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(Sallalahu Alayhe Wassalam) 



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Recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha The Holy Quran:Chapter 1

In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)

Guide us to the Straight Way

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

Recitation of The Holy Quran: Surah Al Ahzab (Chapter 33) Verse 45 & 46

O Prophet (MuhammadSAW )! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner,

And as one who invites to Allah [Islamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Quran and the Sunnah the legal ways of the Prophet SAW ).


The life of Muhammad Sallalahu Alayhe Wassalam (saw) introduces the Makkan Period of the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad saw, the final Messenger of Allah and the greatest human being to walk on the face of the earth.


In this series, Imam Anwar Al Awlaki , author of the best selling series The Lives of the Prophets, eloquently presents the Makkan Period of the life of Muhammad (saw) in a detailed manner, deriving valuable lessons from it, thus making it relevant to our modern times.


This series is primarily based on Ibn Kathir’s book on Seerah. Imam Al Awlaki describes the stories of the golden era of Islam in a dynamic style and installs in the listeners the deep love for the beloved of Allah Subhana Wataalaa.


Imam Anwar Al Awlaki was born in New Mexico in USA. His parents are from Yemen, where he lived for 11 years and received the early part of his Islamic Education.


Imam Anwar Al Awlaki has served as in Imam in Colorado, California and Washington DC. Currently he resides in Yemen.


In the Name of Allah, the Companionate, the Merciful. 

O Allah Open my heart, ease my task and remove the impediments from my speech so that they may understand what I say.

- We ask Allah Subhana Watala to bless this gathering,
- We ask Allah Subhana Watala to benefit us from what we learn,
- we ask Allah Subhana Watala to teach us that which will benefit us,
- we ask Allah Subhana Watala to make us of those who follow the way of Rasool Allah saw and love him and
- we ask Allah Subhana Watala to make us of those who will be with him in Jannah.(Ameen)

Definition of Seerah

The word Seerah has a linguistic meaning which means a path. Walking is called Sair, when you walk from one place to another it is called sairtu Ful an  is walking.

So it is a path which a person takes during his life time. The hans dictionary Gives the translation of Seerah as conduct, comportment, demeanor, behavior, way of life, attitude, position, reaction,. way of acting and biography, All of these are meanings of Seerah. Seerah could be the biography of any person, not just Prophet Muhammad (saw), however we have used the word so much with Muhammad (saw), that when we say Seerah, we almost all the time are referring to the life of Muhammad (saw). However, we can say the Seerah of Abu Bakar(ra) , Seerah of Omar (ra) and so and so. So Seerah is a biography of a person, their life.

In this situation we are studying the life of the greatest, Muhammad (saw)

Saad ibn Abi Waqas(ra)  was an early convert to Islam in 610-11 and one of the important companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sa'd was the seventeenth person to embrace Islam at the age of seventeen. He is mainly known for his commandership in the conquest of Persia in 636, governorship over it, and diplomatic sojourns to China in 616 and 651.

Born in Mecca in 595, Sa'd was from the Banu Zuhrah clan of the Quraysh tribe,[1] and was a cousin to Aminah bint Wahb, mother of Muhammad(saw)

Wudu is the procedure for washing parts of the body using water before performing prayers (salah). The Qur'an says "For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean (Quran 2:222]

Muslims are also required to be clean when handling and reading the Qur'an. The Qur'an says "Which none shall touch but those who are clean."[Quran 56:79] Prophet Muhammad(saw) said that "Cleanliness is half of faith".[Muslim 2:432] To have taharah for the body, one should do either ghusl(full bath/shower) or wudu.

Moaazan is the chosen person at a mosque who leads and recites the call to prayer (adhan) for every event of prayer and worship in the mosque. Historically a muezzin around the world would recite the adhan or call to prayer by the minarets so people around the mosque could hear him. Now, mosques often have loudspeakers mounted on the top of the minaret and the muezzin will use a microphone allowing the call to prayer to be heard at great distances without climbing the minaret.

Importance of Studying Seerah

What is the importance of studying Seerah?

No 1: History of Islam

The life of Muhammad (saw) is the history of Islam. You are studying the concise history Islam. By studying the life of Muhammad (saw). In his Seerah you would find situations and incidences that would help us in everything that we would need to know in our life of dawah.

