Sirah Rasul Allah


Sirah Rasul Allah

Sirah Rasul Allah ("Life of the Apostle of God") or Sirat Nabawiyya ("Life of the Prophet") (from Arabic سيرة) is the Arabic term used for the various traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, from which most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived. The name is often shortened to "Sira" or "Sirah".

Etymology

In the Arabic language the word "seerah" comes from the verb "saara" (imperfect "yaseeru"), which means to travel or to be on a journey. A person's seerah is that person’s journey through life. It is the story of the person’s birth, the events surrounding it, his life and his death, and his manners and characteristics. In modern times this is still called seerah, like a resume is called a seerah or seerah dhaatihi in the Arabic language.

In Islamic sciences or the Sharia, seerah means the study of the life of the Muhammad. It is the study of his life and all that is related to him. [http://ibnalhyderabadee.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-is-seerah]

Content

The sira literature include a variety of materials such as political treaties, military enlistments, assignments of officials, etc. which were recorded by successive generations of Muslims. In principle, the biographies of Muhammad would have been assembled from reports of what Muhammad did, just as what he said was recorded in the form of hadith. However, the sirah literature is technically different from hadith literature as it is in general not as concerned with validation through the chain of transmitters (isnad), although in the earliest sira many of the narratives are accompanied by "isnad"s. This is probably due to a number of reasons. First, the story of Muhammad's life was probably quite well-known and frequently re-told amongst Muslims, as well as to new converts, from the early days of Islam. Second, the sira literature is concerned primarily with the narrative of Muhammad's life, whereas the intent of the hadith literature is to assemble his sayings as an authoritative source for Islamic law. The immediate relevance of many hadith sayings to legal debates made it more important that they be accompanied by isnads.

Together the sira and the hadith constitute the sunnah, or prophetic example which has formed the basis of many practices shared by traditional Muslim communities around the world.

Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah" is the earliest surviving traditional biography, and was written just over 150 years after Muhammad's death. It survives in the later editions of Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari. There are a few important differences between these, however. For example, al-Tabari includes the controversial episode of the Satanic Verses, while Ibn Hisham does not. Another of the earliest siras is al-Waqidi's. Several writers are reported to have written "siras" before Ibn Ishaq, including: Urwah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam (a descendant of Asma), who died in 92 AH and whom Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and at-Tabari are all said to have used as a source, and Abban ibn Uthman ibn Affan (d. 105 AH) and Wahb ibn Munabbih al-Yamani (d. 110 AH). However, their works do not survive.

Text of Ibn Ishaq

The original text of the Sirah Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq (Medina, 85 A.H. - Bagdad, 151 A.H.) is unavailable. However, much of it was copied over into a work of his own by Ibn Hisham (Basra - Fustat, circa 218 A.H.). Ibn Hisham also "abbreviated, annotated, and sometimes altered" the text of Ibn Ishaq, according to Guillaume (at xvii). Interpolations made by Ibn Hisham are said to be recognizable and can be deleted, leaving as a remainder an "edited" version of Ibn Ishaq's original text (otherwise lost). Guillaume (at xxxi) points out that Ibn Hisham's version "omits" several narratives given by al-Tabari in his "History" (e.g., at 1192, and at 1341), for which al-Tabari cited Ibn Ishaq as his source. In the "edited" text we have, an introductory part describes pre-Islamic Arabia (about 100 pages in Guillaume), before commencing with the narratives surrounding the life of Muhammad.

Gustav Weil, "Das Leben Mohammeds nach Mohammed ibn Ishak, bearbeitet von Abd Malik ibn Hischam" (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler'schen Buchh. 1864), 2 volumes. The "Sirah Rasul Allah" translated into German with annotations.

Ibn Ishaq, "The Life of Muhammad. Apostle of Allah" (London: The Folio Society 1964), 177 pages. From a translation by Edward Rehatsek (Hungary 1819 - Mumbai [Bombay] 1891), which has been abridged and introduced [at 5-13] by Michael Edwards. Rehatsek had completed his translation; it was given to the Royal Asiatic Society of London by F. F. Arbuthnot in 1898.

Alfred Guillaume, "The Life of Muhammad. A translation of Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah", with introduction [xiii-xliii] and notes (Oxford University 1955), xlvii + 815 pages. The Arabic text used by Guillaume was the Cairo edition of 1355/1937 by Mustafa al-Saqqa, Ibrahim al-Abyari and Abdul-Hafiz Shalabi, as well as another, that of F. Wustenfeld (Gottingen 1858-1860). Ibn Hasham's "Notes" are given at pages 691-798.

