Qasidah ‘Unwan al-Hikam by al-Busti

Information about the Qasidah an-Nuniyyah by shaykh Abu al-Fath al-Busti

The author
– Biography in English:
– Biography in Arabic:
– Book (in Arabic) on his life and poetry written by Muhammad Mursi Khuli, published in Beirut,1980: Abu al-Fath al-Busti hayatuhu wa shi’ruhu
– For those than can read Arabic there is an extensive biography in the tahqiq and commentary of shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah.
NB: Interesting fact to know is he was a student of Imam Ibn Hibban, the author of the famous hadith collection, who hailed from the same town (Bust, in Afghanistan).

The text
It is a qasidah (poem) of moral aphorisms, on akhlaq (good character). It has 63 lines which are easy to memorize.
This qasidah has got several titles:
– An-Nuniyyah (al-Busti): in English “Poem in Nun” because the last letter of each line is a nun (n).
– ‘Unwan al-Hikam; in English “The Title for Wisdoms” / “The Banner of Adages”
– Ziyadat ul-Mar’i fi-Dunyahi Nuqsan; in English “To Rise in One’s World Is to Decline” (after the first line of the poem)
The text has been collected in:
1.) al-Jami li’l-Mutoon al-‘Ilmiyyah of shaykh ‘Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Shamrani
Download here (p. 623 and further):
2.) Mutoon Talib ul-‘Ilm of shaykh ‘Abd ul-Muhsin al-Qasim
Download here (p. 65 and further):
3.) Read here directly: (with footnotes)
4.) Turkish translation and Arabic text, download here:
5.) A video on YouTube with a recitation of the poem, watch and listen here:

For the English translation of this poem see here: The title for wisdoms

Commentaries on the text
Numerous works have been dedicated to the poem, the latest of which has been its explanation and verification by the erudite traditionist al-shaykh al-muhaddith ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah separately and in his work Kifayatu’l-Insan min al-Qasa’id al-Ghir al-Hisan.
Some other commentaries are from :
– Shaykh Hassan b. Muhammad al-Burini (d. 1615/1616) with the title Sharh Qasidah Ziyadat ul-Mar’i fi-Dunyahi Nuqsan
– Sharh shaykh Abu Mansur al-Tha’alibi
– Sharh shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-‘Umari al-Maylani
– Sharh shaykh Mahmud b. ‘Uthman an-Najati
– Sharh al-Husayn ‘Awni al-‘Iribakri (?) at-Turki
– Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaq b. ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbad al-Badr has a sharh of the poem
– Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman b. Nasir al-Barrak has a sharh of the poem
These last two are the commentaries of contemporary shuyukh.



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