THE LIFE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD -HIGHLIGHTS AND LESSONS – Book Sample
THE UNIQUE FEATURES Of THE SEERAH
The Seerah has a number of unique features which make studying it a source of spiritual and inte11ectual pleasure. Studying it is essential for all scholars of shari’ah, daa ‘iyahs who call people to Allah and those who are concerned with social reforms, to ensure that Islam will be conveyed to the people in a convincing manner, so that they will know that it is the refuge to which they should tum at times of trouble or confusion, so that the people’s hearts will be open to the daa ‘iyahs and the reforms promoted by the reformers will be more successful and more sound. We will sum up below the most important and unique features of the Prophet’s biography.
Firstly: it is the soundest account of the life of any Prophet who was sent, or any great reformer. The biography of the Messenger of Allah has come to us via the soundest academic methods and with the strongest proof- as we shall see when we examine the sources of the Seerah – which leaves no room for doubt concerning the major events of the Prophet’s life. This makes it easy for us to detect fabricated accounts, that were added in later times of mirac1es or events dreamt up, by ignorant minds who wanted to add more of an element of the extraordinary to the life of the Messenger of Allah, over and beyond that which Allah had decreed of his high status, the sanctity of his mission and the greatness of his character.
What is unique about the soundness of the Seerah is that it is proven, and there cannot be any doubt about it; this is something which cannot be said of the biography of any of the previous Messengers of Allah. In the case of Moosa (Moses) (may Allah’s peace be upon him), the true events of his life are mixed with the fabrications introduced by the Jews, so we cannot rely on the extant Torah in order to find a true picture of the life of Moosa.
Many western critics have also started to complain about some of the books of the Pentateuch, and some of them have stated clearly that some of its books were not written during or soon after the lifetime ofMoosa, but rather they were written long after he had died, by an unknown author. This alone is sufficient to cast doubts upon the soundness of the life of Moosa as narrated in the Torah. So the Muslim can only believe in the details of his life that were narrated in the Qur’an and the şalJeelJ Sunnah.
The same may be said of the life of ‘Eesa (Jesus), for these Gospels which are officially recognized by the Christian churches are those which were only approved of hundreds of years after the time of the Messiah; they were chosen – without any academic basis from among hundreds of Gospels that were in circulation among the Christians at that time. Moreover, the attribution of these Gospels to their supposed authors cannot be proven in any scientific manner that would give peace of mind. They were not narrated through any chain of narrators that goes back to their authors. There is also some dispute among western critics concerning the names of some of these authors- who were they, and when did they live?
If this is the case regarding the biographies of Messengers connected to religions that are widespread in the world, the element of doubt is even stronger regarding the founders of other religions and philosophies of hundreds of millions throughout the world. The stories told by the followers of Buddha and Confucius about their lives have no sound basis from the point of view of academic research. Rather, the priests accepted them blindly from one another and each generation added more elements that were akin to myths and legends. No enlightened mind that is free from blind-following of these religions can accept these myths.
Hence, we find that the soundest biography. the one which has the strongest proof and was narrated in the most reliable fashion, is the biography of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.
Secondly: The life of the Prophet is well known at a11 stages, from the marriage of his father ‘Abdu11ah to his mother Aaminah, until his death. We know a great deal about his birth, his childhood, his youth, how he earned his living before his Prophethood began, and his travels outside Makkah until Allah sent him as a Messenger. After that point, we know in more precise details all about his life, year by year, which makes his biography as clear as the sun. As some western critics said: Muhammad is the only one who was bom in the light of the sun.
This is something that is not even remotely available with regard to any of the previous Messengers. in the case of Moosa, we do not know anything at all about his childhood or youth, or how he earned his living before he became a Prophet, and we know only a little about his life after he became a Prophet, not enough to form a complete picture of his personality. The same may be said of ‘Eesa. We do not know anything about his childhood, except what is mentioned in the Gospels that exist now, which say that he entered the Temple of the Jews and debated with their rabbis. This is the only event which they n1ention of his childhood. We do not know anything of his life after his Prophethood began, apart from matters that have to do with his call, and a little about his way of life. Apart from that, it is as if the matter is covered with a thick fog.
How can we compare this to the sound sources of the Seerah, with their precise details about the personal life of our Messenger, such as how he ate, drank, stood, sat and dressed, his shape and appearance, how he spoke and interacted with his family, how he worshipped and prayed, how he dealt with his Companions. The details of his
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