Is Qasidah Burdah, the famous poem that praises the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him), shirk (association of something else with God)?
Scholars of Ahl-Sunna noted that major shirk can only occur in something explicit. This beautiful poem was explained by some of the greatest scholars of the classical period and none accused it of shirk. That in itself, the fact that scholars who lived during the era of the writer of the poem and after continued, until now, to explain it, is the strongest type of ijaza (allowance).
In fact, in Egypt, the house of one the last century’s great scholars is adorned with the poem from the entrance and ends at the exit of the home. Those who argue that this is shirk have perhaps failed to appreciate the use of rhetoric by its composer (God have mercy upon him), and neglected some of the more important axioms related to declaring a person or action shirk. Al-Dhabahi said, “If I saw a Muslim making sujud (prostration) to a grave, I would not declare him as kafir (a disbeliever) until I spoke to him.” Also, “In the face of probability, faith is maintained,” meaning a person is not declared out of Islam for the doubtful. It is one of the greatest fitnas (trials) of our age that there are some, out of ignorance, who declare other Muslims as mushirks (those who associate something else with God). Imam Abu Hanifa said, “A person does not leave Islam except how he entered it.”