InshaAllah I will be posting my notes on Seerah from Sh. Yasir Qadhi’s lectures here. Based on those notes, I hold a class for high-school & college girls on Fridays.
WHAT IS SEERAH?
Saarah comes from the Arabic word ‘sara’ or ‘yaseero’ means journey or traveling. Therefore ‘seerah’ is to discuss the journey of a person’s life. Islamically, Seerah is the study the life of Prophet of Mercy, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
WHY STUDY SEERAH?
- So we can learn from his examples as we are commanded to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
“Certainly, there is an excellent example for you in the Messenger of Allah, for him who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (33:21)
2. Without a doubt, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a perfect model of human being in all areas of life, as a father, husband, cousin, brother, political leader, militant leader, imam, and friend.
3. It increases our love for our Prophet (pbuh). In fact it is a sign of our love that we study this seerah.
4. It educates us about the meaning of the Qur’an itself. We cannot understand the book of Allah without the seerah, like why a certain verse was revealed etc.
5. It raises our hopes and gives us optimism especially in the time of trouble and turmoil. We are not the only ones suffering rather it has happened before and in more extreme manners. Prophet (pbuh) was persecuted more then anyone in this world today.
In fact, Allah (swt) reminds Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Qur’an that he is being told of the prophets of before in order that his iman (faith) increases. Hence, if the stories of the previous prophets can strengthen our prophet’s iman, then imagine what the story of the best of mankind should do to our iman.
6. Seerah in and of itself is a miracle of the Prophet (pbuh). This is the point that not many Muslims appreciate. One of the greatest miracle that the Prophrt (pbuh) has been given is his own life.
Muhammad’s (pbuh) life shows that he indeed is a prophet of Allah and he had no motivation to lie. When we see his life style, how he lived, what he preached, the fact that he himself gave up everything he had, what possible motivation could he have?
Ibn hazm said, ‘If Prophet (pbuh) were only given the miracle of his seerah, he would not have needed any other miracle to prove his prophethood’.
One of the incidents which was a very strong incident was the death of his son, Ibraheem. Ibraheem was the only male son to be born after his prophethood (all other sons had died before). He lived a year and a half which is the sweetest age of a child and that is when Allah willed that his soul be taken. And the Prophet was left without any sons. That day the sun eclipsed. Men being the nature of superstious, took that as a ‘sign’, even the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) fell into this, saying, “Even the sun and the mood are crying because of the death of Prophet’s son.”
Imagine if Muhammad (pbuh) was not the prophet of Allah, what greater sign did he need to ‘prove’ his prophethood to mankind then the fact that a solar eclipse taking place within the hours after his son’s death. But he is the TRUE prophet of Allah. His duty was to proclaim the message to worship Allah and not himself. So he called the Muslims to the masjid, and he stood up to give a speech. He praised Allah and said:
“The sun and the moon are the miracles of Allah’s creation, they do not eclipse or show themselves because of the birth or death of any human being.”
What greater indication can there be of his prophet-hood!! He was not calling to his own aggrandizing, or his own following. No! He was calling the mankind to their true Lord and to His worship alone!
7. Seerah lays out a precise methodology of the revival of Muslim Ummah. How to bring about the honor and glory that once was. How did the Prophet (pbuh) start in the middle of the most illiterate society in the face of earth of that time and within two decades he controlled all of Arabia. And by another two decades, after his death, Muslims controlled all from Spain to china! How did that happen, what were the stages that it went though?
8. We learn how Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) trained the sahabah (companions). What was his tarbiyyah. How did they become the best of all nations? What methodologies did Prophet use in order the make them from the worst of the worst, from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high.
9. It brings about comfort and peace to the heart. Each person enjoys what his heart is conditioned to. If a person’s heart is evil, he enjoys evil. If a person’s heart is pure, he enjoys pure.
10. Studying Seerah is the primary way of defending the honor of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Defending his honor is an obligation upon us. How can we defend him when we don’t even know him!
So to summarize the blessings of the seerah:
“It is the study of the best matters, of the best human being, of the best time frame and the study of the evolution of the best religion.”