of about l,ooo infantry. Notwithstanding all disadvantages of inferior number and inadequate equipment, his battle arrangements were perfect; but his archers, desirous of booty, committed a mistake, which turned the odds of battle in favour of the heathens. Hamzah uncle of the Prophet, was slain, and the Prophet was wounded with an arrow, which pulled out his fortieth, and was even very near losing his life (Vide. Kor. Sura iii., 130, & 131.) Timely assistance from God declared the victory at last against the infidels, who retreated to Mecca with a heavy loss.

They wrote, with arrows marked with brown lines, on those parts of the bodies of the enemies which left untouched by like letters not dotted by panes'1

They were completely clad in weapons; they had characteristic marks to distinguish them; —as the rose is distinguished by characteristic marks'2 from a thorny tree.

The winds of victory would bring; to you their fragrance so that you would think every brave man to be a flower in the bud diffusing perfume.

As though they were, when mounted on horseback, the plants of hills, on account of the strength of their resolution, and not of the tightness of their girths.

The hearts of the enemies flew with fear of their prowess; so that they could make no distinction between lambs and mighty warriors.

If lions encounter him' whose assistance is from the Apostle of God, in their own dens, they would have to grieve seriously.

You will never find any friend but conquering with his assistance, nor any foe but sustaining discomfiture
1.They wrote, with arrows marked with brown lines, on `s hat their lances like pens had left of the undotted letters of their bodies The poet, in a metaphorical language, borrowed from the art of calligraphy, means to say that the followers of the Prophet used to reduce their enemies with arrows, when they were not near enough to pierce them with lances. Some interpret thus, "They wrote with brown lances of Khat, which like pens leave no part of the bodies of the enemies blank."

2. It alludes, perhaps, to Koran, Sura xlviii., v. 29. where the followers of the Prophet are said to bear distinctive marks of piety and prowess on their forehead`'

He lodged his people in the stronghold of his own creed, as lion lodges in the forest with its cubs.

The words of God baffled many a stubborn litigant regarding him, and their argument overcame'1 many a contending antagonist.

Such a vast knowledge in the Illiterate'2 in the Time of Ignorance'3 and also such an accomplishment in a state of orphanage'4 suffice you as a miracle.

I The line refers to the refutation given by the Prophet and the Koran to the disruptive and litigious questions and controversies by the Idolaters, Jews, Christians and others of the time and to the explicit proofs and evidences given, when demanded in support of the truth of his mission, in the shape of miracles, cogent arguments, revelation of mysteries, giving information of absent things, foretelling future events, and spread of knowledge. The instances are too many to be quoted in a work of such a limited compass.

2. He was called, the Unlettered,' (vice Koran. Sura vii 156) because he had not received any formal training or education; he had. No advantage of seeing or hearing any learned people; and he was not born in a place where any learning was obtainable.

3. The time of Paganism before the mission of the Prophet was so called because of the effacement of the traces of the religions of the former Prophets, the spread of moral darkness, the absence of the worship of God, the disappearance of the true doctrines and the fall of the people into Idolatry,

4. The Prophet lost his father when only an infant, and his mother when 4. Or 6 years old. He was brought up by his grandfather 'Abdulmuttalib, who, however, did not live very long. On his death he left the Prophet, who was 8 years old, under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, who brought him up with great care and kindness till he received his mission from God (vies Part 2, II.)

It was no less a miracle of the Prophet that in spite of all such disadvantages and want of proper education and convenient living, he acquired all the noble qualities, mental and moral, requisite for a Prophet of his type. It must evidently be the work of a superhuman and supernatural agency, that was always at work to bring his more] and mental course to such a high perfection, to direct him to moral rectitude ever since his childhood, to infuse in his mind all the germs of knowledge and science of the highest order, and to create in him an extreme aversion, ever since he came to the age of discretion, for the foolish usages of the pagans, their worship of idols, their inhuman cruelties, barbarism and, in short, everything that revolted against Nature, divine law, moral doctrine, and civilised ways of society.