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So we are not just  studying the biography of a person, we are studying the history of our religion.
Muhammad ibn saad ibn waqa, Saad ibn abi Waqas(ra)  is one of the Ashra-e-Mubasharah in Jannah, he is one of the 10 given glad tidings of paradise. His son Muhammad would say that our father would teach us the battles of Rasulullah, he would teach us the seerah of Rasulullah(saw) and he would tell us that these are the traditions of your fathers, so study them. They used to refer to Seerah as maghazi. Maghazi means battles. The latter part of life of Rasool Allah were spent in maghazi. So they would use the word maghazi to refer to the whole life of Rasool Allah.

Ali bin Hussain ibn Ali bin Abi Talib-   the grandson of Ali ibn Abi Talib(ra) would say we were taught the Seerah of Rasool Allah like we were taught  Quran. That is how important Seerah was for them. They would study it like they studied Quran.

And that makes sense, because if you want to study the life of Musa (as) where do we go, where do we study It from? From Quran! If we want to study the life of Isa (as) we  go to  Quran, but if we want to study the life of Muhammad (saw), his life, even though there are bits and pieces of it mentioned in the Quran, but we don’t have that many details about Muhammad (saw) in the Quran as we have about Musa (as). So the life of Rasool Allah(saw) ,for us,  to study it we go to Seerah. All of the anbiya, their lives were recorded in the Quran  with the exception of  Muhammad (saw). So to study the life of Muhammad (saw) we go to Seerah. When we want to learn about the anbiya, we go to the Quran. But when we want to learn about Muhammad saw, we go to Seerah, again even though there are some references about him in the Quran.

No 2: Love

The second reason to study Seerah is to develop the proper love of Muhammad (saw)  in our hearts. Loving  Muhammad(saw) is Ibadah. Its part of our religion to love Muhammad (saw) 

Love for Muhammad saw

Muhammad (saw) says: “None of you will attain true faith until you love me more than your parents, your children and the whole world   

We don’t really become true believers until we love Muhammad (saw) more than any thing else. So it is part of Islam to love Muhammad (saw). 

Omar bin Khattab (ra) he came to Muhammad (saw) and said…. (Omar bin Khattab (Ra) He was a very honest and a straight forward person). So went to Rasulullah (saw) and said O Rasulullah I love more than everything except my self” 

Rasulullah (saw) told him “until you love me”, meaning you don’t really attain the complete faith until you love me more than your own self. So Omar bin Khattab came back and said” O Rasulullah, Now I love you more than my own self” Rasulullah (saw) said “Al aan eman ” “ Now you have attained the complete faith”

The Ummah today loves Muhammad (saw). If you ask any Muslims Do you love Muhammad saw, they would say yes.  But the love can not be very deep and sincere unless you know the person. If you have shallow information about someone, you can’t really love them a lot. To love a person you need to know them more. And this is especially true with Muhammad (saw). Because the more you know him, the more you would be impressed with his personality, the more you would love him. So even though Muhammad (saw), among the Ummah today with the shallow information that the masses of Muslims have about him, even though they still love him, but we can not truly have deep love for Muhammad saw unless we know him. You know the Sahaba ra, the more they knew him, the closer they were  to him, the more they would love him.

Amr bin Al As, for example- He was one of the staunchest enemies of Muhammad saw. He was one of the top plotters against Islam. Amr bin Al As, he later become a Muslim, and when he was passing away, Amr bin Al As started weeping, he was crying on his death bed,

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Amr bin Al As's  son Abdullah bin Amr told him Oh My Father, Dint Rasulullah (saw)give you the glad tidings of this, didn’t he give you glad tidings of that. It is reported in the hadith that Rasulullah (saw) said “Aamana amr” That Amr bin Al As has attained faith. So this is a witness from Rasulullah (saw) that Amr bin Al As is a momin. Not only a Muslim, but he is at the higher level of Momin. So his son was trying to give his father the glad tidings that you are a true believer. Rasulullah (saw) has given you all of these glad tidings, how come you are crying now before your death.