Authors of Sirah

Early Writers (710 AD- 921 AD)

*Urwah ibn Zubayr , the son of Asma bint Abi Bakr
*Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awam , grandson of Abu Bakr and the younger brother of Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr.
*Abaan ibn Uthman ibn Affan, the son of Uthman wrote a small booklet.
*Al-Sha'bi.
*Wahb ibn Munabbih.
*Hammam ibn Munabbih, a student of Abu Hurayrah
*Asim Ibn Umar Ibn Qatada Al-Ansari
*Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhree or Imam Al-Zuhri
*Musa Ibn Uqba, pupil of Al-Zuhri
*Muhammed Ibn Ishaq, author of "Sirah Rasul Allah", much from oral sources, the first "biography" of Muhammad.
*Ma'mar Ibn Rashid Al-Azdi, pupil of Al-Zuhri
*Abdul Rahman ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Ausi, pupil of Al-Zuhri
*Muhammad ibn Salih ibn Dinar Al-Tammar was a pupil of Al-Zuhri and mentor of Al-Waqidi.
*Ya'qub bin Utba Ibn Mughira Ibn Al-Akhnas Ibn Shuraiq Al-Thaqafi
*Hashim Ibn Urwah ibn Zubayr, son of Urwah ibn Zubayr, generally quoted traditions from his father but was also a pupil of Al-Zuhri.
*Abu Ma'shar Najih Al-Madani.
*Al-Makhzumi.
*Ali ibn mujahid Al razi Al kindi.
*Al-Bakka was a disciple of Ibn Ishaq and teacher of Ibn Hisham and thus forms a very important link in Sira between two great scholars.
*Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham, his work incorporated the text of Ibn Ishaq; he was a pupil of Al-Bakka.
*Salama ibn Al-Fadl Al-Abrash Al-Ansari, pupil of Ibn Ishaq.
*Al-Waqidi, whose only surviving work is "Kitab alTarikh wa al-Maghazi" (Book of History and Campaigns)
*Abu Isa Muhammad Al-Tirmidhi wrote compilations of "Shamaail" (Characteristics of Muhammad)
*Ibn Sa'd wrote the 8-volume work called "Tabaqat" or "The Book of the Major Classes"; he was also a pupil of Al-Waqidi.
*Imam Al-Bayhaqee ,wrote "Dalial An-Nabuwwah" (Argument for Prophet hood).
*Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote the well-known work "History of the Prophets and Kings", whose earlier books include the life of Muhammad, which cite to the "Sira Rasul Allah" of Ibn Ishaq.

Later Writers (1100 AD- 1517 AD)

*Abdul Rahman Al-Suhaili, wrote a commentary on Ibn Ishaq's work called "Raud al-Unuf".
*Al-Hafiz Abdul Mu'min Al-Dimyati, wrote the book "al-Mukhtasar fi Sirati Sayyid Khair al-Bashar" but is commonly referred to as Sira of Al-Dimyati.
*Ala'al-Din Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Khilati Hanafi,wrote Sirat of Al-Khilati.
*Sheikh Zahir al-Din ibn Muhammad Gazaruni.
*Abu-al-Faraj ibn Al-Jawzi,wrote "A Great Collection of Fabricated Traditions" a critique of "Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal". But his book on Sira is called "Sharaf Al-Mustafa" (actual full Title of book(s):Uyun al-hikayat fi Sirat Sayyid al-Bariyya).
*Ibn Kathir, wrote "Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya (Ibn Kathir)".
*Abu Rabi Sulaiman ibn Musa Al-Kala'i compiled a book titled "Iktifa fi Maghazi al-Mustafa wal-Khulafa al-Thalatha".
*Ibn Abd al-Barr.
*Sayyid Al-Nas, wrote "Uyun al-Athar".
*Zain al-Din Iraqi was a teacher of Ibn Hajar and he wrote "Sira Manzuma".
*Al-Qastallani, his book on Sira is "Al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya".

Modern Writers (1800 AD - Present)