I serve the Prophet with an eulogy, by means of which I ask to be pardoned for the sins of my life, that passed in writing verses on other subjects and in serving others;

Since my services to others have burdened me with a trouble, of the evil consequences of which I am afraid, as though I were, on the account, a camel led as a victim to e sacrifice'1

I yielded to the misleading passions of youth, and I hit on nothing but sin and remorse.

Ah! The loss sustained by my soul in his dealing, for he neither exchanged faith for worldly goods nor negotiated for it.

He, who sells his future lot in the next world for his present worldly goods, will find himself, defrauded'2 both in the sale and in the negotiation.

If I have committed any crime, my covenant'3 with the Prophet is not likely to be violated; nor is ever my rope of relation to him likely-to be severed.

1. By one of the rites of the pilgrimage to Mecca a number of camels are led to be sacrificed at Mina. They have a collar, apiece of an old shoe and the like, put round their neck to distinguish them.

2. Lit. fraud will appear to him.

3. The line refers to the promise of the Prophet to intercede for those who embrace Islam and acknowledge sincerely the truth of the Divine unity and his mission.

For, I have a security from him in my being called Mohammed' 1

While he is the most faithful of mankind as regards the fulfilment of his promises.

If he should not at my resurrection lift me up with the hand, out of kindness then I shall have to say to myself 2. "O. How perilous is the slip of the foot! " 3

He, the Prophet, is far from denying his protection to him who hopes co get It from him, or allowing his protege to return from him dishonoured.

Since I devoted my thoughts to his praises, I have found him to be the best asylum for my salvation.

His bounty will never escape from my hand, which has ruined itself with sins, for the rain causes flowers to bloom on rocks.

I did not covet the acquisition of the flowery wealth of the world, which the hands of Zuhair plucked through his praises of Haram'4


O thou, most generous of mankind, I have no one to take refuge with, except thee, on the occurrence of the universal calamity'5

1. The poet, having the same name “Mohammad” the Prophet, considers the
Coincidence as a bond of his salvation.

2. Lit. 'Or else, say.' The address is directed to himself, elliptical for or else, I shall have a firm footing.

3. From the Bridge into Hell.

4 Zuhair bin Abi Sulma, one of the famous poets, who composed the third poem of the Mo'allaqat was very munificently rewarded by Haram, one of the kings of the time, for praising him.

5. i.e., Death or Resurrection.

And O Messenger of God! Thy dignity will not grudge my Salvation when the Bountiful God will appear in the capacity of the Punisher, on the day o f judgement.

For, among your bounties, are this Lower World, and its rival, the Next: end among your varieties of knowledge, is the knowledge of the Table' 1 and o f the Pen'2

O my soul! Do not despond on account of any serious fault that may be great; for, enormous crimes, when pardoned? dwindle info
small one.
Perchance, the Mercy of God, ``hen He will distribute it! will fall to thy lot in proportion to thy diaobedience' 3

O my Lord, save my hopes from thee from being frutrated' 4 and make my account of deeds free from faults' 5

Be kind to thy servant in both the worlds; for, his patience is apt to run away from dangers, whenever they call it forth,
1. The Preserved Tablet, in which the divine decrees both past and future are recorded. It is a tablet very vast and extensive in dimension'. In it who also preserved the Koran which is eternal. and a copy from it was taken by the agency of the Angel l gebril to the lowest heaven during the Night of Qadr in Ramadin, whence it was revealed to the Prophet in parts.
2. The Pen, with God's decrees was written on the Preserved Tablet
2. Compare Ham. II. 400 429.
3. 4. Lit,, 'make my hope other than perverted.'
5. Lit., 'other than broken.

And order perpetual clouds of blessing to descend from thee on the Prophet, charged with every kind of rain, abundant and gentle;

And on the posterity, and the companions and their followers, people of piety, clemency, and generosity;

As long as the east wind makes the branches of the cypress wave and the camel-drivers make the camels merry with their thrilling songs.



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