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Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources Paperback – 31 Dec 1991

4.8 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: The Islamic Texts Society; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621330
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

'An enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worthy of his subject.' -- The Spectator

'Muhammad is a true work of art, as enthralling as the best novels with the difference that this is not fiction but fact.' -- The Islamic Quarterly

'This is easily the best biography of the Prophet in the English language.' Dr. Victor Danner -- Indiana University

‘An enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worthy of his subject.’ -- The Spectator

‘This is easily the best biography of the Prophet in the English language.’ -- Dr. Victor Danner (Indiana University)

From the Back Cover

RELIGION / ISLAM"This work is widely recognized as the most readable account of the life of the Prophet to date."--Times of London"For those interested in Islam in one way or another, it is mesmerizing."--ParabolaMartin Lings's 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 Prophet's 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. The book has been published in twelve languages and has received numerous awards, including acknowledgment as best biography of the Prophet in English at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad. This revised edition, which represents the final updates made to the text before the author's death in 2005, incorporates important additions about the Prophet's expanding influence and his spreading of the message of Islam into Syria and its neighboring states.Martin Lings (1909-2005) was a renowned British scholar with degrees in English and Arabic from London University and Oxford University. At Oxford, he studied English under C. S. Lewis, who later became a close friend. Lings taught at several European universities and the University of Cairo and served as the keeper of Oriental manuscripts for the British Museum and the British Library. His friendship and similar beliefs with philosophers Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon inspired Lings to convert to Islam. He went on to become an influential member of Western Muslim society, participating in several international Islamic councils and conferences, including acting as consultant to the World of Islam Festival Trust. He is the author of twelve books on religion and spirituality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The start to the book is slightly heavy-going where there is a great deal of focus on ancestry and lineage. However, if you bear with it, you'll find this book an easy read and that the author has a fluent writing style. The bitesize chapters mean it's easy to dip in and out of.
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Format: Paperback
I read Martin Lings' wonderful biography of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam --may Allah bless him and give him peace) for the first time when I was a teenager; what attracted me then was the caption on the cover which said, "based on the earliest Islamic sources"! But I loved the book the very first time I read it and since then I have read it a few times and bought my own copy. It is a book I always recommend to anyone interested in Islam as I believe it is the best introduction one can have to Islam. After all, if one does not know the Messenger, how can one ever accept the Message?
This book is wonderfully written and although the English is slightly archaic, I think that in this instance it actually adds to the books qualities, as such noble language is totally concommitant with the grandeur and theme of the book. The quality of the language used is indeed one aspect of this book which sets it apart from other biographies of the Beloved of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) written in English and for that alone it is superior to the others.
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great book that details major events in the life of Muhammad peace be Upon Him!. The book is easy to read and follow and includes respected references. I have read the sealed nectar too and must say that I prefer this one! Please buy and enjoy!
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By A Customer on 15 July 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book that affords the reader with a unique insight into the life of the prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) and of life in Arabia in the middle half of the 1st century CE. The book is well researched, well written and very easy to read. The referencing is unobtrusive allowing the book to flow throughout. It is also well structured providing an easy reference guide to key events in the life of the Prophet (PBUH), his family and his Companions.
Occasionally you can read a book and be truly moved by it. This is such a book and as a Muslim rediscovering his faith this book left me with a feeling of sadness at not having discovered my faith earlier and what can only be described as a feeling of Love for the Prophet.
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Lings has set out to tell the story of Mohammed as a narrative, which is quite a relief given that so many Islamic texts make references to common knowledge that was prevalent at the time of writing, but has fallen from popular consciousness (the Quran doesn't do a great job of telling stories at all, it just refers people to them and talks about God a lot).
If you've read "The Lord of The Rings" and are thinking "Islam/Mohammed... what's that then?" you'll be capable of dealing with this text and following the narrative style. It's presented in a similar vein to popular fiction, with very little analysis going on, instead we start with the scene being set with a battle featuring an elephant and a water source being found in Meccah. Our reluctant hero is introduced (he's into trade, and reflective sojourns in caves) and then he teams up with a variety of other larger than life characters (including Omar, a ruddy-faced shaven headed giant of a man, various bearded blokes and a freed slave who's extremely special when it comes to throwing spears at people and seems to fill a similar niche in the narrative to that Irish guy in Braveheart). Battles are fought, visions are had and women are romanced. Eventually, following a period of quest and exile, the gang ride back into Mecca... it's kind of a shame there's not a scene with a volcano, but until Hollywood decide to grow a pair and bring Mohammed and his mates to the silver screen Martin Ling's life of Mohammed is the most exciting treatment of the foundation of Islam that you're going to find.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really in-depth look into the life of the Prophet (pbuh). It charts the early years and on to the end of his life. A book written by a follower of the religion and one that sets the scene very well of the times in which the Prophet was born.
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This is a truly great book. The language is a little flowery in places but the delivery is superb, the history very scholarly and thorough. I urge every Jew, Christian and Muslim to read this book, it is an absolute must-read in an age where there is so much open hostility towards, and misinformation about the Prophet of Islam.
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