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Entangled Devotional Commitments: Reading the Burdah in Egypt, South Africa, and Indonesia

Ullah, Sahar Ishtiaque

Certain poems and stories are buried as cultural artifacts; others never die; and still others are revived from death. The thirteenth century Qaṣīdat al-Burdah, composed by Muḥammad ibn Sa’īd al-Būṣīrī (d. 693/1294), is a love poem dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad. The exemplary Arabic-Islamic work has seen renewed popularity among Muslim communities in the last two decades from its origins in Egypt to Indonesia to locations where Muslims are a religious minority. Hundreds of YouTube recordings with millions of views demonstrate this. The poem has been dramatically staged, academically researched, and devotionally recited. In this article, I analyze the entangled devotional commitments to the Qaṣīdat al-Burdah as demonstrated by its modern iterations in Egypt, Indonesia, and South Africa and consider what we can learn about the role of audience and community in creating meaning.

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Also Published In

Title
Asian Journal of African Studies
URL
http://ajasthejournal.org/ebook/?wr_id=19&no=4

More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Published Here
July 20, 2020