Amr bin Al As- he turned around and said: I have went through 3 stages in my life. At the first stage, the most despised man to me was Muhammad (saw). And my desire was that I could get hold of him and kill him. That was my desire. That was my wish, my aspiration- to kill Muhammad (saw). He said that if I had died at that time, I would definitely would have been in the hell fire. He said that then Allah put the love of  Islam in my heart and I went to Muhammad (saw) and said O Muhammad , I want to become Muslim. Extend your hand so I can pledge allegiance to you. Amr bin Al As says Muhammad (saw) extended his hand forward and I pulled my hand away. So Amr bin As, he had Rasulullah (saw) extend his hand and when Rasulullah (saw) was ready to put his hand in his, Amr bin Al As pulled his hand away. Rasulullah (saw) told him “Whats wrong” Amr bin Al as said, I have a condition to make. Rasulullah (saw) asked him, what is your condition? . He said, my condition is that you pardon me, you give me clemency. Because Amr bin Al as knew, the things he had done in the past, the great crimes he had committed against the Muslims, is sufficient for his execution. So he wanted to make sure that Rasulullah (saw) would not hold him accountable for what he did in the past.

So Rasulullah (saw) smiled and he said: Ya Amr Don’t you know that Islam erases everything before it and Hijrah erases everything before it and Hajj erases everything before it.”

Amr bin Al said so I became a Muslim. He said that at that stage, Muhammad (saw), who was my worst enemy, became the most beloved person to me in this world. He said that I loved him so much, I respected him so much, I couldn’t even get a full glimpse of his face. When ever I would see him, I would stare downwards. He said I had so much love and respect for him that I couldn’t even get a full glimpse of his face. And if you would ask me today to describe him to you…I couldn’t. He said that if I had died during that stage, I would have hoped to be in Jannah.…

[There are other parts of this hadith, but what concerns us now is that Amr bin As, when he got to know Muhamamd saw, when he became close to him, Muhammad (saw), who was his worst enemy became his most beloved friend].

Suhayl ibn Amr was sent by Quraish, to negotiate with Muhammad (saw) before Sulah Hudabiya. Suhayl ibn Amr was an international negotiator; he had been to the courts of the Persian emperor, the Roman emperor, the emperor of Abyssinia. He was a well connected man. And now Quraish sent him to negotiate with Muhammad (saw).

He went into Madina and he came in and he had first hand experience with how the Sahaba (ra hum) treat Muhammad (saw). So Suhayl ibn Amr went back to report to Quraish. He told them, he said I have visited the Roman emperor I have visited the Persian emperor, I visited najashi(Negus), the king of Abyssinia, but I have never  in my life seen a leader that is so loved by his followers , so much respected  by his followers, like Muhammad (saw). I have seen nothing like it in the world. The Roman emperor, the Persian emperor, Najashi of Abyssinia, even though they have all the powers, strength and empires, I have never seen a people love their leader so much like the Sahaba (ra hum) loved Muhammad (saw).

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Suhayl ibn Amr said I saw amazing things. Muhammad (saw) would be making wudu, and the Sahaba would be watching, to grab the water dripping from his body. So he told them, do what ever you want, these are the people who would never give up their leader. The Sahaba, they would never give him up. They would give their lives first. They would sacrifice everything for him.

if we want to love Muhammad (saw), we need to learn more about him. I have already said that even though, among the masses of Muslims, we know people don’t have much information about Muhammad (saw), they don’t know a lot about his Seerah, coz its not part of the curriculum that schools in the Muslim world teach, never the less even though, we are ignorant about him and his life, he is still the most beloved figure that ever lived in humanity. His name is the most common name in the world. How many people in the world are name Muhammad? There is no other person that ever lived in history who had so many people named after him like Muhammad (saw).

When I was in college in the US, we had an imam, he was from Nigeria. And he was a hafiz and he was our imam in the small town in US. His name was Muhammad Al Ashr. The word ashr means the 10th. So for a long time I assumed that Al- Ashr is his last name. Muhammad Al Ashr. One day I went up to him and asked What is Al Ashr? Is that the name of the tribe or the clan? He said No. He said my father would name every male boy that was born as Muhammad. All of this children, he would name Muhammad. So to distinguish between us he had to number us. So there was Muhammad the first, Muhammad the 2nd, Muhammad the 3rd, I am Muhammad the 10th. So his father doesn’t want to deal with any other name. All of his children are gonna be Muhammad. And in Pakistan and India you would have Muhammad Haroon, Muhammad Suleman…every body Muhammad. There is No one in history that had an Ummah love him so much, like the Ummah loved Muhammad (saw). He is the most beloved figure in history.

