His life was being spent in luxury and glitter of gold. It is said when famous Sufi Ibrahim bin Adham RA said farewell to his princely status and set on the path of Sufism, the whole kingdom of Balkh couldn’t believe that spoiled Ibrahim can last long with the mystics.
Yet he went down into the annals of history as one of the greatest reformer worlds has seen. Imam Al Busiri RA needed to go through a misery big enough to realize that Allah’s mercy on his creation is not reserved for the rich and everyone needs it regardless of their wealth and opulence.
The eye-opener came in the form of a severe attack of Paralysis that left half of his body dysfunctional. False friends soon deserted him and reality of his fame became manifest to him. In his despair, his life flashed back in front of him and his embarrassment haunted him.
He decided to write his masterpiece, a eulogy of Prophet SA, through which he would pray for the atonement of his sins and ask for health again. He began writing the poem. Through the silver beads falling down his cheeks and heart aching from pain, words came out line after line, couplet after couplet.
He started reciting the poem again and again with unwavering faith in Allah. It is said that no sin is big enough for Allah’s mercy. He slid into slumber and saw a dream. Prophet SA was sitting close to him and passed his hand over the diseased body and threw a scarf at him. His disease went away.
As he woke up to find he could move his body. He got up and stepped out of his house. He ran into a beggar who asked him to recite his poem that he wrote for Prophet SA’s intercession. He didn’t tell about the poem to anyone, how could the beggar know? He started reciting the poem and beggar jumped and said, I’ve seen this recited in front of Prophet SA and narrated the same dream Imam Al Busiri RA had seen and mentioned the Scarf!
Word got out and it has become the most cherished recitation for people who are sick and helpless. It has cured people around the world and continues to do it. He wrote two other poems also but this one brought him the fame that never sets. The aching pain and pleading in the words and Prophet SA’s endorsement are there for everyone till the eternity.
Poem of the Scarf reminds us of the non-medicinal effects of prayers, mercy and intangible. Medicine is from Allah and so is his mercy. One is nothing without the other. Lost in our materialism we’ve long forgotten the spiritual aspect of healing. As for the believers, the gold mine is still out there.
Excerpt from Sheikh Faizullah’s Translation.
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?
And even now that thy ardent love has stamped on thy two cheeks the two lines of tears and emaciation like Buphthalmos (mountain) and Carob tree fruit.
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’ for, sometimes hunger is more mischievous than indigestion.
And the palace of Kisra was affected with rents in its walls’1, just as his army was scattered up not to unite again’
The flames of his fire subsided from regret for him’ while the river had a sleepless eye from excessive grief.
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’ leaving no room for ambiguities to the advantage of any adversary, nor do they require any judge to decide their significance
O my Lord, save my hopes from thee from being frustrated’ and make my account of deeds free from faults’
Be kind to thy servant in both the worlds; for, his patience is apt to run away from dangers, whenever they call it forth.
Full poem can be read here!