Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, ibn Kathir: V1

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, New,
 Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya: Volume 1,
*[A5+] Paperback - 420 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.


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Description :

Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya : (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad) 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 first volume of this four-volume set relates the history of the Arab tribes who were the 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.

Synopsis :

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.


Table of Contents :

---About this Series,
---Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization: Board of Trustees,
---Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization: Board and Advisors,
---Introduction by Ahmed Fareed,
---Translator's Preface.

Volume One:
---The Story of Saba'.
---The Story of Rabi'a b. Nasr b. Abu Haritha b. 'Amr b. 'Amir,
---The Story of Tubba' Aba Karib Tubban As'ad, king of Yemen, with the people
of Medina; how he wished to raid the Holy Sanctuary at Mecca. Then he
dignified and venerated it and covered it with cloth; thus be was the first to do so.
---Usurpation of the throne of Yemen.

---An Account of How Rule of Yemen passed from Himyar and was transferred to the black Abbyssinians.
---An Account of how Abraha al-Ashram rebelled against, fought, and killed Aryat, and so assumed power over Yemen.
---An Account of why Abaraha attacked Mecca with Elephants to put the Kaba towaste and How God Quickly destroyed him,
---An Account of the Reversion of the Kingship from the Abyssinians to to Sayf b. Dhu Yazan the Himyarite, just as the two soothsayers had predecited to Rab'ia b. Nasr, the Lakhmite,
---An Account of how Persian Rule in Yemen ended,
---An Account of the Tawa'if Kings,
---An Account of the Sons of Ishmael who were the Arabs of Hijaz, and of the Events of the Jahiliyya period up to the time of the Mission,
------The Story of Khuja'a and an Account of 'Amr b. Luhayy and the worship of
idols in Arab lands,
---An Account of 'Adnan, forebear of the Arabs of the Hijaz from whom the line goes down to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
---An Account of the Genealogical Origins of the Arabs of Hijaz up to 'Adnan,
---An Account of the Quraysh regarding their Genealogy, Etymology, and merit. They are the tribe of Al-Nadr b. Kinana,
---An Account of Qusayy b. Kilab and of his part in regaining Guardianship over the Ka'ba for the Quraysh by taking it from Khuza'a. How the Quraysh gathered together at the Holy place which God secured for the Worshippers, after having lived scattered and fragmented in the mountains and hollows.
---An Account of a Variety of Events that occured in the Jahiliyya period,
------Section: Information about a group of men famous in the Jahiliyya,
---An Account of Khalid b. Sinan the 'Absite who lived in the inter-Prophet period and who some allege was a Prophet. But God knows Best,
---An Account of Hatim al-Ta'i, a good and generous man of the Jahiliyya period,
---An Account of some matters relating to 'Abd Allah b. Jud'an,
---An Account of Imru' al-Qays b. Hujr al-Kindi, author of one of the Mu'allaqat odes,
------Some infomation about Umayya b. Abu al-Salt al-Thaqafi; he was a pre-Islamic poet who lived onto the time of Islam,
------Bahira the Monk, 
---An Account of Quss b. Sa'ida al-Iyadi,
---An Account of Zayd b. 'Amr b. Nufayl,
---An Account of some of the Events that occurred in the time of the Fatra, including the building of the Ka'ba,
---An Account of Ka'b b. Lu'ayy,
---An Account of of the re-digging of the well of Zamzam by 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim, its whereabouts having been lost from the period when Jurhum filled and levelled it, up to his own time,
---An Account of 'Abd al-Mutallib's vow to sacrifice one of his sons,
---An Account of 'Abd al-Mutallib's marriage of his son 'Abd Allah to Amina bint Wahb al-Zuhriyya.