What would be the situation if we studied his life. I mean how much love would we have then for Muhammad (saw)? His name was the most frequently mentioned names. Around the clock, there will be minaret that is calling to prayer and is mentioning the name of Muhammad (saw). Around the clock. because Muslims now are world wide. So in every time zone you have Muslims. So every minute of the day, there will be a Moaazan saying “Ashhadu La ilaha il Allah, Ashhadu ana Muhamamadar rasool Allah” His name is mentioned around the clock.

The name Muhammad means the praised one. And there is no one who is praised like Muhammad (saw). I mean his name really fulfills its meaning. He is the praised one, he is always praised. When ever we hear his name, what do we say? “Sallalahu Alihe Wassalam”

So we want to develop love for Muhammad (saw), and the way we can do it is by studying his life, we will love him more, the more we study about him.

Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance) [Chapter 9 : 24]


Sahih International Translation
Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people."
Muhsin Khan Translation
Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight ? are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

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So the ayah is stating that our love for Allah and his messenger and striving in the cause of Allah and his messenger should be paramount to everything else. Our fathers, Our sons, Our brothers, our mates, our kindred, our wealth, everything. To love our messenger and Islam should be the dearest thing to every one of us.

Ashra-al Mubasharah are the ten companions who were promised paradise by the Prophet Muhammad(saw) in the Hadith of the ten promised paradise. 
 Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) was the cousin and son-in-law of prophet Muhammed(saw), Fourth caliph of Islam ruling over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, Ali was also the first male convert to Islam. He(ra) is one of the Ashra al Mubashara (The Ten promised to paradise)
Musa (as) is one of the most prominent prophet in Islam . He(as) one among the five most prominent prophets in Islam , called as Ulu’l Azm, these prophets are favoured by Allah and are described in the Qur'an to be endowed with determination and preservance. The Ulu'aAzm ,these prophets are Noah (Nuh (as)), Abraham (Ibrahim (as)), Moses (Musa (as)), Jesus (Isa (as)), and Muhammad(saw)

Amr ibn al-`As (592 – 682) who is most noted for leading the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640. He is one of the most prominent Sahaba ("Companions"), who rose quickly through the Muslim hierarchy following his conversion to Islam in the year 8 AH (629). He founded the Egyptian capital of Fustat, and built the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As at its center—the first mosque in Africa.
Amr belonged to the Banu Sahm clan of the Quraysh. He was the son of Layla bint Harmalah aka "Al-Nabighah".  Like the other Quraysh chiefs, he opposed Islam in the early day.  Amr headed the delegation that the Quraysh sent to Abyssinia to prevail upon the ruler, to turn away the Muslims from his country. The mission failed and the ruler of Abyssinia refused to oblige the Quraysh. In the company of Khalid ibn al-Walid, he rode from Mecca to Medina where both of them converted to Islam

Suhayl ibn Amr was a prominent leader among the Quraysh at the time of the birth of the Islam. He was among those leaders who refused to protect Muhammad on his return from Ta'if and was instrumental in concluding the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. However, it was not until after the Conquest of Mecca that Suhayl accepted Islam.  He also used his skills as an orator to calm the people of Mecca following Muhammad's death. Suhayl later participated in the Battle of Yarmuk against the Byzantines in Syria. Following the conquest of the Sham region, he decided to remain in the region till his death, instead of returning to Mecca.

Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Hazm (994-1064) was a Spanish-born Arab theologian, philosopher, and jurist whose most important work was a book on comparative religious history.  

No 3: To follow the way of Muhammed (saw)

Ibn Hazm says who ever seeks the preeminence of the hereafter, the wisdom of this life,just purpose,and the embodiment of morality and character, let him follow Muhammad (saw) the Prophet of Allah. So Muhammad (saw) is the embodiment of “Khuluq”- The perfect character. And by studying his Seerah, we will be more able to follow his way.

He was a leading proponent of the Zahiri [literalist] school of Islamic thought and produced a reported 400 works of which only 40 still survive, covering a range of topics such as Islamic jurisprudence, history, ethics, comparative religion, and theology, as well as The Ring of the Dove, on the art of love.

