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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us

Introduction: Understanding Sirah and History


Islam is a Deen (way of life) that is based on Divine Guidance, by which a Muslim live his life to strive for success in this life and the hereafter. The success of a Muslims development is measured by his `Ilm (knowledge) of the Deen itself, which, in turn spurs the performance of Ibadah (act of obedience). A Muslims Iman (faith) and unique identity is manifested by his thoughts and in his practice. One way to further understand the Deen and hence enjoining righteousness is to study Sirah, a branch of knowledge based upon the Qur`an and Hadith (Traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and historical records. To rely on past events as guidance for a better life ahead, one has to learn from history. After all learning is an integral part of life, as it is the initial step towards achieving salvation in eternal life. `Ilm is one of the main theme of the Qur`an, therein are numerous reminders. Hence, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) urged his Ummah passionately, saying: Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make a path to Paradise easy for him (Al-Bukhari), and he summarized, saying: Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslims (At-Tirmidhi). Thus in Islam education is compulsory. The Meaning of Sirah It is common practice in Islam to observe Adab (etiquette) in learning in order to avoid any confusion. The ethical way is to begin with definition, what is Sirah? In the Arabic language, the word Sirah derives from the root word sair meaning threading a path, a journey or travel. The word Sirah also covers another meaning and that is of ones conduct in life, a lifes journey, or best understood a biography. The conduct, the life journey, or the path that was threaded by the generations of the past vis--vis, the Prophets of Allah, can be traced in the Qur`an and Hadith. The broader meaning, can be understood by citing verses from the Qur`an, the use of the word, Seeru that is the command from Allah to thread, to travel through the earth in order to learn about what went before us. Many were the ways of life that have passed away before you, travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth (Ali Imran 3:137) What is History? The word History literally means - the story of mankind. Technically speaking, History is a science, which deals with the events and occurrences attached to kings, conquerors and eminent personalities and significant events of the ages past. The states and conditions and information which are chronologically arranged make History. The sources of history are generally divided in three types: Solid Evidences: It refers to all written works like books, memoranda, official papers, commands, decisions, documents etc. Repeated Narratives: It means things that are talk of the town; for instance, stories, poems, proverbs etc. Archaeological Finds: It contains signs and relics, for instance, ruins of the cities, forts, buildings, plaques of buildings, sculpture, ancient weapons, coins, utensils etc.

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us But it is however, not easy to exploit all these three kinds of materials to compile a book of history. These all appear to be meagre without Adab, intellectual power of high degree, labour, courage and insight. Besides national character, particular habits, rites and customs, background and geographical conditions prove helpful to the historian. From different respects history may adopt different forms. Quantitatively speaking, it may be divided into two parts general and particular. General history makes mention of the people of the whole world; particular kind of history gives knowledge about one particular nation or country or dynastic rule. Qualitatively speaking, it is also of two kinds - narrative and critical. Narrative history is one where the statement of the narrator is being enlisted on the basis of his personal observation, and the acceptable and satisfactory narratives have been available to the historian; or the historian would have directly observed the occurrence of the event. Such histories are useful most of all because they need not translating conjectural and imaginary matters into real one. Such histories rather bring about reforms in conceptual mistakes and rationalistic faults. Critical history is one which is based totally on archaeological finds, reported materials and rationalistic frauds, and any statement of the contemporary historian or narrator regarding the event is not available, like the recently compiled histories of ancient Egypt, Iraq and Iran. However, these histories are also not without utility. But one cannot be sure of real knowledge. Historical Ages Some of the historians have divided history in three ages - Early Ages, Middle Ages, Modern Ages. The Earlier Ages contain historical account from the beginning of the world to the Roman rule. The Middle or Medieval Ages comprise the period from the last of Roman rule to the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) by Sultan Mehmet II (d.1481 CE). From some great events are traced the periods of the occurrences of some other events, for instance, such and such events occurred so many years after the creation of Adam (a.s.), or so many years before or after the Great Flood. Similarly, years are counted from the birth of Prophet `Isa a.s. (Jesus, peace be upon him) or the emigration of Muhammad (s.a.w.) from Makkah to Al-Madinah or from the enthroning of a certain king. Tarikh (History, the Islamic perspective) In Arabic, the word for History is Trikh. This word has been constructed by reversing the last constituent of the word Takhir, and Takhir means to relate the past with the future; for instance, it is to tell that so-and-so religion or rule or battle occurred at such and such period. For example, notable Ulama` (Muslim Scholars) Imam Al-Bukhari, Ibn Jarir At Tabari and Ibn Khaldun named their works Tarikh and is usually applied to the History of the Muslims after the last rightly guided Caliph, Ali bin Abi Talib (r.a.). Tarikh also rely upon the Qur`an, Hadith, Ancient writings from Persian records, ancient Greek historian like Theophrastus (372-387 BC), Ptolemy and Pliny (23-79 CE) and even accounts from the Ahlul Kitab (People of the Book) were also quoted, like, for example in Qasasul Anbiya` by Imam Ibn Kathir. But unlike contemporary History, Tarikh did not rely upon Archaeological Finds. Tarikh that is to relate the past is also about Sirah (path that one threads), thus also a part of Sirah. Furthermore in Islam studying the past is emphasized as Lessons in History that is, in order to benefit from knowledge of the past events, how the ancient threaded their journey in life. In order that people of later ages enjoin heedfulness in their character and perhaps even attain wisdom, which is vital in striving to be the best, as the guideline from the Qur`an pointed out: And We made them (a people) of the Past, a lesson for the future (Az-Zukhruf 43:56). Thus, for Muslims this subject is NOT to be taken as mere History lessons, devoid of eternal benefits.

