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The qaṣīda (also spelled qaṣīdah; is originally an Arabic word قصيدة, plural qaṣā'id, قــصــائـد; that was passed to some other languages such as Persian: قصیده or چكامه, chakameh, and Turkish: kaside) is an ancient Arabic word and form of writing poetry, often translated as ode, passed to other cultures after the Arab Muslim expansion. The word qasidah is still used in its original birthplace, Arabia, and in all Arab countries.
The classic form of qasida maintains a single elaborate metre throughout the poem, and every line rhymes on the same sound. It typically runs from fifteen to eighty lines, and sometimes more than a hundred. The genre originates in Arabic poetry and was adopted by Persian poets, where it developed to be sometimes longer than a hundred lines.
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Arabic qaṣīda means "intention" and the genre found use as a petition to a patron. A qaṣīda has a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded. Often it is a panegyric, written in praise of a king or a nobleman, a genre known as madīḥ, meaning "praise".
In his ninth-century "Book of Poetry and Poets" (Kitab al-shi'r wa-al-shu'ara') the Arabian writer Ibn Qutaybah describes the (Arabic) qasida as being constituted of three parts:
While many poets have intentionally or unintentionally deviated from this plan it is recognisable in many. From the Abbasid period onwards, two-part qaṣīda forms containing just a nasīb and madīḥ have been dominant.
Qasidas were introduced to Dhaka, and later the rest of Bengal, during the Mughal era by Persians. Subahdar of Bengal, Islam Khan Chisti's naval fleet is said to have sung them after arriving in Jessore in 1604. In 1949, Hakim Habibur Rahman spoke of the recent revival of qasidas since that period in his book, Dhaka Panchas Baras Pahle (Dhaka, fifty years ago). The qasidas were promoted by nawabs and sardars across the region, and especially popular during the Islamic month of Ramadan. An old tradition of Old Dhaka is during the time of sehri, groups of people would sing qasidas to wake up the Muslims in the neighbourhood.
In Indonesia, qasidah (Indonesian spelling: kasidah) refers broadly to Islamic music in general, rather than a specific style or poetry. Traditional qasidah was historically limited to Arab immigrant and pious Muslim neighbourhoods. Modern qasidah has broadened to include influence from Western and local Indonesian music.
After the 10th century Iranians developed the qasida immensely and used it for other purposes. For example, Nasir Khusraw used it extensively for philosophical, theological, and ethical purposes, while Avicenna also used it to express philosophical ideas. It may be a spring poem (Persian بهاریه, bahâriye) or autumn poem (Persian خزانیه, xazâniye). The opening is usually description of a natural event: the seasons, a natural landscape or an imaginary sweetheart. In the takhallos poets usually address themselves by their pen-name. Then the last section is the main purpose of the poet in writing the poem.
Persian exponents include:
From the 14th century CE Persian poets became more interested in ghazal and the qasida declined. The ghazal developed from the first part of qasida in which poets praised their sweethearts. Mystical poets and Sufis used the ghazal for mystical purposes.
A large number of religious qasā'id have been written in Arabic by the Sufi Shaykh Amadou Bamba Mbacke (1855–1927) from Senegal, West Africa. His qasā'id poetically explore the Qur'an and other learned texts, praising Allah and the prophet, and are considered — both in Senegal as well as in Morocco and other West African countries — as advanced and beautiful poetry. The qasā'id of the Shaykh are today still sung and recited actively by both Mourides belonging to the Sufi Tariqa Mouridiyya, as well as by members of other Sufi Tariqas in Senegal and throughout West Africa, especially the Tijaniyya. The original poetry works of Shaykh Amadou Bamba Mbacke are preserved in a large library in the holy city Touba, Senegal, which was founded by the Shaykh, built by his talibés (students) and considered to be the Capital of Mourides.
Somali Sufi Sheikhs such as Uways Al-Barawi, Shaykh Sufi, and Al-Zayla'i would often compose Qasida's on religious matters. A well known collection of Somali Qasida's is entitled Majumuʿa Qasaʿid fi Madh Sayyid Al-Anbiya (A Collection of Qasidas in praise of the Master of Prophets).
Hadiyat al-ʿAnam ila Qabr al-Nabi (Guidance of Humanity to the tomb of the Prophet) extols the Prophet Muhammad
إذا ماشئت تيسير المراد فصل على رسولك خير هادى
Whenever you wish to make easy your objective then give a prayer to your messenger the best of Guides
|—Uways Al Barawi Hadiyat al-ʿAnam ila Qabr al-Nabi|