There are many poems in English, Naats in Urdu and Qaseedas in Arabic written on the matchless personality of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). There are certain poems which celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other which praise his appearance and manners.
There is a laudatory tradition in which the praise of Holy Prophet (PBUH) is made to propagate his extraordinary qualities so that his ideal personality may be presented before other religious communities as a mercy and model of perfect morals.
There is a religious significance of this praise as whenever a Muslim praises the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Allah Almighty sends blessings over him.
The most famous Qaseeda written in Arabic about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is Qaseeda Burda Sharif.
The Burda is a poem penned by Imam Al Busiri, expressing his love for The Prophet ﷺ. It follows the classic qasida pattern and consists of ten chapters. Al Busiri starts by expressing his own love for The Prophet (SAW) and then mentions his regret for past errors.
All famous Urdu poets from Meer, Ghalib, Hali and Iqbal have written Naats in the praise of Holy Prophet (PBUH), However the poems which recreate the life and events of the life of Holy Prophet in long poems with details and happening of his life are few although numerous books in prose are written which highlight all major and minor events in his life. Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali’s Musaddas tells the condition of the Arabs before the advent of Holy Prophet (PBUH), then the events after the advent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and then it goes towards the rise and fall of Islam.
In Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s Urdu poetry, the theme of the Ishq or admiration of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),is constant reference and he believes that without complete submission and devotion to Holy Prophet, a Muslim cannot achieve perfection in his life. All his poetry reflects this devotion and the inspiration. The apex of his concept of Khudi or self-realisation culminates into the love of Holy Prophet (PBUH).
There are many poets from around the world who have written poems in English about the last Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Ejaz Rahim, a prominent and prolific Pakistani English poet, has recently written a long epic poem on the life and times of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), which is perhaps the first long poem on Seerat of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
This poem is unique in the sense that it highlights the connection of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) with the Divine through various events of his life. This epic is titled Beyond Dates and Pomegranates: An Epic Poem on the Life and Times of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Prior to this, he has also written an award-winning epic about human divine relationship titled The Garden of Secrets Revisited, which was awarded the Daud Kamal Award for English poetry by Pakistan Academy of Letters in Islamabad.
In the tradition of the epic, the poem starts with the prologue in which he explores the need of the divine for human life on this Earth. He enumerates the achievements and feats of science and other branches of knowledge and then he explores the spiritual and religious dimensions of human life. Then he traces the beginning of the religion in the world and dwells upon early religions to the established ones like Judaism Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and other major and minor religions across the globe with their beginning and development. The book peeps deep into the heart of religions and shows that human psychology has always been prone to religion to satisfy its spiritual zeal. This shows his remarkable research and knowledge about comparative religions their development and main teachings.
Then the chapter about Islam starts with the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). But before that, Rahim has very skilfully described the conditions of Arabia before the advent of Islam. He is of the opinion that prior to Islam, the Arabian civilisation was not utterly dark as it is assumed by many people. There were people of high learning and erudition, gifted with many skills during the days of ignorance as popularly referred to. The Arabs were always famous for their generosity, hospitality and love for poetry. But the governing principle before Islam was ever rising greed and exploitation of weak by the mighty and powerful.
Then the poem records the events in the life of Holy prophet in chronological order presenting all the important events in his holy life. But unlike many other poets, Ejaz is not carried away by the passions of religious zeal as most of the poets do while writing about their Holy Prophet (PBUH). He supports devotion to Holy Prophet (PBUH ) with the events which are linked with his contact with the divine from his childhood, boyhood, manhood, his triumphs, and all the important events of his physical existence in this mortal world.
Another good feature of this epic is that the translation of Holy verses from Quran are presented with the context of the revelation and not in a manner in which they are found in the Holy Quran. This highlights how the divine power send messages through Gabriel on important occasions and continued His supervision and contact with the Prophet (peace be up on him). The divine is also a palpable power governing in the background of this epic manifesting It’s presence Of course through revelations and some other supernatural interventions. The epic is not only confined to the life of the Holy Prophet but it also mentions all the important personalities, his relatives and his companions. Their unconditional devotion to Holy Prophet is also mentioned and highlighted in a dramatic manner.
Moreover, the poem also highlights the important traits of the personality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) – like his good and amiable morals, his humility, truthfulness, bravery and kindness which are presented in the context of the events in his life.
This extraordinary poem through the events unfolding in the life of Muhammad (PBUH) shows the divine design and will working in the universe. It also explores the logical comparison of different religions and contribution of Holy Prophet (PBUH) in completion of the divine message. It beautifully shows how Muhammad perfected that divine mission expounded through various prophets time and again. This is a exceptional book employing verse to explore divinity with research in comparative religion and science, philosophy and other branches of knowledge. This is the apex of Ejaz Rahim poetic art which goes beyond poetry. This book be appreciated as something inspired by the power of Ishq and divine love.
The poem has numerous lyrical lines and below are given some from this wonderful epic:
The Holy Prophet knew how
Pain and loss could weave
Ineffable garments of grief
But for him the tapestry
Of life’s ups and downs
Its joys and sorrows
And the endless litany
Of advances and reverses – all
Bore the stamp of Providence
And had to be borne
With composure and forbearance
The Holy Prophet readily understood
That God’s ways are inscrutable
And even temporary cessations
Of Divine conversations
Where but a reminder
That nothing about Providence
Could be taken for granted
Such was the Man of God
Who lived in our midst
We remain to teach our children
The Seerah of the Prophet
Like a Surah of the Quran