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us After understanding the definitions, the next step is to understand how these subjects were developed. There is the need to know about the history of compilation, about the sources and about the compilers in order for us to be more pragmatic in approach rather than dogmatic, when studying the subject. Al Qur'an, the Authentic Source There were Prophets and Messengers whom Allah sent and their stories are related in the Qur`an, of their exemplary conduct and struggles against adversity. Accounts of the lives of prophets preceding Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), is the first step in the study of Sirah. This part is commonly known as Qasasul Anbiya` (Stories of the Prophets) and the stories are found dispersed over a large section of the Qur'an. Indeed We sent many Messengers before you of them there are some whose account We have narrated to you and there are others whose account We have not narrated to you. (Al Mu`min 40:78) However, there are a number of Surahs (Chapters) that have more material on the lives of some prophets than on others and some deal almost exclusively with prophets' stories. Examples are Surah Yunus (Chapter 10), Surah Hud (Chapter 11), Surah Yusuf (Chapter 12), Surah lbrahim (Chapter 14) and Surah Al-Anbiya (Chapter 21). Surah Al-Furqan (Chapter 25) and Ash-Shura (Chapter 42) in particular deal with the basic concepts of Prophethood as related to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Accounts of specific episodes of the Prophet Muhammad Sirah can also be found in the Qur'an. The early Makkan revelations (Those revealed in Makkah) in Surah Al-Muzzamil (Chapter 73) and Surah Al-Mudathir (Chapter 74) are appropriate examples. The first few verses of Surah Al-Qalam (Chapter 68) describe the personality of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Almost the whole of Surah Al-Anfal (Chapter 8) is devoted to the Battle of Badr, which is significant in the history of the Muslims, while Surah Ali Imran (Chapter 3) verses 121 onwards, deal with the Battle of Uhud in which the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions underwent a decisive test of faith and endurance. Surah Al-Fath (Chapter 48) deals with the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah, another significant event in Sirah. Thus, the Qur`an relates significant events in the past. Sirah An-Nabawi (Biography of the Prophet Muhammad) is the single most important part of history for Muslims and its history of compilation and development will be elaborated [from page 5 onwards] Other Sources Sirah writers relied upon apart from the Qur`an, the Hadith and ancient records. Among the earliest compilers of Hadith on Sirah An-Nabawi was Urwah bin AzZubair (r.a.). He was the son of Az-Zubair bin Al-Awwam (r.a.), grandson of Abu Bakr (r.a.) the Prophets (s.a.w.) companions, and nephew of `Aisha (r.a.), from whom he learnt a great deal. Others sources, like the records preserved in the libraries of the Pagan Kings of Al-Hirah, poetry of pagan Arabs, writing and inscriptions of Himyarite dynasty were also taken into consideration. Among those who contributed in this field was Wahb bin Munabbih (d.732 CE), a Yemenite of Jewish descend collected Hadith, wrote Qasasul Anbiya`, Kitab-ul-Isra`iliyat (Book of the Israelite) and Kitab At-Tijan which gave accounts of ancient Arab in Syria and Yemen. He is also known to be well-versed in Israeli Folklore and often include it in his writings, like Kitab-ul-Isra`iliyat. It is not preserved but some of the stories were later incorporated in one of the most enchanting collection of stories, The Arabian Nights. His brother Hammam bin Munabbih was known for writing the Sahifa a collection of 138 Hadiths. The following are some notables scholars who contributed in the subjects of Qasasul Anbiya`, Sirah An-Nabawi, and Tarikh (History of the Muslims)

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Ibn Hisham (d.832 CE), he was Abu Muhammad Abdul Malik bin Hisham AlHimyari, a very reliable Hadith compiler, Sirah writer and Historian. He belonged to the Himyarite tribe, and it was, perhaps, for this reason that he wrote a history of the Himyarite dynasty, which exists even today. His famous work, Sirah of Ibn Hisham incorporated history of the ancient Arabs in Yemen, stories of Bani Isra`il (narration taken from the Ahlul Kitab, i.e. People of the Book) and Sirah An-Nabawi. His additional contribution to biographical literature consists of clarifications of the difficult words that occur in books on Sirah. Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d.921 CE), he was Abu Ja`far Muhammad bin Jarir bin Yazid At-Tabari, is one of the famous Historian. Apart from his Tafsir (Interpretation or Exegesis) of the Qur`an, his Mukhtasar Tarikh Ar rusul wal Muluk wal Khulafa` (Concise History of the Messenger, Kings and Caliphates) sometime also known as Tarikh At-Tabari was his monumental work. It began from the early Prophets, covering Patriarchs, ancient Kings, Sassanid Kings, Sirah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) up to the year 915 CE. Al-Kamil Fit-Tarikh (The Complete History) written by Ibn AlAthir (d.1233 CE) and those written by Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Kathir, are based on his work and abridged from it. Ibn `Asakir (d.1175 CE), he was Ali bin Al-Hasan another prominent Historian, Tarikh Madinah Dimsahq (History of Damascus) being his famous work, which covers up to the Crusades and its liberation by Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi. He collected the names of narrators in a literature called Asma-ur-Rijal. This work is the first of its kind whereby the credibility of Hadith narrators are scrutinized. Ibn Asakir also wrote Manaaqib of Ummul Mu`minin (the Mothers of Believers) narrating the virtues of the Prophets (s.a.w.) wives. Ibn Kathir (d.1373) - Abu Al-Fida, Imad-ud-Din Ismail bin Umar bin Kathir AlQurashi Al-Busrawi (Basra in origin), was born in the city of Basra in 701H (1301 CE) but he studied and lived in Damascus. Imam Ibn Kathir was a learned Scholar in the field of Tafsir, Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Hadith and History and wrote numerous books on those subjects. His book Al-Bidayah An-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) is most popular, which covers Qasasul Anbiya`, Sirah An-Nabawi and Tarikh. Ibn Khaldun (d.1406) - Abdur-Rahman bin Mohammad bin Khaldun was born in Tunis in 732 H (1332 CE) of Yemeni descend, lived much of his life in Seville, Tunisia and Egypt where he was appointed as Imam of the Maliki Madh-hab (School of Thoughts) and lecturer at the Al-Azhar University. Ibn Khaldun's chief contribution lies in philosophy of history and sociology. He sought to write a world history preamble by a first volume aimed at an analysis of historical events. This volume, commonly known as Muqaddimah or Prolegomena, was based on Ibn Khaldun's unique approach and original contribution and became a masterpiece in literature on philosophy of history and sociology. His contribution to history is marked by the fact that, unlike most of the earlier writers interpreting history largely in a political context, he emphasized environmental, sociological, psychological and economic factors governing the apparent events. This revolutionized the science of history and also laid the foundation of Ummaniyat (Sociology). He also wrote Kitab Al-I'bar which deals with the history of the ancient Arabs, Muslim rulers, European rulers, Jews, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptian history and North-African history, especially that of Berbers and tribes living in the adjoining areas. Ibn Khaldun's influence on the subject of history, philosophy of history, sociology, political science and education has remained paramount ever since. His books have been translated into many languages, both in the East and the West and have inspired subsequent development of these sciences.