The Battle of the Trench [also known as the Battle of the Confederates, Ghazwah al-Ahzab] was a fortnight-long siege of Yathrib (now Medina) by Qurish and Jewish tribes.  The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Muslim defenders numbered 3,000. The battle began on March 31, 627. The well-organized defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco

No 4: Understanding Quran

There are some ayats in the Quran that are independent of the circumstances of revelation. Like for example, the ayats about the Akhira, Ar-raqaik . These are independent of the circumstances. But then there are some ayats that are dealing with events that were happening in the time of Muhammad (saw). So you would have some ayats revealed prior to an event, some ayats revealed concurrent with an event and some ayats revealed after an event.

Seerah would give us the explanation of these ayats. Like for example Surah tul Ahzab [33rd chapter of Al-Quran]. Many ayats (verse) of Surah tul Ahzab [33rd chapter of Al-Quran] were revealed regarding the battle of Al-Ahzab. Many ayats in  Surah Al Imran [3rd chapter of Al-Quran] were revealed relating to an event that happened in the time of Rasulullah (saw). So you have a major section of Surah Al Imran [3rd chapter of Al-Quran], which was a dialogue between Muslims and Christians, based on the Christian delegation that came from Najran to visit Rasulullah (saw). These ayats (verse) were revealed to support Rasulullah (saw) in his dialogue with the Christians. And the latter part of Ale Imran is dealing with Ghazwa e Uhud. Now the details of the Ghazwa (battle) are not mentioned in the Surah. So how can we understand these ayats? By going to the Seerah.

Location : Najran
The Battle of Uhud was fought on 625AD (3 AH) at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now northwestern Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina, and Qurish led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca.  The Battle of Uhud was the second military encounter between the Qurish and the Muslims, preceded by the Battle of Badr in 624, where a small Muslim army had defeated the much larger Meccan/Qurish army. The Muslims gained the early initiative and forced the Meccan lines back, thus leaving much of the Meccan camp unprotected. When the battle looked to be only one step far from a decisive Muslim victory, a serious mistake was committed by a part of the Muslim army, which shifted the outcome of the battle.

Mileel Ghardan:  [the info is not available at the moment , if some one can help us with the info with complete source reference will be great helpful for ummah , please  email to:]

No 5: His life (Muhammad (saw)) illustrates the methodological steps of the Islamic movement.

Rasulullah (saw) went thru stages; he went through steps started by a secret dawah. And then it became public. And then later on Jihad. So it went through stages. These stages are important for Islamic movement to learn and study.  Mileel Ghardan  He says.. “And we believe that this methodological progression of the prophet’s life is divinely directed. For Allah has guided his prophet and all of his steps, and it was not a result of a reaction to an emerging circumstances. So these events that happened in the life of Rasulullah (saw) were not haphazard. They were planned by Allah Subhana Wataala [This phrase means 'Glorious is He and He is exalted' and it is placed after the name of God like so: Allah (SWT), as a sign of reverence. It is often written as an acronym like so (SWT)] . So that they would be a guidance for us, in our attempts to establish Islam again. So it is very important for us to see the stages that Rasulullah (saw)went through and the progression of his dawah.

Rasheed Ridha says that were it not for the education and training, verbal direction would not suffice. For the Seerah taught them how to be guided by the Quran and trained them to be just and moderate in all matters. So, we have Quran and Sunnah which are verbal teachings, but how do we apply these verbal teachings? It is by looking at the application of Rasulullah (saw) and the Sahaba (radiAllahu anhum). So they took this verbal teaching into action and that is something that only the Muslims have, I mean the followers of all other anbiya have lost trace of the Seerah of their anbiya, but with us we know  how the Quran was being practiced, we know how the Sunnah of Rasulullah (saw) was being practiced and applied.  There is an ayah in the Quran which says that you can continue eating and drinking at night time of Ramadan until the white string is distinguished from the black string.

