Chest and cover of the Burda in the Topkapi Museum, Istanbul


Burda: A piece of woollen cloth used since ancient times, which was worn as a cloak by day and used as a blanket by night. That of the Prophet has become famous. As a reward for Ka´b b. Zuhayr´s poem, he made him a present of the burda he was wearing. It was bought from the son of the poet by Mu´awiya (660-680 AD) and was preserved in the treasury of the ´Abassid Caliphs until the occupation of Bagdad by the Mongols. Hülegü caused it to be burned but it was afterwards claimed that the real burda of the Prophet was saved and is still preserved in Constantinople. [1]


The supposed burda of the Prophet is preserved in a chest in the Topkapi in Istanbul (illustration).


The color of the burda is supposed to have been green, which is the color of the supreme commander in the Byzantine (and probably also in Sassanid) color system. The green of  the burda has become the color of the descendants of Mohammed.




Remains of the burda in Topkapi Museum



© Hubert de Vries 2009-07-24

Updated 2010-11-08

[1] ) From:  Encyclopaedia of Islam