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Sirah An-Nabawi (Biography of the Prophet Muhammad) A Muslims Iman in the Prophets and Messengers (as in the fourth article of Iman) is incomplete if he has no knowledge about them. From the study of Qasasul Anbiya`, Muslims can understand better, recognize and appreciate the Prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.). After all the message of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is a culmination of previous messages sent to the Prophets before him. Thus special attention is required when studying the life of the last Prophet of Allah, about whom the Qur`an mention: And you (O Muhammad) are certainly on the most exalted standard of moral excellence. (Al Qalam 68:4) It is generally agreed by Muslim scholars that the Sirah of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) includes not only the reported chronology of his life's, from his birth in Makkah (570 CE), 53 years before Hijrah (i.e. Migration to Madinah) and his death at Madinah about ten years after Hijrah (632 CE.) but it also includes the analysis and interpretation of those events, and the lessons and guidelines to be drawn from them. Thus while the chronological study of Sirah must by necessity be done in the context of the history of the region and society in which the Prophet (s.a.w.) was born and in which he grew and lived, the analytical study has to be made, first and foremost, in the light of the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the most authoritative source on all aspects of Islam. Thus the Qur'an, though it does not contain detailed biographical information of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) life and can in no way be considered to be a book of history, it is the primary source on the nature, character and significance of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) life as the practical model and living interpretation of Islam, to be emulated and studied by Muslims for all time to come. The History of Compilation After the death of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) written material increased enormously. Urwah bin Az-Zubair (d.712 CE) is the source of a good deal of information on Sirah and Maghaazi. He was learned in Sirah, some people consider his writings to be the first on the subject. Before the advent of the Abbasids just after the murder of Umayyad Ruler Walid II bin Yazid II (743-744 CE), when books on traditions and sayings were transferred from the library of Walid II, those written by Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihab Az-Zuhri (670-742 CE) alone had to be carried on the backs of mules. He was a learned Ulama` of that time in Hadith and Fiqh (Jurisprudence) and had many students; Imam Al-Bukhari was among them. Imam Az-Zuhri, as he is commonly known, was the first to write a book on Al-Maghaazi (Chronicles about Expeditions led by the Prophet s.a.w.) Imam Az-Zuhri spent most parts of his life in Madinah, visiting every house of the Ansar (Prophets s.a.w. Companions amongst the native of Madinah), collecting traditions from their descendants who knew a great deal about the life of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Imam Az-Zuhri himself belonged to the tribe of the Quraish and had seen many of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.). In the year 80 AH (701 CE) he reached the court of Umayyad Ruler, Abdul Malik bin Marwan, where he was received with great honour. Most probably he wrote his famous book AlMaghaazi at the instance of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (717-720 CE). It is worth noting that he was closely connected with the court. Hisham bin Abdul-Malik (723-743 CE) entrusted him with the education of his children. As a result of Imam AzZuhris endeavours people started taking interest in Maghaazi and among the large number of his pupils, there were many who rose to eminence in this field of literature, such as Yaqub bin Ibrahim, Muhammad bin Salih and Abdur Rahman bin Abdul Aziz. They were considered in their times as Sahib-ul-Maghaazi (Master of the Maghaazi) as a mark of respect and distinction. Two of his prominent pupils were Musa bin Uqbah and Muhammad bin Ishaq (Famously known as Ibn Ishaq).

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Musa bin Uqba (d.758 CE) had been a servant of Az-Zubairs (r.a.) family and had seen Abdullah bin Umar bin Al-Khattab (r.a.) in his lifetime. In Hadith, Imam Malik founder of the Maliki Madh-hab had been his pupil and held him in such high regard that he used to advice others to learn Maghaazi from none but Musa. The chief characteristics of his writings are: (a) (b) The writers of Maghaazi had cared little for the authenticity of Hadith (traditions), but Musa was scrupulous. Generally, authors delighted in amassing as many facts as they came to know. As a result, all sorts of reports, spurious as well as genuine, found way into their writings. Musa made a careful scrutiny and incorporated only those reports that he found to be correct. Hence his work is much less voluminous than the other books on Maghaazi. There was no age limit and anybody could attend the lessons of a teacher; and pass on to others what he had learnt. But it was difficult for an immature mind to understand the actual meaning and implications of traditions at a tender age. Much confusion was therefore created when such youths quoted traditions to others.