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One of the Sahaba, he took this literally. What he did was that he had a string under his pillow… and he would eat and then he would uncover the string , he would pick up the pillow, he wouldn’t see the string, so he continued eating … and he would keep on doing that and then he went to Rasulullah (saw) and said this is what I have done. Rasulullah (saw) laughed and he said that it doesn’t mean you take a string in your room and you take a look at it. It means the white string which is the first emergence of light in the horizon that is what is meant by it. So Rasulullah (saw) taught this Sahabi how to apply that ayat (verse from Quran), because I could get a dark room with no windows alright and I have a string with me and it would be noon time and I still can not see it and I continue to eat. So the application of the ayats and the hadith of Rasulullah (saw) are shown to us in the life of Muhammad (saw) and the life of the Sahaba.(RadiAllahu Anhum)

Muhammad Rashid Rida (1865–1935) is one of the most influential scholars and jurists of his generation.  Rida was born near Tripoli in Al-Qalamoun, now in Lebanon

The corruption and tyranny of Muslim rulers ("caliphs") throughout history was a central theme in Rida's criticisms. Rida, however, celebrated the rule of Muhammed(saw) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and leveled his attacks at subsequent rulers who could not maintain Muhammed(saw) as an example. He also criticized the clergy ("ulama") for compromising their integrity - and the integrity of the Islamic law ("sharia") they were meant to uphold - by associating with worldly corrupt powers.

Towards the end of his life, Rida became a staunch defender of the Saudi regime and an advocate of Wahhabism, saluting 'Abd al-Wahhab as the "renewer of the XII century (of the Hijra)".

No 6: Studying Seerah is Ibadah (worship)

We are not doing this to entertain our selves. This is ibadat. There is Ajr (reward), there is reward in studying this. We are worshipping Allah by coming together and studying the life of Muhammad (saw). This is the halaqa of zikr. This is the session of zikr (remembrance) where we come together and talk about Muhammad (saw) , we are worshipping Allah Subhana watala. And we expect that this is a gathering which is surrounded by angels, in which Allah(swt) will shower us with his mercy and tranquility and we be mentioned in a gathering better than this. So it is ibadat and

Allah(swt) says in Surat 'Aa'li `Imra'n (Family of Imran) [Chapter 03: Verse 31]

Shhih International Translation
Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
Muhsin Khan Translation
Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

Thomas Lauren Friedman (born July 20, 1953) is an American journalist, columnist and author. He writes a twice-weekly column for The New York Times. He has written extensively on foreign affairs including global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues and has won the Pulitzer Prize three times

No 7: Developing a Muslim Identity

There is a global culture that is being forced down the throats of everyone on the face of the earth. This global culture is protected and promoted. Thomas Friedman, he is a famous writer in the US, he writes for the New York Times. He says, the hidden hand of the market can not survive without the hidden fist. Mc Donalds will never flourish without Mc Donald Douglas- the designer of F15s.

In other words, we are not really dealing with a global culture that is benign or compassionate. This is a culture that gives you no choice. Either accept Mc Donalds, otherwise Mc Donald Douglas will send their F15s above your head. It is very intolerant culture, that can not co exist with anything else. It uproots every other culture on the face of the earth. Just cuts the roots of it. And you have a quote here by Alexander Solzhenitzyn. He is a famous Russian Historian writer. He says To destroy a people, you must sever their roots. So its really a destruction of the people of the earth because every other culture is being demolished. So this is not a global culture that will co exist with others, it will replace others. And the only ideology that is standing up to this global culture is Islam. But still, as Muslims and especially Muslims living in the west, we are suffering from a serious identity crisis. I mean you would find that even though the brother or the sister would be practicing Islam, but the identity it self, the Islamic identity itself is lost. I mean person would have more in common with the rock star or a soccer player then they would have with the companions of Rasulullah (saw). You would find that our youth know more about pop stars than they know about the Sahaba of Rasulullah (saw) . Infact even sometimes more than the Anbiya. How many of our youth know the names of all of the Anbiya of Allah? How many of our youth know the names of the Sahaba ra.

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But ask the same person to name the soccer players on their favorite team or their best basketball players and they would go down the list. So there is a serious identity crisis that is going on among Muslims. And the way we can counter that, they way we can develop the Muslim identity is: 

Steps to Develop Muslim Identity

 No 1: By having a strong study of Islamic history. Which is made up of the lives of Prophets of Allah. The life of Muhammad (saw), the life of the Sahaba ra and then learning in general, the Muslim history after that. So that’s No 1. You develop an identity, by having an attachment with history. Because our history, is our umbilical cord. This is our life line. We are an extension of an Ummah. We are not separated; we are not severed from our roots. We are a part of a glorious Ummah that we need to study about.

