A Critical Reading of Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

Foreword to the first Swedish translation © GF Haddad 2005

Twenty-three years after its first publication in 1983, Muḥammad: his life based on the earliest sources by the late Abū Bakr Sirāj al-Dīn (Martin Lings, d. 2004) continues its lead as the best-written work of Prophetic biography in English and has now been translated into a dozen languages. The readers’ blurbs from distinguished writers on the back cover call it “superb… scrupulous… exhaustive… mesmerising… easy and absorbing… enthralling… engrossing… majestic… gripping… fascinat[ing].” Indeed, Lings’ lofty English, his knowledge of genealogy, his reflexive and worshipful narrative style, and his excellent adab with the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) all deserve such glowing praise.

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2 thoughts on “A Critical Reading of Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

  1. I have read other seerah like raheeq e makhtoom and fish is defrag along the narrative of Muhammad by Dr.ling from the mouth of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf. Comparatively, Martin Ling’s is more informative and comprehensive about Prophet’s (peace be on him) personal, social and political life. Gives very vivid details about his life, his wives, his companions and the events occurs during his life time. Seerah is very emotional literature to read and Ling’s seerah makes you feel the emotions of Prophet’s life through out the literature..especially in the end when the prophet passes away and how Abu darr Ghaffari doesn’t come out of the trauma.

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