This is a Level One course, as it is an introduction to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
This course is an excellent entry-level study of the Prophetic Biography (Sira) that is based on a traditional text, yet covers much more than typical texts of the field which restrict themselves to only historical events, while not exploring other aspects of life, related to the prophetic life-story, such as the character traits or family members of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
This course can be the first one in the field of Prophetic Biography. Acquainting oneself with who the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is, is essential to the conviction, spirituality, and confidence of any Muslim, and an introductory course is a very easy way to do that. A student of knowledge is therefore encouraged even more to have a basic understanding of this subject before studying further.
Ibn Sayyid al-Nas wrote a longer work on prophetic biography called ‘’’Uyun al-Athar”, and then abridged it into a much shorter version called “Nur al ‘Uyun” (Light of the Eyes), which is the text used for this course. Nur al ‘Uyun was well-received and unique for its concise overview of the prophetic life story, but also for its focus on the different character traits, personalities, and even animals and personal possessions that played a role in the prophetic biography.
This text is not limited to only a listing of historical events, but rather provides a historic chronological overview briefly and then focuses on the human side of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), including his personality, the people who were around him, and the things he owned and used in his daily life. This is more of a holistic study, therefore, and ideal for those who wish to combine various aspects of the prophetic sciences into one summarizing course.
This text, Nur al ‘Uyun (Light of the Eyes), covers a concise overview of the prophetic life story and then lists different categories of character traits, family members and companions, and even animals and personal possessions that played a role in the prophetic biography.
This text addresses the prophetic biography in brief, but also looks at the beautiful prophetic qualities, lifestyle, the various family members and companions who played a role in daily life, as well as possessions and animals belonging to the Propet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
This text is significant because it provides a concise and easy-to-follow telling of the prophetic biography, summarized from a much larger work by the same author. It is not a typical book in its genre, in that it quickly summarizes the chronological biography but then focuses on the personal aspects of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). A person is known not only by their life events but just as much by their character traits, personal habits, family and friends, and also, their personal possessions. The author uses all of these facets to tell the prophetic story. This text was widely accepted, and it is reported that for a time in the kingdom of Morocco in the early 1800s, it was one of only two books in this genre that were authorized by the royal authority to be learned and taught.
This book is unique in that it provides a multi-faceted look at the Prophetic Biography in a concise and direct way. It asserts that the prophetic biography is more than just a chronology of life events and incidents; it is about people, personality, and things around one which all tell a part of the story of the greatest human being and creation of Allah to walk to earth.
It is ideal as an introduction to the series of courses on Prophetic Biography because it is concise yet, all-encompassing and an English translation also exists for the source text.
Shaykh Fath al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ya’mari, better known as Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (671-734 AH) was an 8th-century Egyptian scholar who focused on prophetic hadith and the prophetic biography. He was also renowned as a poet and was sought-after for his unique chains of hadith.
His most famous works include Uyun al Athar, Nur al Uyun. He wrote two works of prophetic biography, one an abridgment of his longer work, and included many different aspects of the Prophet Muhammad’s life (peace and blessings be upon him). He is said to have unique chains of narration in hadith and was sought after as a transmitter of hadiths also. He was regarded so highly in poetry that he was often made the judge, along with his contemporary Abu Hayyan, in poetry competitions in Cairo.
• This course is for all ages.
• It is particularly beneficial for those seeking an introduction into the prophetic biography through a traditional text, without too much detail but many unique aspects.
• It is a Level One course that has no pre-requisites.
• This course can also be taken by anyone who is interested in knowing about less-commonly discussed aspects of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), such as his possessions or extended family or scribes.
Weekly hours recommended: 1.5
Recommended reading/ Supplementary texts: Light of the Eyes
Evaluation method: Quizzes
• Summarize the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) very briefly with all the major events.
• Describe the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his physical characteristics and lifestyle in a basic way.
• Elaborate on more aspects of the prophetic biography beyond historical incidents, and learn about personalities and see how they connected with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
• Have a holistic and multi-faceted look at who the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was, beyond what most books of prophetic biography describe.
• Understand the role other people played in the prophetic biography.
• Reflect on why everything that was around the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reflected some of his story and holds value and lessons for us to gain further meaning on.
Lesson 1: Life Before Revelation - Introduction, His Lineage, Birth, Breastfeeding, and Upbringing
Lesson 2: Life After Revelation - His Commissioning, Migration, Campaigns, Expeditions, and Hajj
Lesson 3: The Prophet Described - His Description, Names, and Sublime Character Part 1
Lesson 4: What He Was Like - His Sublime Character Part 2, His Eating Habits
Lesson 5: His Style, His Personality - His clothing, His Joking
Lesson 6: His Pure Wives - His Noble Wives
Lesson 7: The Blessed Roots and Noble the Shoots - His Blessed Children and Uncles
Lesson 8: Other Household Members - His Freed Slaves
Lesson 9: His Friends - His Servants, Guards, Messengers, Scribes, Sword-keepers, Commanders, The Ten Promised Paradise of His Companions
Lesson 10: His Animals and Arms - His Animals and Weapons
Lesson 11: His Miracles - His Garments, Furniture and His Miracles Part 1
Lesson 12: His Passing - His Miracles Part 2, and His Passing
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada in 1983. His family hails from India and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies.
He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith, and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’).
He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD.
He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology at SeekersGuidance. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.
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