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Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources Paperback – October 6, 2006
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A revised edition of the internationally acclaimed biography of the prophet
â¢ Includes important additions about the prophetâs spread of Islam into Syria and its neighboring states
â¢ Contains original English translations from 8th and 9th century biographies, presented in authoritative language
â¢ Represents the final updates made on the text before the authorâs death in 2005
Martin Lingsâ biography of Muhammad is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the prophet. Based on the sira, the eighth- and ninth-century Arabic biographies that recount numerous events in the prophetâs life, it contains original English translations of many important passages that reveal the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life.
Scrupulous and exhaustive in its fidelity to its sources, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is presented in a narrative style that is easily comprehensible, yet authentic and inspiring in its use of language, reflecting both the simplicity and grandeur of the story it tells. This revised edition includes new sections detailing the prophetâs expanding influence and his spreading of the message of Islam into Syria and its neighboring states. It represents the final updates made to the text before the authorâs death in 2005. The book has been published in 12 languages and has received numerous awards, including acknowledgment as best biography of the prophet in English at the National Seerate Conference in Islamabad.
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The author Martin Lings was a Muslim convert and Arabic speaker who spent formative years in Cairo and earned a Ph.D. on Sufism at SOAS University of London in 1959. He had a brief career overseeing eastern manuscripts at the British Museum and Library. This biography of Muhammad was written in 1983 and received prizes from governments in Pakistan and Egypt, as well as international acclaim from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This book covers most major events in the life of the Prophet, or at least those that I am aware of
It doesn't omit controversial events such as child marriage, caravan raiding, execution of enemies and ransom of captives
It is exciting and rendered in its unadulterated original form; for instance, angels fight alongside believers in battles
It follows a clearly presented and consecutively narrated timeline without digression into the author's opinions
The book offers no modern critique; miracles happen and in fact are unremarkable
It provides few dates; perhaps some are found in the footnotes missing from the ebook
It declines any discussion of theological context; the past century of study goes unnoticed by Lings
It employs anachronistic English when quoting people of the period; speech with thee, thou and the smiting of thine foes abounds
This biography offers a standard synopsis of the life of the Prophet as told in the Quran, Hadith and Sira, all contained within a unified accessible work. It doesn't include analysis of the historical setting or textual content of the sources. With this understood, it is an acceptable introduction if followed with more discerning books by Watt, Donner, and others.