(c)

Contrary to others, Musa learnt the subject in his old age, he died in 141 H. Musas work is not extant, but it was available for a very long time and numerous references to it are to be found in all the old books on Maghaazi. Muhammad bin Ishaq (d.768 CE) is the most famed writer of Maghaazi and is recognized as the highest authority. Al-Waqidi alone can match him as a wellknown author, but Al-Waqidi is notorious for his absurd and baseless reports and his is a negative reputation. Muhammad bin Ishaq on the other hand, being a Tabi`i (Those who have learned and followed the Sahabah i.e. companion of the Prophet s.a.w.), had seen one of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.), namely Anas bin Malik (r.a.). As regards to reliability of Ibn Ishaq opinions differ. Imam Malik is doubtful about his veracity and does not consider him to be dependable at least in the field of Maghaazi and Sirah. Imam Al-Bukhari did not incorporate in his Sahih (authenticated collection) any tradition quoted by Ibn Ishaq, yet he drew upon him in the chapter Al-Qiraa (Recitation). In books of history, we find quite a large number of facts borrowed from his book. He made the Maghaazi literature so popular and interesting that even the Abbasid Caliphs, who were more interested in other branches of knowledge, took a fancy to it. Ibn Adi has acknowledged his special services, saying that no other work on Sirah and Maghaazi could equal the one by Ibn Ishaq. In his book Ath-Thiqat (The Trustworthy), Ibn Hibbaan says that the main charge against Ibn Ishaq was that, while describing the battle of Khaibar and other battles, he incorporated reports that he had heard from the Jews converted to Islam. As these facts must have been reported to the converts by the Jews their reliability was questionable. Adh-Dhahabi (d.1348 CE) also declares that Ibn Ishaq reported facts borrowed from the Jews and the Christians, whom unfortunately, he considered as reliable. Like for example Ibn Ishaqs accounts on the execution of all men (between 600 to 700) of Banu Quraizah after Al-Ahzab invasion (5 H), whereas the Qur`an clarifies: He caused those of the People of the Book who helped them (i.e. the Quraish) to come out of their forts. Some you killed, some you took prisoner (Al Ahzab 33:26). Ibn Ishaqs work had a wide publicity and many famous traditionalists edited it and Ibn Hisham was among them. He produced a very elaborate and enlarged edition, known as Sirah Ibn Hisham, which remains as a relic to the original since Ibn Ishaqs original works was rarely available.

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Ibn Sad (d.844 CE), he was Abu Abdullah, Muhammad bin Sad, produced so comprehensive and detailed a book on the lives of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Companions that it stands unrivalled even today. He was a famous traditionalist, and though, according to some traditionalists, his teacher Al-Waqidi does not deserve any consideration. Ibn Sad may be relied upon. Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi had remarked of him: He (Ibn Sad) was an eminent scholar and had an unbiased mind. He has compiled a book dealing with the lives of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.), and of those who followed them, bringing the narrative to his own days. It is an excellent and beautiful performance. Ibn Sad belonged to the tribe allied to Banu Hashim (the Prophets s.a.w. tribe). Born in the town of Basra, he had taken up his residence at Baghdad. The famous historian Al-Baladhuri (d.914 CE) was his pupil. Ibn Sads work is entitled Tabaqat, it has eight volumes, two dealing with the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the rest with the lives of the Companions. As the lives of the Companions contain numerous references to the Prophet (s.a.w.), these parts also form a valuable source for the Prophets (s.a.w.) biography. Ibn Sads work had become almost untraceable in as much as no library had a complete set, when the German Emperor thought of its publication, donating a large sum of money from his personal purse. Professor Sachau was entrusted with the task of procuring from various places the various parts of the book. Sachau travelled to Constantinople, Egypt and to other countries, and succeeded in collecting all the volumes. Twelve European professors reviewed the volumes allotted to each and thus came out this valuable book from a press in Leyden (Holland) carefully edited and printed. Much of this book is based on Al-Waqidi but all the reports having been referred to the sources, those originating from Al-Waqidi can be easily separated from the rest. Ibn Sa`d died in 230 H at the age of 62. Tarikh Kabir and Tarikh Saghir by Imam Al-Bukhari In addition to the books on Sirah, there are historical writings following models of the traditionalists, that is, recording statements with reference to sources. These works too, at least the portions dealing with the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.), form a part of the Sirah literature. Of these the foremost, and at once the most authentic, are the two books of the Imam Al-Bukhari. But unfortunately both are brief. One of these, the Tarikh Saghir, has now been published. This book does not devote more than a tenth of its space to the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the topic covering only fifteen pages and this, too, not in an orderly way. The Tarikh Kabir is fairly voluminous and a copy of it was in a library at the Mosque of Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia). But the account of the Prophets (s.a.w.) life is short and scattered. Maghaazi The Arabs had no arts or sciences, but they loved to preserve the memory of their warlike deeds and tribal battles, as expedition led by the Prophet (s.a.w.) often ended up in battles, where in all cases it was unavoidable. It might therefore be expected that, of all the deeds and sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.), traditions concerning Maghaazi would be the first to gain popularity and prepare the grounds for this branch of knowledge. But this was not the case. Hadith concerning the military activities of the Prophet (s.a.w.), including Sar`iyah (Delegations sent by the Prophet s.a.w.) were the last to receive attention. The Khulafa-ur-Rashidun (Namely, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, upon whom Allah be pleased) and the elder Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) paid more attention to those sayings and deeds of the Prophet (s.a.w.) that concerned the Shariah and on which Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) could be based. Imam Al-Bukhari, while relating the Battle of Uhud, has quoted the words of Sa`ib bin Yazid who said: I enjoyed the company of

