Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 1

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 1

Episode 3: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 1

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

To understand the Seerah, it important to appreciate the circumstances at that time in Arabia: this gives perspective as to why the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was sent to this region.

The origins of the word ‘Arab’, as well as the geographic, political and economic background of Pre-Islamic Arabia are explored. Essentially, the area was a tribal-dominated system, with deep traditions of culture and language. In some respects, it was insulated from the outside world by the natural barriers of immense bodies of surrounding water and expanses of arid desert areas. Conversely, being bordered by the Persian and Roman empires and sea routes made it a natural epicentre for trade.

Culturally, there were positives and negatives to life in Arabia. Privileges were enjoyed according to social standing: high-society controlled the political situation, and was immune from justice and accountability. Those unfortunate enough to belong to lower social classes were treated unjustly, and in some cases worse than animals. Family life was revered in some cases, with the institution of marriage respected. In contrast, immoralities like infidelity and promiscuity were also rampant. Positive characteristics of the Arab people themselves included their renowned hospitality, being true to their word, having a great respect for genealogy, and giving great weight to knowledge being passed on via oral traditions.

The lack of unifying governance, economy and religion made pre-Islamic Arabia a prime area to receive divine guidance as a fresh start.

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Intro Pt 2

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Intro Pt 2

Episode 2: Introduction Pt 2

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Further discussion is pursued about the benefits of studying the Seerah: it aids our understanding of the Quran, as the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) makes the Quran come to life.

His (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) perfect example gives us the ultimate role model to emulate in our interactions with all demographics of society: children, youth, women, non-Muslims, students and family members to name a few. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) juggled all this, on top of the epic responsibility of being the Messenger of God.

No human being’s life has been documented like his. Reports are so detailed as to describe physical features, like the light tan colour of his skin, his broad, welcoming face and his dark, almost black eyes, to his perfect conduct and character e.g. he was always concerned about the condition of the people, he did not talk unnecessarily, but was always the first to give salaam, and when conversing, he would turn his body fully to face people.

This section also covers resources to supplement the study of the Seerah, including Ibn Ishaq’s ‘Sirat Rasul Allah’ (The Life of Muhammad), Ibn Kathir’s ‘Al Bidayah Wa Al Nihayah’ (The Beginning and the End), Martin Lings’ ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’, ‘Fiqh Us-Seerah’ by Muhammad Al-Ghazali, and ‘The Sealed Nectar’ by Safiur Rahman Mubarukpuri.

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Intro Pt 1

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Intro Pt 1

Episode 1: Introduction Pt 1

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

So what is ‘Seerah’? The word linguistically means ‘a path’, ‘to walk in a particular direction’. More figuratively, it refers to someone’s life biography. Specifically, Seerah refers to the Prophetic biography. It includes everything from the occurrences in the life the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), from his daily practices, attributes, physical characteristics, mannerisms, expeditions, to family life.

Why study Seerah? It goes hand-in-hand with the study of the Quran. The Quran itself states that there is not a better example than the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself:

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Quran 33:21)

This series hopes to be different from dry, factual studies, or ‘superhero-tales’, which we may feel we cannot ever aspire to: it aims to humanise the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  and provide eternal practical lessons for every-day life, as well as engender love for the best of humankind. How can you possibly love someone you do not know?

 
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