Poetry In Islamic History

Hazrat Hassan Ibn Thabit (RA) (554-674)

Hazrat Hassan Ibn Thabit (ra) was an Arabian poet and one of the Sahaba, or companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). According to tradition, he was The Prophet’s (pbuh) court poet and the first and most notable poet who used his beautiful poetry to praise him. His writings in defence of The Prophet (pbuh) contain references to contemporary events that have been useful in documenting the period. He was also Islam’s first religious poet, using many phrases from the Qur’an in his verses.

The work of Hassan Ibn Thabit was instrumental in spreading the message of The Prophet (pbuh), as the Arabs were great poets and this formed a large part of the culture. The work and words of Hassan Ibn Thabit are still regarded as the most beautiful in praise of The Prophet (pbuh), and confirm how Islam permits the use of different talents and abilities as long as they are in support of Allah (swt) and His Messenger.  After The Prophet’s (pbuh) death he was supposed to have travelled east as far as China preaching for Islam.


Poem 1

Beautiful as you, my eyes have never seen,

with grace like yours, one has never been born

Born free from all fault,

Born as though you had yourself wished to be,

As though the Lord of Muhammad and the Soul of Muhammad had come face to face,

The Lord of Muhammad asks the Soul of Muhammad ‘Tell me my beloved, how shall I create you’.

Poem 2

*This poem was written after the death of The Prophet (pbuh)*

Before this you were pleasantly in the shade of Paradise in a place where leaves clustered above.

Then you came down to this land; no human you, no embyro, no clot.

Purified riding the vessel, the deep flood having bridled an eagle and his family,

You were carried from loin to womb; whenever one surface passed, another appeared

When you were born the earth glowed, the horizon shining with your light.

So we are in that illumination and that light, making our way upon the paths of righteousness’.

He was the light and the brilliance we followed,

He was sight and hearing second only to Allah,

By Allah, no woman has conceived and given birth

To one like the Messenger, the Prophet and Guide of His people.

Nor Has Allah created among His creatures, One more faithful to His sojourner or His promise than he who was the source of our light.

Blessed in his deeds, just and upright,

O best of mankind,

It was though I were in a river,

But now, without you,

I have become lonely in my thirst.

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