Reading Seerah at least once a year

I was listening to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s Seerah CD set and he was saying that we should read a seerah (biography of the Prophet May Allah bless him and give him peace) at least once a year. In this case, he was talking about Martin Ling’s Muhammad but he really meant any seerah.

He was saying that partly because you get really confused with all of the names within a seerah. As in the names of all the tribes, the numerous, numerous characters, etc. Reading a seerah regularly will help us get comfortable with all the names inshaAllah.

This also reminds me of an anecdote of Dr. Sherman Abdul Hakim Jackson. He went to Egypt, (Azhar I think) and he told the main guy(sheikh/mufti) that he wanted to understand the Qur’an. That was his goal. He wanted to study and know the Qur’an. The guy got up and dropped seerah volumes in his hands. He said that understanding the seerah is the key to fully understanding the Qur’an.

It also increases our love for the Prophet May Allah bless him and give him peace.

In another lecture, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf says that love (mahabba) is increased by 3 things:

1. By someone’s physical appearance: We have that of the Prophet Muhammad May Allah bless him and give him peace, in the Shama’il of Imam Tirmidhi

2. By their inner appearance, i.e by their character. We also have descriptions of the character of the Beloved May Allah bless him and give him peace.

3. By their sacrifice for you: Shaykh Hamza says, “If you knew what the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) did for you-what he did for all of humanity, you would fall in love with him.”

He mentioned that some people make it a point to read a seerah every Rabi ul Awwal but it doesn’t matter. We should make it a point to do this. Also, there are great seerahs available in every language MashaAllah. It’s part of Allah azz wa jall’s promise to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) : Wa Raf3ana Laka Dhikrak.

094.004 And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)

Now what’s everyone’s favorite seerah? Any language.



  1. UmAbdurrahman, "Blanca" Said:

    As Salaamu Alaikum:

    Intersting post. I will keep some of those points in mind.

    Jazak Allahu Khair

  2. Aaminah Said:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    This makes sense to me! I have a non-Muslim friend who told me she wanted to read the Qur’an and also wanted me to recommend which translation and other books. I suggested to her to read Martin Lings’ seerah of the Prophet (salalahi alahi wa salaam) first, even before the Qur’an. Not because it is more important, but because it gives a better base for understanding the historical context and for loving the Prophet (salalahi alahi wa salaam) so that one can “accept” the Qur’an better, inshaAllah.

  3. Umar Said:

    I have been keeping three books in my car to read when I get down time; one is a book of sira, another is Riyadh-us-Sahluheen, and the third is a book of dua. The quran I read at home or the masjid because there is an adab to approaching the Quran

  4. Umar Said:

    I have been keeping three books in my cab to read when I get down time; one is a book of sira, another is Riyadh-us-Sahluheen, and the third is a book of dua. I read the Quran at home or at the masjid ebcause there are too many ways it could get violated in the car

  5. Aaminah I completely agree with referring non-Muslims to seerah rather than quran. It gives a context for understanding quran. Umar you are so right. I keep a book of dua in my purse. My mom keeps the quran but then there is the problem of public bathrooms…(sigh)

    which seerah do you have out of curiosity?

  6. wa iyyakum blanca

  7. Umar Said:

    I own several books of sira but the one I have in my car is ar-Raheeq am-Makhtum because I have it in a pocket form and can easily read it. The other two books are pocket-size as well. The Lings book I borrowed to someone and they never gave it back but that is the book I first studied sira from. Another one I like is The Life of Muhammad: Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Rasulullah (PBUH).

  8. I have listned to anwar awalaqi , cd’s seerah , absolutly amazing , yes you need to know the seerah to understand the quran , because each verse came at a certain point of the phrophets swa life , thats why we have mekkan and medina surahs . it is very signifigant when each verse was revealed at what time .

  9. Hafsa Said:

    assalamu alaykum,

    Imam anwar’s a definate hit. Martin Ling’s and Sealed nectar are as famous as well. And then there’s Tariq Ramadan’s In the footsteps of the Prophet

  10. hm Said:


  11. Umm Layth Said:

    as Salamu ‘Alaykum

    Well, I think I really like when the moon split for it’s briefness and to-the-point style. I’ve read parts of Martin Lings, may Allah forgive him and us, seerah and I really enjoyed it. I’ve just not been able to make myself read it all. I read ar-raheeq al-makhtum and really enjoyed it. The only problem was that it had too many details. That is why when the moon split was nicer, since it left out all those details that one who just reads it to get an eeman rush doesn’t really need to read.

  12. Umm Layth Said:

    That doesn’t mean I didn’t like ar-raheeq al makhtum. I totally love it. Just sometimes it’s nice to get a break from names. :))

  13. […] Tradicionalista: Reading Seerah At Least Once a Year […]

  14. Naufil Said:

    FYI: Bestselling Seerah book of our times, Sheikh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri’s “Ar Raheeq ul Makhtum” has also been translated into Sindhi by Qazi Maqsood Ahmed and published by Islamic Centre for Academic Research (ICAR) recently. Additionally, research notes (Takhreej) have been incorporated in the Sindhi edition by a Hadith scholar, Sheikh Masood Ahmed As-Sindhi. The language editing of the translation has been carried out by a renowned literary figure and director of Academy of Letters, Sindh, Agha Noor Mohammad Pathan.
    May Allah (SWT) bless them all for their efforts. Ameen.
    The book is available with Fazlee Book Supermarket, Urdu Bazar, Karachi.

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