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Miqdad and Sad for a long time. Still I never heard them quoting from the Prophet, except that Talhah used to relate the incidents of the battle of Uhud. The Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) named above, are very well known and have reported a large number of sayings from him. The quotation given above might only mean that the elder Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) desisted from relating the Ghazwah (Expedition led by the Prophet s.a.w.), except Talhah (r.a.), who often spoke of Uhud. It was on this account that writer, who devoted themselves to Maghaazi though very popular with the masses, carried little weight in the eyes of the learned. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, founder of the Hanbali Madh-hab said: As regards the Maghaazi literature the most famous book is the work Ibn Ishaq, who borrows freely from the Christians and the Israelites. Imam Ash-Shafi`i, founder of the Ash-Shafi`i Madh-hab has declared the books by Al-Waqidi to be full of lies. In spite of all distinction, it was impossible to ignore this branch of literature. Hence the elder Companions and traditionalists were very careful and narrated only such facts, as they were quite sure of, as such little attention had been paid to Maghaazi. However, Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered that people should be taught and trained in this branch of knowledge in schools specially run for this purpose. Asim bin Umar bin Qatada Al-Ansari (d.121 H/738 CE) was well versed in Sirah and Maghaazi. He was ordered by Umar bin Abdul Aziz to start a school in the mosque of Damascus for imparting lessons in Maghaazi and Manaaqib (Eulogies in praise of the Prophet s.a.w. and his Companions). Thus the study of these branches of knowledge became widespread, but from henceforth scrupulously. Rulers Initiatives in the Development of Hadith and Sirah In the days of the first Four Caliphs, Islamic jurisprudence and traditions were widely studied. They were also taught by a number of teachers. All this was however, done orally and nothing was reduced to writing. The Umayyads were the first to order Muslim scholars to write. Ibn Abdul-Barr, in his book Jami Bayan Al`Ilm, has quoted Imam Az-Zuhri as saying: We did not like to transfer knowledge to paper, but at last a time came when men in authority compelled us to do so. Amir Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan was the first to encourage writings. He invited Ubaid bin Sharya who come from Yemen and compile a history of the ancients. The book is named Akhbar Al-Madiyin. Next to Amir Mu`awiyah came Abdul Malik bin Marwan, who ascended the throne in the year 65 AH (684 CE). He ordered the scholars to write books of every type and on every topic. Said bin Jubair, a Tabi`i and a very knowledgeable scholar of the day, was ordered to write a Tafsir (commentary of the Qur`an). The Tafsir was kept in the state library. The Tafsir considered to have been written by Ata` bin Dinar is the same that Said had written. `Ata` had, somehow, secured it from the royal library. The reign of Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz (717-720 CE), gave a fresh impetus to literary activity. Orders were promulgated all over the empire for sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to be compiled into the form of books. Sad bin Ibrahim, who was a famous traditionalist and the Qadi (Judge) of Madinah was asked to write into books a very large number of traditions and they were all sent to various parts of the Muslim empire. Ibn Abdul Barr, in his book Jami Bayan Al-`Ilm, quotes Ibn Ibrahim as saying: Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered us to collect the traditions. We did so and wrote a large number of volumes and Umar bin Abdul Aziz sent one set to each of the various parts of his empire. Hadith (Traditions) quoted by `Aisha (r.a.) occupies a unique place of their own. A large number of traditions handed down by her are those that bear upon the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence. Umar bin Abdul Aziz paid special attention to the sayings quoted by `Aisha (r.a.). Amra bint Abdur Rahman, a lady who was brought up by `Aisha (r.a.), was very

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us learned and she remembered a large number of sayings. Muslim scholars agree that none knew the traditions reported by `Aisha (r.a.) more than Amra. It was on account of this, that Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote to Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin Amr bin Hazm Ansari to collect and put into writing all the traditions reported by Amra and send them to him. Abu Bakr, who was a Qadi in Madinah and a teacher of Imam Az-Zuhri, was also ordered to compile books on Hadith. Authenticity of the Sources of Sirah Events of the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were first put into writing almost a hundred years after his death. Hence the writers had no written sources to fall back upon except memorized traditions. In a similar situation, when facts have to be recorded long after their occurrence, people generally pick up all sorts of street gossip, without ever caring to know even the names of the reporters. Out of a worthless heap of hearsay, a selection is made in the light of circumstances or on grounds of probability. Shortly after, this worthless collection passes for a piece of interesting historical literature. European history is a collection of this type of material. Method of Judging the Narrators Muslims alone, among the nations of the world, may claim the credit of having established a far superior standard of writing history. The first principle Muslim historians laid down were that the incidents to be incorporated should be such as have been reported by a person who has personally witnessed the affair. If this is not the case, the names of all the intermediaries have to be serially mentioned up to the man who had been an actual participator or eye-witness. The important thing was to see the type of persons the reporters were, what calling they followed, what character they bore, how they stood in the matter of memory and judgement, and whether they were reliable or untrustworthy, had a keen intellect or a shallow mind, were well-informed or ignorant. It was almost impossible, to know all these details. Still, hundreds of workers in the field devoted their lives to this arduous task. They went from door to door, travelled from place to place, met persons who had anything to narrate, and gathered all possible information regarding their life and character. If the person had been dead, enquiries were made from those who had known him when living. Asma-ur-Rijal These enquiries gave birth to a new branch of knowledge known as Asma-ur-Rijal (Biographies of the narrators of the Prophets s.a.w. sayings.) To this colossal storehouse we are indebted for exhaustive information with respect to at least a hundred thousand narrators. Even Dr Springier, a renowned German orientalist, admits: No nation ever existed in the past or is there in the present, which has invented like the Muslims the science of Asma-ur-Rijal, through which we can know today the lives of five hundred thousand people of medieval times. The learned scholars of Sunnah (Prophetic ways i.e. deeds, sayings and approvals) have recorded every important detail about every reporter of the Sunnah, such as his belief, faith, character, virtue, trustworthiness, truthfulness, honesty, their retention power and comprehension skills. These traditionalists, without being influenced by the position or status of a man, gathered all relevant information, detected the innermost moral weaknesses and laid bare every shortcoming, sparing neither kings nor religious heads. Thus, hundreds of books were written. The first book on the subject, that is, on the critical study of the lives of the narrators, was written by Yahya bin Said Al-Qattan (d.198 H). He was a scholar of such a high calibre, Imam Ibn Hanbal said of him: Never have I seen the like of him. This branch of knowledge gained popularity and many books were written. A few of the most prominent among them are:

Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Rijal Uqaili (d.322 H/934 CE) He wrote Kitab Adu`afaa`, it dealt especially with the narrators whose reliability was questionable. Rijal Al-Imam Abdur Rahman bin Hatim Ar-Razi (d.327 H/939 CE) In his Al-Jarh wa'l-Ta'dil (Scrutiny and Criticism), one of the earliest book on the subject, he listed 16,000 narrators, covering a historical outline of Hadith criticism. Abu Ahmad Abdullah bin Adi (d.365 H/977 CE) Al-Kamil fil Jarh wa'l-Ta'dil was his most famous book, it dealt with every narrator that was ever criticized, rightly or wrongly, a constructive criticism. Abul Hasan Ali bin Umar Daraqutni (d.385 H/995 CE) Imam Ad-Daraqutni was a well-known traditionalist. In his Sunan, a Hadith is cited with the various Isnad (chain of narrators) and different versions. His books are no longer available, now but later writings based his work are, however, available. The most comprehensive and authentic work in this category is Tahdhib Al-Kamal by Al-Mizzi Yusuf bin Az-Zaki (d.742 H/1341 CE) Ala Ad-Din Mughlat`i (d.762 H /1361 CE) completed it in thirteen volumes. Adh-Dhahabi (d.748 H/1348 CE) brought out a concise and abridged version of this book. Observing Guidelines In accordance with the general principle, the procedure for an enquiry would have been to ascertain the names of the reporters and then to see if they were trustworthy. This done, their statements were to be taken. Like, take for example, when the hypocrites started a calumny against `Aisha (r.a.), the rumour spread without enquiries that even some of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were misled. When you heard of it, why did the believing men and women not think well of their own folk and say: This is a manifest calumny? (An Nur 24:12). Guideline from Allah dictates that it ought to have been discarded. This establishes the principle that an incident that sounds so highly incredible ought to be rejected outright as false. Thus the method of enquiry called Diraya (judging the truth of a report in the light of ones previous knowledge and experience) had made a beginning even in the days of the Prophet (s.a.w.). The sum and substance of the foregoing discourse is that the following categories of reports are to be discredited without an enquiry into the characters of their narrators: Hadith that, are contrary to reason. Hadith that go against the accepted principles. Hadith that belie common observation and physical experience. Hadith that contradict Al-Qur`an or Mutawatir Hadith (repeatedly corroborated tradition) or go against Ijma` Qat`i (a decided consensus of opinion) and do not admit of any interpretation. 5. Hadith that threatens severe punishment for a minor fault. 6. Hadith that sounds absurd or non-sense e.g., Eat not a gourd without slaughtering it 7. Hadith that promises big rewards for trivial acts of piety. 8. Hadith narrated by a single person who has never personally contacted the man from whom he narrates. 9. Hadith that ought to have been known to all but have only a single narrator. 10. Any tradition concerning an incident so noteworthy that, if it had actually taken place, it ought to have been related by many, and yet there is but a single narrator to report it. 1. 2. 3. 4.

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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Review A brief history of the Sirah literature from the preceding pages provides a general understanding of the subject. In learning, the Truth is of utmost importance, as such there is a need to review of what is available in books, today. There are hundreds of books on Sirah now available, but the ultimate sources to which they are all indebted are Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa`d, Al-Waqidi and At-Tabari. Books other than these are later products and draw from them the facts they record, here we are not taking into account the Hadith literature. Thus it is necessary to review these four books critically and exhaustively. Of these Al-Waqidi deserves no notice. Traditionalists are all agreed that Al-Waqidi coined and fabricated Hadith, a fact borne out by his book itself. His descriptions of very minor incidents are so replete with varied and interesting details, the like of which no pen, however masterly, can so vividly describe even the events to which the writer has been an eye-witness. The other three writers are quite reliable. As to Ibn Sad and At-Tabari none has to say any things against them. Unfortunately, however, their personal integrity and position of authority do not guarantee the authenticity of their works on Sirah. They were not eyewitnesses to any incident and have consequently quoted from others, many of whom are untrustworthy. Moreover, the original book of Ibn Ishaq is not traceable. What is available today is its version as edited and altered by Ibn Hisham. But Ibn Hisham has reproduced Ibn Ishaqs book as re-written by Ziyad Al-Bakka`i, for he had no direct access to it. Ziyad Al-Bakka`i himself is a respectable author; but he falls short of the high criteria of the traditionalists. Ibn Madini (the teacher of Al-Bukhari) says that AlBakka`i was a weak narrator and so he had to give him up. So does Abu Hatim discard him as a source worth quoting, An-Nasa`i too regards him as unreliable. More than half of the reports related by Ibn Sad have been borrowed from AlWaqidi hence they deserve the same scrutiny. As regards the other sources utilized by Ibn Sa`d some are reliable, others not. Similarly, most of the chief narrators in At-Tabaris work are untrustworthy, such as Salamah Abrash, Ibn Sahamah and others. Thus the books on Sirah do not stand at par with Hadith in authenticity. Only those statements that withstood scrutiny are worth recording. Besides, the classification of Hadith has its own science, under Mustalahah Al-Hadith which is a very broad subject that requires an in-depth study. Thus, at this point its sufficient for students to be aware of the subject that is instrumental in classifying. Sirah Compared with Hadith The reason for the inferior authenticity of books of Sirah is that research and scrutiny were exclusively confined to the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.) on Shari`ah (Law) and Fiqh (Jurisprudence). It was supposed that Hadith bearing upon the dos and donts were to be critically examined, while the rest, dealing with the life and virtues of the Prophet (s.a.w.), did not demand a meticulous and cautious scrutiny. Zain-ud-Din Al-Iraqi, a prominent traditionalist, in the preface to his book As-Siratul-Mauzuma, says: A lover of this branch of learning (Sirah) should remember that books on Sirah incorporate all sorts of reports, Sahih (Genuine, Truthful) as well as Munkar (Untruthful). It was for this reason that many unauthentic sayings dealing with the status and excellence of the Prophet (s.a.w.) or with the meritorious-ness of his pious acts got currency. Even learned scholars had no objection to incorporating them in their books. Ibn Taimiyyah (d.1328 CE), a prominent Ulama`, said in his book At-Tawassul: This Hadith has been quoted by authors who have written on supererogatory services and prayers, for instance, the work of Ibn AsSini and Abu Nu`aim with all other books of that type, contain a large number of fabricated traditions that, are quite unreliable and this is the agreed opinion of all the scholars.

