The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, New,
Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya: Volume 2,
*[A5+] Paperback - 418 pages,
by Hafidh Imam ibn Kathir [d.774h],
Transl. by Prof Trevor Le Gassick,
Reviewed by Dr Ahmed Fareed,
The Great Books of Islamic Civilisation,
by Garnet Publishing.
Now in Stock & Despatching
Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya : The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Compiled in the fourteenth century (Common Era) by Imam ibn Kathir (a prominent Syrian scholar) Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya 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 the fullest available account of the historical circumstances and personalities most important in the founding of Islam. 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 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.
The Second Volume of this four-volume set looks at the early years of the Prophethood and includes such episodes as the Night Journey (al-Isra w'al-Miraj) from Mecca to Jerusalem and the ascent to Heaven, and the emigration to Medina. 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.
Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya (The Beginning & the End) of Ibn Kathir, may Allah be pleased with him, - from which his Sira al-Nabawiyya: (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad) was culled out - remains in our times perhaps one of the most read history books in Arabic language if statistics are to be believed.
What makes the book all the more interesting and authoritative from a Muslim perspective is the fact that ibn Kathir was a more celebrated exegete of the Qur'an and scholar of Hadith (Propehtic tradition) than he was a historian. So even though scholars have long debated the use of hadith methodology in his treatment of historical events and in this work more specifically, ibn Kathir continues to enjoy the aura of authenticity that usually accompanies traditional scholars of hadith sciences.
About the Author :
Imad ud-Din Isma'il Ibn 'Umar Ibn ibn Kathir, 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. 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 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.
Selection of works of Imam ibn Kathir.
Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, Vol 1,
Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, Vol 2,
Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, Vol 3,
Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, Vol 4.
Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, 4 Vol Set.
More Sirah books,
Also see Shama'il books.
*Dimensions : 24 x 17cm.
NOTE : Although Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya is one of the most authentic and academic Sirah works available today, the final end product isn't of the highest standard. The print is decent and the translation is very good, however minor blemishes on the spine, minor bruising, contrasting colours on the cover do let it down somewhat. However we still highly recommend it as there is nothing else to rival it from the classical sense.