Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

How I came across the book?

I love to have #ShareARead with my friend, Sidrah Khalid, from my bookclub, Bookay.

As the holy month of Ramadan was approaching, we decided to read the Prophet’s  (pbuh) biography. We asked around our book club and this one by Martin Lings was a favourite. We decided to read it during Ramadan and discuss it along the way.

What do I rate it?

To answer this question, I have to first answer as to what am I rating it on.

For the way it is written, I give it a  4. In between, it sort of gets confusing, Though I understand the reason for that is not on the part of the author. People in Arabia had a penchant for some names and people for the part had the same names and it got confusing as to who was being referred to at the time.

For the subject the matter of the book, I believe I am not qualified to rate that.

Thus, the rating will be a 4.


Why I believe I am not qualified for rating the subject matter is because this is sensitive information and in places also differs from what I have been hearing since I was a kid. As of right now, with my limited (very limited) research into the subject, I cannot say which incidents happened and how they happened (in some cases minute details differ from what I had previously been told).

Muhammad 2Overall Experience

The starting was very interesting. It started from Abraham and continued with how the Arabs got to where they were by the time Muhammad’s (pbuh) time came around.

Many know of Abraham and Ismail already but what happened in the interval is something I doubt anybody bothers reading. That hooked me right into the book.

After that came the details that I have been hearing all my life (we study Islamiyat all our lives) and I wanted the history to move further. Those parts weren’t interesting enough as nothing new was being mentioned.

Then started the details of how everything panned out during the days. How the Prophet married his first wife and how his domestic life was and how he was respected throughout the Quraysh. How with the advent of the Revelations he was ridiculed and boycotted.

The Prophet’s (pbuh) Hijrat to Medina and all that transpired there. The battles that were fought and the victories that were achieved.

Though it is history, it was a somewhat emotional journey for me as I read the book.

The Questions and The Discussion

As I have previously mentioned, the purpose of #ShareARead is to discuss the story or facts as one reads. I am , alhamdulillah, very lucky to have friends with whom I can have discussion on topics as sensitive as the subject matter of this book without being branded an infidel and a call for my head to be made.

For the same reason, I am not going to go into what ensued in those discussion and the questions I came up with. Suffice to say, if you are anything like me, the book will put many questions to you. Questions that require proper research.

From what I understand, one cannot read one perspective and say they have found the truth because at the end of the day it is History. More so, history that was actually penned ages after the actual events based on what people of the time recalled and had references to put forward for what they proclaimed to be history.

Albeit all that, I will recommend this book. It is informative and will help you understand many a things.

6 thoughts on “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

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