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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Al-Hakim, Muhammad bin Abdullah An-Nishaburi (d.1012 CE); quoted in his Mustadrak, a Hadith that stated, when Adam (a.s.) committed the Original Sin, he prayed to Allah in these words O God, forgive me for the sake of Muhammad. At this God asked Adam how he came to know of Muhammad? Adam (a.s.) replied that on the pedestal of the Arash (Throne of God) he had seen inscribed the Kalimah (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger) and added that this had led him to believe that he whose name God associated with his own name must certainly be dearest to him. God replied that Adam was right and that if Muhammad had not been there, He would not have created Adam. This tradition has been quoted by Al-Hakim with the comment that it is an authentic report. Ibn Taimiyyah, having quoted the comment of Al-Hakim says: Al-Hakim has faith in sayings of this type. Leading traditionalists declare it to be baseless. They are of the opinion that many of the sayings approved by Al-Hakim are coined and forged. Similarly, there are many traditions in Mustadrak which are held to be true by AlHakim, while recognised traditionalists declare them to be forged. Surprisingly, when the discovery of the Gospel of Barnabas was made public since 1907, similar narration from Mustadrak can be found. Chapter 39 of the Gospel of Barnabas relates: Adam, having sprung up upon his feet, saw in the air a writing that shone like the sun, which said: There is only one God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Whereupon Adam opened his mouth and said: "I thank thee, O Lord my God, that thou hast deigned to create me; but tell me, I pray thee, what meaneth the message of these words: "Muhammad is messenger of God." Have there been other men before me?" Then said God: Be thou welcome, O my servant Adam, I tell thee that thou art the first man whom I have created. And he whom thou hast seen [mentioned] is thy son, who shall come into the world many years hence, and shall be my messenger, for whom I have created all things; who shall give light to the world when he shall come; whose soul was set in a celestial splendour sixty thousand years before I made anything. Adam besought God, saying: Lord, grant me this writing upon the nails of the fingers of my hands. Then God gave to the first man upon his thumbs that writing; upon the thumb-nail of the right hand it said: There is only one God, and upon the thumb-nail of the left it said: Muhammad is messenger of God. Then with fatherly affection the first man kissed those words, and rubbed his eyes, and said: Blessed be that day when thou shalt come to the world. In Chapter 97: Then said the priest: How shall the Messiah be called, and what sign shall reveal his coming? Jesus answered: The name of the Messiah is admirable, for God himself gave him the name when he had created his soul, and placed it in a celestial splendour. God said: Wait Muhammad; for thy sake I will to create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, insomuch that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee into the world I shall send thee as my messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail. Muhammad is his blessed name. (Translated by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg) In all probability, Al-Hakim heard such narrations from the Ahlul Kitab of his time. But overall the above narrations runs parallel with the Qur`an as regards to the Kalimah, on Adam (a.s.) being the first man and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) being the last Prophet, prophesized, the blessed one of noble status. As such, students of Sirah are free to evaluate, these narrations, which are not harmful to Aqidah. However, a point to be noted is that the Gospel of Barnabas is still subject to evaluation as it is only Matn (text) without Isnad (Chain of Narrators).

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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Little Regard of Hadith by the Sirah Writers (Biographers) It is to be noted that Abu Nu`aim, Ibn `Asakir, Khatib al-Baghdadi, Al-Hafiz AbdulGhani and others were leading traditionalists, but still, they tend to quote Hadith freely when dealing with the accomplishments of the Caliphs and the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.). The only explanation for such attitude is to be found in the belief that strict care and caution had to be observed only when quoting the traditions telling what is Halal (lawful) and what is Haram (forbidden). In matters other than these they thought it enough to quote the names of those from whom they narrated and did not care for a critical study and scrutiny. For example, Mullah Ali Al-Qari, in his Maudu`aat, says that in the city of Baghdad a preacher narrated a Hadith that on the Day of Judgment God will seat Muhammad (s.a.w.) by His Side on the Arsh. Imam Ibn Jarir At-Tabari was indignant when he heard it, and at his door he hung a placard bearing the words None can sit by the side of God. At this the people of Baghdad were so infuriated that they pelted the house of At-Tabari with stones till the walls were covered. One thing is worth mentioning here, Al-Bukhari and Muslim are by general consent the greatest masters of this branch of knowledge. They had a sincere love and a profound sense of reverence for the Prophet (s.a.w.), which is another reason for their superiority over the rest of the traditionalists. With all that, they have no space for the exaggerated sayings in exaltation of the Prophet (s.a.w.), which have been reported by Al-Baihaqi, Abu Nuaim, Al-Bazzar, At-Tabarani and others. Even reports from later works of An-Nasa`i, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi are devoid of such exaggeration. This proves that the number of overstatements declines with the progress of critical scrutiny. For instance, Al-Baihaqi, Abu Nu`aim, Ibn `Asakir and At-Tabari related that on the day of the Prophets (s.a.w.) birth fourteen minarets of the imperial palace of Persia fell to the ground, the holy fire in the Zoroastrian synagogue died out, the sea of Tabriyah (Lake Sawa) got dried up. But Al-Bukhari or Muslim, or any other from the Sahih Sittah (Six Authentic Books of Hadith) has nothing to say of this story. There is another story quoted by Abu Nu`aim, said to be reported by the mother of the Prophet (s.a.w.), that at the time of the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.), a large number of small birds flocked into the house and their beaks were made of emerald and their tongues of rubies; then a patch of white cloud was seen in the sky floating very low and that this patch descended down and took away the holy babe then a voice was heard announcing that the holy babe should be shown to all the seas, that all should know him. But all the incidents relating to the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) have a link or two missing in the chain. None of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) was old enough to report at the time of the Prophets (s.a.w.) birth. The oldest among the Companions was Abu Bakr (r.a.), but he too was two years younger than him (s.a.w.). The biographers mostly overlooked the principles set forth by the traditionalists. The first Principle was that there should be no break in the chain of the narrator right up to the original source. The Style in Writing, its Causes and Effects Generally the writers on Sirah do not concern themselves with causes and effects, which they seldom seek to inter relate. The Europeans, on the other hand, have carried things too far. The European mind seeks a cause for each effect and weaves into a connected chain of events a whole guesswork of far-fetched possibilities and probabilities. His personal bias and objectives mould his writings, as he sets before himself a particular aim and makes the whole revolve round it. The facts he describes are all directed to serve the end in view. On the contrary, Muslim historian tries to find out facts, impartially and with utmost integrity, little caring

