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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