Athor: Al-Sayyid Jaʿfar b. Ḥasan b. ʿAbdul Karīm al-Barzanjī/translated by Dr Muhammad Isa Waley
Publisher: Manaqib Productions (UK)
Mawlid al-Barzanji is the popular name of one of the most important and universally accepted paeans on the Prophet Muhammad’s (upon him be blessings and peace) birth, in Arabic. The complete title of this work is, Mawlid al-Barzanji ‘A Paean on the Blessed Prophet’s Birth’.
This edition was borne from the love and affection the translator, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, had for our first version (translated by Dean Othman). Dr Muhammad wanted to further Mr Othman’s accurate and detailed translation into a more poetic and concise form. And so Dr Muhammad set to work and achieved such a style of writing that when the reader absorbs themselves into his translations, the reader will be left in total love and awe of our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him.
Absorbing the translator’s spirit and intense love, Manaqib Productions set out (yet again) to realise Dr Muhammad’s vision and began the project of producing his translation with the full Arabic text (the Arabic text is a different version to our first text). We dedicated our hearts and minds over a period of two years and worked on the project in various roles. The end result is a publication that must become a collector’s item!
Imam Jaʿfar b. Ḥasan b. ʿAbdul Karīm al-Barzanjī was born in the City of Medina in Shaʿbān 1128H/1716CE. His father used to deliver lectures at the Abū Bakr Ṣiddīq Mosque. His great grandfather who hailed from Kurdish Iraq settled in Medina after seeking knowledge in various seats of learning. He studied first under his father and his father’s paternal uncle, and then under other scholars of Medina. He was a polymath who mastered various disciplines, including: the memorization of the Koran, its canonical readings, Koran exegesis, Prophetic tradition, Jurisprudence, morphology, syntax, rhetoric, logic, inheritance, calligraphy, arithmetic, law, metaphysics, philosophy, geometry, astronomy, literature, scholastic theology, lexicography, and biography.
He excelled in oratory and composition, and quickly became well known as a Wa’iz, Imam, and Mu’allim in the Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, beginning in the Islamic month of Ramadan in the year 1159 AH/1746 CE. He lectured in the law of the four Sunni schools of Jurisprudence [Madhāhib], and was qualified to provide legal opinions [Fatwā] according to them all. He later assumed the post of Highest Juridical Authority [Muftī] of the Shāfites in Medina, serving therein until his passing. He died in Madina in 1177H/1763CE.
Curator for Persian & Turkish, Asian and African Studies at British Library, his expertise is in: Persian, Turkish and Arabic manuscripts: palaeography, codicology, illumination, illustration, cataloguing etc.
Dr Waley is a Member of the Islamic Manuscript Association. Dr Waley co-authored a recent (2014) publication The Mughals: Life, Art and Culture: Mughal Manuscripts and Paintings in the British Library. The publication showcases an extensive collection of illustrated manuscripts and paintings that depict the splendour and vibrant colour of Mughal life. From scenes of country life, including lively hunting parties and formal portraits of emperors, to illustrations of works of literature which manage to convey complex storylines in a single image, many of these works have never been published.