*Al-Zurqani,wrote a commentary on the "Al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya" by Qastallani and it was called "Al-Zurqani 'ala al-Mawahib".
*Qazi Halb Burhan-ud-din,wrote "Sirat al-Halbiya".
*Shibli Nomani, wrote his famous 5 volume book "Sirat-un-Nabi" in Urdu with the help of his disciple Syed Sulaiman Nadvi.The book was translated in English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni:ISBN 81-7151-282-8.
*Muhammad Husayn Haykal,wrote "The Life of Muhammad" in Arabic, 1933; with English translation by Isma'il Raji A. al-Faruqi.
*Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, wrote "Muhammad The Ideal Prophet" and "Muhammad The Prophet Of Peace" translated by Rauf Luther.
*N Tawheedi ,wrote "A Glance At The Life Of The Holy Prophet Of Islam " .
*Mohammad Amin ,wrote "A Spark From The Dynamo Of Prophethood" .
*Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, wrote "Al-Amin A Life-Sketch Of The Prophet Muhammad"
*Syed M. Nadvi,wrote "An Easy History Of The Prophet Of Islam".
*Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri,wrote Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar).
*Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi, wrote "Muhammad-ur-Rasoolullah" in 4 volumes.
*Qadi Iyad, wrote "Ash-Shifa - Muhammad The Messenger of Allah"
*Ziauddin Sardar & Zafar Malik wrote "Introducing Muhammad" and "Muhammad Aspects Of His Biography" by Ziauddin Sardar.
*Abdul Hameed Siddiqui,wrote "Life Of Muhammad" .
*Dr Muhammad Shamsul Haque, wrote "Life Of Prophet Muhammad The Final Messenger"
*Afzalur Rahman wrote 3 books namely, "Muhammad As A Military Leader" ; "Muhammad Encyclopedia Of Seerah" and "Muhammad Blessing For Mankind".
*Zahir Ahmed Muhammad,wrote the "Glimpses Of The Prophet's Life & Times".
*Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din a.k.a Martin Lings , wrote "Muhammad : His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" (1983), Islamic Texts Society, ISBN 0-04-297042-3
*Ali Musa Raza ,wrote "Muhammad In The Qur'an".
*Seyyed Hossein Nasr, wrote "Muhammad Man Of Allah".
*Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi,wrote "Muhammad Rasulullah" .
*Muhammad Iqbal,wrote "Muhammad The Beloved Prophet".
*Naeem Siddiqui,wrote "Muhammad The Benefactor Of Humanity".
*Dr M.H. Durrani,wrote two books namely "Muhammad The Biblical Prophet" and "The Holy Prophet Muhammad".
*Dr Majid Ali Khan,wrote "Muhammad The Final Messenger".
*Ahmed Deedat,wrote "Muhammad the Greatest" and "Muhammad the Natural Successor to Christ".
*Jamal Badawi, wrote "Muhammad A Blessing For Mankind",a Short Biography and Commentary.
*Mustafa Ahmad al-Zarqa,wrote "Muhammad The Perfect Model For Humanity".
*Maulana Wahiduddin Khan,wrote "Muhammad The Prophet Of Revolution".
*Syed Iqbal Zaheer,wrote "Muhammad The Unlettered Prophet Who Changed The World".
*Abdur Rahman Lutz,wrote "Muhammad Upon Whom Be Peace".
*Syed Athar Husain ,wrote "Prophet Muhammad & His Mission".
*Fethullah Gulen,wrote "Prophet Muhammad As Commander" and "Prophet Muhammad The Infinite Light".
*Kais al-Kalby ,wrote "Prophet Muhammad The Last Messenger In The Bible".
*Mufti Shafi,wrote " Seerat Khaatmul-Ambiyaa - Life Of Rasulullah" translated by Abbas Zuber Ali.
*Dr Mohamed Abdulla Pasha,wrote "Sixth Century & Beyond - The Prophet & His Times".
*Zakaria Bashier,wrote "Sunshine At Madinah: Studies In Life Of Prophet" and "The Makkan Crucible".
*Dr Ata Mohy-ud-din ,wrote "The Arabian Prophet".
*Fakir Syed Waheeduddin,wrote "The Benefactor & The Rightly-Guided".
*Mustafa Al-Sibai,wrote " The Biography Of Allah's Prophet -Lessons & Examples".
*Muhammad Bashiruddin Mahmood ,wrote "The First & The Last - Muhammad".
*Khwaja Kamaluddin,wrote "The Ideal Prophet".
*Abdul Majeed,wrote "The Last Prophet & His Message" .
*Mohammad Yusuf,wrote " The Last Prophet Of Islam ".
*Muhammad Abdul Rauf ,wrote "The Life & Teaching Of The Prophet Muhammad".
*Syed Ameer Ali ,wrote "The Life & Teachings Of Mohammad ".
*Tahia Al-Ismail,wrote "The Life Of Muhammad - Based On Earliest Sources".
*Sarwar Saulat ,wrote "The Life Of The Prophet".
*Abdal Rahman Azzam,wrote "The Life Of The Prophet Muhammad".
*Muhammad Al-Kidari,wrote "The Light Of Certitude".
*Muhammad Hamidullah,wrote 4 books on Sira "Muhammad Rasulullah: A concise survey of the life and work of the founder of Islam" ; "The prophet of Islam: Prophet of migration" ; "The Prophet's establishing a state and his succession" ; "Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad".
*Ayatullah Jafar Subhani,wrote "The Message - The Holy Prophet Of Allah".
*Khalifa Abdul Hakim ,wrote "The Prophet & His Message".
*Syed Abdul Wahab ,wrote "The Shadowless Prophet Of Islam".
*Muhammad Abdul Hai,wrote "Uswai Rasool-e-Akram (Life & Teachings Of Prophet)".
*Safdar Hosain,wrote " Who Was Muhammad?".

External links

* [http://ibnalhyderabadee.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-is-seerah/ Study of Seerah]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/hadeeth Hadeeth Encyclopedia]
* [http://ibnalhyderabadee.wordpress.com/2006/04/15/sources-of-seerah/ Sources of Compiling Seerah]
* [http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2005/the-life-of-muhammad/ Abridged version of "Sirat Rasoul Allah"]


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