Allah has commanded us to know the Prophet Muhammad . This is an obligation that Allah has put upon us. There are over 50 verses in the Qur’an that tells us to take the Prophet as an example. For example,
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. Qur’an [33:21]
From the Seerah, we can gain religious knowledge, we can learn about manners and morals. Also, from the Seerah, we get to know how he was as a leader. How he was as a father and as a husband. No matter in which angle we look at, we will find an example in him to follow.
Studying Seerah is the number one way to increase our love for the Prophet . There are no other ways as effective and as powerful to increase our love for the Prophet than by studying his life and times. This is a sad fact that unfortunately we have neglected this study.
If you truly love him, you will study him. Because, a sign of loving someone is to want to know more about that person. Studying the Seerah is a sign of love and through studying the Seerah we increase our love. It is a circle – the more we study the more we love, the more we love, the more we study.
Understanding the Seerah also helps us understand the Qur’an. The Qur’an is a very profound book and it cannot be understood without context. Without context, we cannot appreciate the Qur’an. For example, let us look at the following verse from the Qur’an,
Your lord has not abandoned you nor has he shown you any harshness. Qur’an [93:3]
We will not understand this verse until we study the Seerah – when it was revealed and why it was revealed.
The Seerah raises our hopes, lifts our spirits and blesses us with optimism. By studying the Seerah we can understand that the people before us suffered even more. In fact, in the Qur’an, Allah tells the Prophet ,
We are going to recite to you the stories of the previous prophets in order that your heart attain affirmation. Qur’an [11:120]
So, our Prophet heard the stories of the earlier prophets and it gave him optimism, increased his Iman. How about us then? Don’t we need to increase our Iman even more?
The Seerah itself is a miracle of the Prophet . His whole life is an indication that he is the Prophet of Allah – coming from where he came, with the lack of education that he had and yet coming forth with the message, the eloquent scripture. The Prophet came from the midst of a barbaric nation and within twenty years or so after the first revelation, he revolutionized the entire nation.
The famous scholar Ibn Hazm says,
If the Prophet had not been given any miracle, other than his life and his times, it would have been sufficient to prove that he is a prophet from Allah.
His Seerah is the best indication that he is the prophet of Allah.
The Seerah lays out a precise methodology for the revival of the Ummah. If we want to bring about honor and glory to his Ummah, we have to look at what he did. He began from zero and within his lifetime achieved so much. We see the state of the Ummah today and our hearts bleed. We wonder why this is happening to us. The answer is in studying the Seerah and learning from it.
The Seerah brings about the knowledge with which we can defend the honor of our Prophet . His honor has always been under attack, from day one – he was called a magician, a madman and what not. The propaganda that began that time still continues. In our times the Prophet is called a bloodthirsty terrorist, a womanizer etc etc. How are we going to defend him if we do not know whether these things are true or not? And if certain elements are true, then how do we understand them?
By studying Seerah, we can also learn about the lives of the companions. They are called the best of generations, as mentioned in the Qur’an,
Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. Qur’an [98:8]
By studying the Seerah, we study the stories of Abu Bakr and Umar and Ali, the stories of Anas and Jabir, Talha and Jubair – they were all legendary people. They inspire us by their sacrifices, struggles, patience and perseverance. Each and everyone of them is a role model for us.
The content of this page was compiled from video lectures on the Seerah of the Prophet Muhamamd (PBUH) by Yasir Qadhi. The video can be found here.