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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The stylistic devices in the archetypal 'Kasida ya Burudai'
Author:Mutiso, Kineene wa
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of Oriental and African Studies
Volume:22
Pages:38-62
Language:English
Geographic term:East Africa
Subjects:Islam
Sufism
religious literature
praise poetry
Abstract:This paper is on 'Kasida ya Burudai' (KyB), a Swahili Islamic eulogy in praise of the Prophet Mohammad. The origin of this kasida and some of the stylistic devices used by the poet are discussed. The poem is recited in the morning and evening on the anniversary of Mohammad's birthday (known as 'Mawlid' or 'Maulidi') and is also recited at funerals. The ode ('kasida') was originally composed in Arabic by an Egyptian Sufi of the Shaddhiliyah Order in the thirteenth century and translated into Swahili by Sheikh Muhammad Athman Haji al-Hilali from Shela, Lamu, in the late nineteenth century. Sheikh Muhammad, like most Swahilis, was a Shafeitic Sufi. 'Burudai' are prayers for the sick. KyB is the longest poem that is memorized throughout the Muslim world. It contains the story of 'Miiraji' (or 'Mi'raj'), the legend of Muhammad's ascension to heaven during his life. The KyB has a prologue (11 verses), main body (162 verses) and an epilogue (19 verses). The Swahili 'kasida', like the Arabic model, follows strict conventions. Each verse ends with the same rhyme, a form also known as 'mimiya', as each stanza ends with the consonant 'm' ('mi' in Arabic or 'ma' in Swahili). Bibliogr., ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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