The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, 4 Vol. (set)
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Compiled in the 14th century AD by a prominent Syrian scholar, the al-Sira al-Nabawiyya of Ibn Kathir is a full examination, in chronological order, of the background, life and mission of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. 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 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 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 II looks at the early years of the prophethood and includes such episodes as the Night Journey 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.
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 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 death of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ibn Kathir was born in approximately 1313 in the Boesra district of eastern Damascus, and studied with the many great scholars working in the city during his time. He died in 1374.
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.