The Poem of the Mantle in Arabic and Ottoman verse

Busiri, Muhammad ibn Sa'id al-. Qasida al-Burda [The Poem of the Mantle].

[Ottoman Empire, 1690/91 =] 1102 H.

110 x 152 mm. 38 ff. Arabic and Ottoman Turkish manuscript on paper. Black tawqi script in nine lines per page, each couplet of Arabic followed by a couplet of Ottoman Turkish. Some marginal notes. Contemporary full leather with marbled paper pastedowns on each cover and on flap.


One of the most widely beloved poems of the Muslim faith, penned here in a bilingual manuscript featuring both the original Arabic and an Ottoman Turkish translation. The poem is the "Qasida al-Burda", known in English as "The Poem of the Mantle", or under its original title, "al-Kawakib ad-durriyya fi Madh Khayr al-Bariyya". It is a praise poem to the Prophet and the most famous work of Abu Muhammad ibn Sa'id al-Busiri (1212-94), a well-known Sanhaji Berber poet from Egypt. According to legend, al-Busiri wrote the poem while ill, and thanks to his literary effort was miraculously healed in a dream.

Arabic and Turkish are paid equal attention across the 160 original verses of the Qasida, with each two-line verse in Arabic followed by a two-line verse in Ottoman Turkish, all in the same bold tawqi (or tevki) script. This intralinear translation is an interesting approach to a bilingual text, allowing a Turkish-speaking reader quickly to understand the Arabic verse by verse. While there are over forty known translations of the Qasida, this appears to be a known or standardized version, as it matches the Ottoman Turkish in another Ottoman manuscript of the same poem, which was sold at Chiswick Auctions in April 2023.

Light exterior wear, chipping to one endpaper (a later addition, no loss to text), marginal dampstaining. Altogether in good condition.

Art.-Nr.: BN#63027 Schlagwörter: , , ,