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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us for their bearing on history or his religious convictions. His main objective is the discovery of truth and at the altar of Truth he tends to sacrifice even his beliefs and national interests. But there the pendulum swings to the other extreme. In his extravagant love for factual description, un-tinged by subjective colour he ignored the concomitant facts that could evidently explain their effects. He passed on leaving the incidents half-said, dull and dry. For instance, while giving the description of a battle, he will start saying that Prophet (s.a.w.) sent an army at such and such time against such and such tribe, without giving the reasons that made the Ghazwah (expedition) necessary. Average readers are led to suppose that non-Muslims could be attacked and destroyed without rhyme or reason, and that the mere fact that they happened to be infidels was a sufficient ground for an attack. Consequently, critics ascribe the spread of Islam to the sword. But a close study reveals that in all cases wars were made upon those hostile tribes that had been found making preparations for an attack on the Muslims. Main Points of Observation Students of Sirah need to be aware and follow a certain guideline and principles in order to understanding better by observing the following points: 1. In the first place, facts recorded in the Quran regarding the Prophets (s.a.w.) life have been given precedence over statements from other sources. It can be positively proved that the Quran describes, or alludes to, certain incidents in a manner that brings controversies to a close, which continue to exist only because people fail to make a careful study of the Quranic verses. Next to the Quran, is the Hadith, facts mentioned in the Sahihain of AlBukhari and Muslim needs no confirmation by Sirah or history. A serious mistake made by the writers on Sirah was that, in books of Hadith, they looked for reports at places and in chapters where these reports ought to have been found in view of their subject matter. When they failed to find them there, they were content with reports of an inferior worth. But the traditions often give quite detailed information as a side issue to a main theme. On a thorough exploration, the Six Authentic Collections alone provide the student with all the information required on any topic of importance. The greatest distinction of the present work is that most of our material is derived from the collections of traditions, which the compilers of Sirah often neglected. For ordinary facts of daily experience we have been content with Ibn Sad, Ibn Hisham and At-Tabari. But in matters of importance we had to be critical, inquisitive and unsparing of labour. The first thing is to collect from the above mentioned books the names of all their narrators and they ran into hundreds. Then with the help of works on Asma-ur-Rijal, the merits and demerits can be ascertained. Thus the value of any report could be judged by a reference to Asma-ur-Rijal.

2.

3.

Perhaps, now Students of Sirah are better prepared, after having justified certain shortcomings on the writers of the subject, pointed out in the preceding pages. In consideration of the nature of the subject and opinions from eminent Ulama`, Muslims, as mentioned, have to be pragmatic in approach and are not obligated to accept certain narrations as factual in the study of Sirah. Students of Sirah must know that books of Sirah contain facts faithfully reported and also those the authenticity of which are disputable. Furthermore, as Muslims, all studies must be done ethically and intelligently.

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Islam - History of Humanity, Lessons for Us Summary Another noteworthy matter is that, they were attempts by Rulers to coin Hadith to elevate or justify their status as Khalifah or Imam for the Muslim world, Prophesized by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). The integrity and noble character of the Ulama` made this highly unlikely to prevail. Though there were false Hadith circulated during those era, but they never made it into any books of Authentic Hadith. Generally the events recorded, concerning the Rules of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman and others were more critical, rather than favourable. Therefore, scepticism about Sirah having been tampered with by the Rulers or that historical events were re-written according to their vested interests are to be eradicated. On a positive note, generally Muslims have never from the days of the Prophet (s.a.w.), acted with negligence and carelessness in reducing states and events to writing and preserving them for days to come. Muslims are therefore, privileged to take pride in the fact that they can at any time, compile the whole history with the help of contemporary historians and eyewitnesses. Furthermore, their Akhlaq (noble characteristic), Adab and sound intellect can be vouched for, as their sincere efforts are reflected in their deliberations and meticulousness in establishing the clear truth. Moreover, they can very safely show the similar statements (Matn) about events with unbroken chain of different authoritative narrators (Isnad). Later Muslim historians have practiced as much caution as to take down the event and its nature as it were, without their personal opinion whatever so that the readers are influenced not the least with the views of the historian. Thus, the readers are at liberty to make their own decisions and form their own opinions, without toeing the line of thinking adopted by the historian. Muslim Scholars have taken the art of writing history to the level of a science and the name, Ibn Khaldun, the originator of the principles of history, will keep receiving laurels till the end of time. Apart from Maghaazi, later Scholars developed another branch in Sirah, categorized as Mawaalid (about the Prophets s.a.w. birth and virtuous life). Mawaalid became widespread due to its poetic beauty that reflects the Prophets (s.a.w.) noble Akhlaq. Conclusion In learning Sirah the chronology of events can be divided into four parts: I. II. III. IV. The Creation & The Stories of the Prophets Biography of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the Last Messenger of Allah The Rightly Guided Caliphs History of the Muslims

The utmost importance is our Aqidah. Students are to bear this in mind, when accepting or rejecting certain narrations from books of Sirah, while keeping Aqidah. The main focus is the purpose of learning Sirah, and that is to take the past as lessons for a better future and to emulate the ways of the Prophets and in particular, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the seal of the Prophets and the bearer of the last Message. You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah. (Al Ahzab 33:21) Further the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: May Allah make radiant the face of the servant who has heard my speech and memorized it and observing it in his practical life and conveys it to others. (Ibn Majah, Muqaddimah, 18) ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Sources: Sirah An-Nabawi by Allama Shibli Nu`mani The History of Islam by Akbar Shah

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