LAHORE – The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to welcome passengers with the famous Burda Sharif, an ode to the praise of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), instead of soft music, Dawn reported.
The decision was announced Wednesday, January 16, by the PIA Chairman Air Marshal Arshad Malik.
The hymn will also be played during taxiing, but only on flights heading to the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Madinah.
PIA flights traditionally also commence with a recitation of Du`aa’ As-Safar, or Travelling Supplication, said at the start of a journey.
Qasīdat al-Burda, or Ode of the Mantle, is an ode of praise for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) composed by the eminent Sufi mystic Imam al-Busiri of Egypt.
The poem is famous mainly in the Sunni Muslim world.
It is entirely in praise of Muhammad, who is said to have been praised ceaselessly by the afflicted poet, to the point that the Prophet appeared in a dream and wrapped him in a mantle or cloak. In the morning the poet discovers that God has cured him.
The Burda is divided into 10 chapters and 160 verses all rhyming with each other.
The poem has seen several different translations, into a variety of languages. Arguably the most important translation of recent times is that by Timothy Winter into English.