The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya) 4 Book Set:
[A4-] Paperback - 1972 pages, 4 Volumes,
Originally written by Imam Ibn Kathir,
Translated by Prof. Trevor Le Gassick,
Reviewed by Dr M. Fareed.
Part of 'The Great Books of Islamic Civilisation Series.'
Compiled in the 14th century C.E. by a prominent Syrian scholar, the al-Sira al-Nabawiyya of Ibn Kathir, May Allah be pleased with him, is a full examination, in chronological order, of the background, life and mission of the Prophet Muhammad, May Allah bless him and grant him peace.
Drawn from the earliest and most reliable Arabic sources, it offers, in this close English translation, the fullest available account of the historical circumstances and personalities most important in the founding of Islam. Ibn Kathir’s work offers a fine example of Islamic scholarship; the quotations and anecdotes that constitute its core are evaluated in terms of the trustworthiness of their sources. Variant wordings that are related through differing lines of transmission are noted, and Ibn Kathir, May Allah be pleased with him, gives both his own assessments and those of the earliest Islamic authorities concerning the likely authenticity of these records. The comments and conversations, derived from ancient texts, that are quoted in this work constitute the basis of our knowledge of Islam during the lifetime of its founder.
Volume 1 : 424 pages - The first volume of this four-volume set relates the history of the Arab tribes who were the Noble Prophet’s, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forebears, the lives of his parents, and the accounts of unusual events surrounding his birth. It then goes on to relate anecdotes regarding his childhood, the signs of the Prophethood, and the first revelations.
Volume 2 : 420 pages - Volume II looks at the early years of the Prophethood and includes such episodes as the Night Journey [al-Isra w'al-Mir'aj] from Makka to Jerusalem and the ascent to Heaven, and the emigration to Madina. It gives details of events in the two years following the emigration, including the building of the Holy Mosque and various military expeditions, and reveals how Islam, as a faith, developed.
Volume 3 : 560 pages - Volume III gives details of the numerous battles and campaigns waged between 3 AH and 8 AH to defend and spread the religion of Islam.
Volume 4 : 568 pages - Volume IV continues with the events of 9 AH and 10 AH, and presents the different accounts of the hajjat al-wada’ (the farewell pilgrimage) and the events surrounding the demise of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
About the Author : He was Imaad ud-Din Isma'il Ibn 'Umar Ibn ibn Kathir, may Allah be pleased with him, originally from Basra (Syria) – and raised in Damascus. He followed the Shafi'i school of thought. Ibn Kathir was born in the year 700 AH or little later in an area called Majdal, near Boesra, west of Damascus. His father died when he was only four years old and was taken in by his brother and moved to Damascus in 706. Here, he learned from great scholars such as Ibn Asakir, Ishaq ibn Yahya al-Amudi. He also studied under various other sheikhs who gave him permission in fiqh and Hadith. He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences.
The following are amongst his most prominent :
---Tafsir ibn Kathir, Commentary of the Qur’an,
---Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah : a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathir’s time, ---At-Takmeel : a book on the science of Asma al Rijal (profiles of transmitters of Hadith),
---Jami`ul Masaneed : a book that collects the Hadith from ten major books of Hadith.
---The classes of Shafi'i scholars: a list of scholars following the Imam,
---Extraction of the traditions of Tanbeeh (a Shafi'i book of jurisprudence),
---The commentary on al-Bukhari (which he did not finish),
---The book of laws (again, he did not complete it),
---The summary to the science of Hadith; a synopsis to the introduction of Ibn Saah’s work,
---Extraction of the traditions to the summary of Ibn Hajib,
---Musnad of the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar),
---Biography of the Prophet, Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam,
---The epistle of Jihad.
About the translator : Born in England and educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, Trevor Le Gassick is Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Michigan. He has devoted himself to the translation and commentary of important works, both contemporary and from earlier eras, that reveal important aspects of the rich texture of the literary culture of the Arabs. His works include: Major Themes in Modern Arabic Thought, The Defence Statement of Ahmad ‘Urabi and Critical Perspectives on Naguib Mahfouz.
4 Volume Set
[ Vol 1 : 424 pgs ] [ Vol. 2 : 420 pgs ] [ Vol. 3 : 560 pgs ] [ Vol. 4 : 568 ].