Al-sīra are the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad from which, in addition to al sira al nabawiyya ibn kathir pdf Quran and trustable Hadiths, most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived. Listed by Islamic name and Biblical name. A person’s sīra is that person’s journey through life, or biography, encompassing their birth, events in their life, manners and characteristics, and their death.
In modern usage it may also refer to a person’s resume. It is sometimes written as “seera”, “sirah” or “sirat”, all meaning “life” or “journey”. In Islamic literature, the plural form, siyar, could also refer to the rules of war and dealing with non-Muslims. The phrase sīrat rasūl allāh, or al-sīra al-nabawiyya, refers to the study of the life of Muhammad.
The term sīra was first linked to the biography of Muhammad by Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, and later popularized by the work of Ibn Hisham. Early works of sīra consist of multiple historical reports, or akhbār, and each report is called a khabar. Sometimes the word tradition or hadith is used instead. The sīra literature includes a variety of heterogeneous materials, containing mainly stories of military expeditions undertaken by Muhammad and his companions.
These stories are intended as historical accounts and used for veneration. It also records some of the speeches and sermons made by Muhammad, like his speech at the Farewell Pilgrimage.
Some of the sīra accounts include verses of poetry commemorating certain events and battles. While some of which are considered to be of a lesser quality and lacking authenticity, the most serious of those are the ones by Hassan ibn Thabit.
At later periods, certain type of stories included in sīra developed into their own separate genres. Another genre, called faḍāʾil wa mathālib — tales that show the merits and faults of individual companions, enemies, and other notable contemporaries of Muhammad. Some works of sīra also positioned the story of Muhammad as part of a narrative that includes stories of earlier prophets, Persian Kings, pre-Islamic Arab tribes, and the Rashidun.
Parts of sīra were inspired by, or elaborate upon, events mentioned in the Qur’an. These parts were often used by writers of tafsir and asbab al-nuzul to provide background information for events mentioned in certain ayat. Rather the purpose of hadith is to record a religious doctrine as an authoritative source of Islamic law.