The Book of the Life of the Messenger of God, may Allah bless him & grant him peace,
---An Account of his Life Story, His Battles and Raids, the Delegations to him, and his Natural Qualities, his Virtues, and the Features Distinguishing him,
---Chapter: An Account of his Noble Ancestry and the Excellence of his High Lineage,
---Chapter on the Birth of the Messenger of God, may Allah bless him & grant him peace,
------A Description of his Noble Birth,
---Section: On the Signs that Occurred on the Night of the Birth of the Prophet, may Allah bless him & grant him peace,
---An Account of the Shaking of the Palace, and the Falling of the Balconies, the Extinguishing of the Fires, the Visions of the Magian Supreme Priest, and Other such signs,
---An Account of the rearing & suckling of the Prophet, may Allah bless him & grant him peace,
---An Account of the suckling of the Prophet, may Allah bless him & grant him peace, by Halima, daughter of Abu Dha'ayb of the Sa'd tribe, and of the signs of the Prophethood and of Blessedness apparent on him,
------Section: The Journey of the Prophet with his uncle Abu Talib away to Syria and on what transpired with the Monk Bahira,
------The Story of Bahira,
------Section: On the Early Upbringing and Raising of the Messenger of God, may Allah bless him & grant him peace, and how God cared for him and protected him, how he had been an orphan and God gave him a home, and destitute and God enriched him,
---An Account of how the Prophet witnessed the war known as Al-Fijar, the sacrilegious war,
------Chapter: How the Messenger of God, may Allah bless him & grant him peace, witnessed the pact of al-Fudul,
------Section: On the Marriage of the Prophet to Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid b. Asad b. 'Abd al-'Uzza b. Qusayy,
------Section: On the Quraysh having rebuilt the Ka'ba five years before the coming of the Prophethood.

The Book of the Apostleship of the Messenger of God and an Account of some of the Predictive Signs thereof:
---An Account of certain strange events relating thereto:
------The Story of 'Amr b. Murra al-Juhani,
------The Story of Sayf b. Dhu Yazan the Himyarite and his foretelling the coming of the ummi Prophet, may Allah bless him & grant him peace,
---Chapter: On the cries of the spirits, consisting of what words of inspiration the spirits gave to the tongues of soothsayers, and which were to be heard by the idols,
---Chapter: On the manner of the Beginning of the Revelation to the Messenger of God, may Allah bless him & grant him peace, and an Account of the first Revelation to him from the Glorious Qur'an,
---A Discussion of the age of the Prophet at the time of his Receiving the Mission
and the dute thereof:
------Section: On Preventing the Demons and Evil Spirits from Eavesdropping when the Qur'an was revealed, so that none of them would acquire any of it, even so much as a syllable, and deliver it through the speech of his human associates, which could have led to complications and confusion of the truth,
------Section: On the Manner in which the Revelation came to the Messenger of God,
------Section: Concerning the First Persons to Accept Islam: also reference to those of the Companions and others who were early in becoming Muslims,
---An Account of how Hamza, Allah be pleased with him, son of Abd al-Mutallib, the uncle of the Prophet accepted Islam,
---An Account of how Abu Dharr, Allah be pleased with him, came to accept Islam,
---An Account of the acceptance of Islam by Dimad,
---Chapter: God's command to His Messenger, may Allah bless him & grant him peace, to announce his Mission publicly,
------The Story of Al-Irashi, the man from Irash,
------Section: On the uniting of the Quraysh chiefs against the Messenger of God, and His Companions, and their meeting with his uncle Abu Talib to deliver him to them, and how he resisted them in that objective, through the aid and strength of God,
------Section: Concerning their use of excessive violence against individual powerless Muslims,
------Section: Concerning the Objections presented by the polytheists to the Messenger of God, how they troubled him with their asking of him various kinds of signs and miracles, and how this was due to their obstinacy rather than to their seeking guidance,
---Chapter: The argumentation of the polytheists against the Messenger of God, and the cogent arguments that refuted them: how within themselves they recognised the truth, even though they expressed disagreement out of stubborness, envy, malice and denial.



Also see:

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.




  • Shipping Weight: 0.895 kgs
  • 3 Units in Stock
  • Written by: Imam ibn Kathir

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