 No 2: By being part of the world wide Muslim Ummah. Our local identity should not over ride our Muslim identity. So my identification with Britain or America or Pakistan or Kuwait or any other country should not over ride my Islamic identity. See this “nation/state” concept is something that Islam came to abolish. We have our loyalty to Allah(swt) and to our religion. And we are part of a world wide Ummah. Therefore we need to study; we need to learn about our Muslim brothers all over the world. What happens in Palestine should concern every British Muslim. What happens in Kashmir should concern every American Muslim. What happens in every part of the Muslim world, should concern me as if it is happening within my own house. So these are the two important elements in building an identity.

No 1: Having a deep understanding of your History
No 2: Being part of the Ummah and caring about the Ummah.

And again the saying of Alexander Solzhenitzyn “To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots”

We don’t want our roots to be severed. We want our roots to be deep. Studying the life of Rasulullah (saw)is the most important thing we can read in our history.

Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918 2008) was a Russian writer, dissident and activist. He helped to raise global awareness of the gulag and the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system from 1918 to 1956. While his writings were often suppressed, he wrote several books most notably The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works. "For the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature",Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 but returned to Russia in 1994 after the Soviet system had collapsed.

No 8: The Life of Muhammad (saw) is a Testimony of his Prophethood.

The greatest miracle of Muhammad (saw) is Quran and Muhammad (saw) had many other miracles. But just studying his life in itself is an evidence of his Prophethood.

Here we have a man, who for forty years was leading a normal life. The outstanding thing about the life of Muhammad (saw) in the first 40 years was his morality and character. But Rasulullah (saw) did not show any signs of aspiration to power or influence. None of that at all. Rasulullah (saw) was leading a normal life and then suddenly after the age of 40, Rasulullah (saw) brings about the greatest change that the world has ever seen. That’s an irony. That’s a miracle. Rasulullah (saw)was illiterate. He could not read or write. And then he presents the world with the greatest book that was ever produced. And we could go on and on… the list of ironies of things that are only explained if Muhammad (saw) was a messenger of Allah. Who had divine help, Otherwise its impossible. There is no  way to explain the Seerah , except to admit that he was a nabi from Allah. It is impossible for a person to achieve, what Muhammad (saw) achieved without being assisted by Allah(swt) through revelation. So it’s a testimony of his prophet hood.

There you have Muhammad (saw) leading a normal life for the first 40 years. Then suddenly he becomes a political leader, military leader, religious leader, head of a large house hold, law maker, teacher, Imam and go on and on the list of the things that Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to do. All of this was done within a span of 23 years. Impossible! Which would lead to the next point that

CD 00 :35

Michael H. Hart (born April 28, 1932 in New York City) is an astrophysicist who has also written three books on history and controversial articles on a variety of subjects. His first book was The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, which has sold more than 500,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages. What mainly surprised readers in this book was the first person on Hart's list (Hart, 1992)

No: 9 We are studying the life of the Greatest

We are studying the life of the greatest man that ever set foot on this earth. Muhammad (saw) is the greatest. And what ever bench mark you want to use for greatness, he would still come out the greatest. Micheal Hart, he’s a US Author, he wrote a book called the The 100 Most influential People that lived in history. After studying the lives of leaders through out history, it became clear to him that Muhammad (saw) is the undisputable greatest man that ever lived.

He is the greatest and in his introduction he feels compelled to respond to what the readers of the book might think because he is mostly writing for a non Muslim audience. So many people would question his choice of Muhammad (saw), so therefore in his introduction he writes, he says “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the worlds most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others. That he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.” And then he goes on to say that it is this unparallel combination of secular and religious influence, which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”

So Micheal Hart is compelled by the facts. I mean there is no doubt that Muhammad (saw) is the greatest.

But then he has to apologize to his readers, I mean he has to say that this is out of my hands. I mean there is no way I could put anybody else  in front of him.

Muhammad (saw) is the greatest. In fact, if we take Muhammad (saw) as a military leader, just that aspect of his personality, he would still come out the greatest. If we only take

Muhammad (saw), only the religious aspect of his life. He would still be the greatest.

Muhammad (saw) as a political leader, he would still come out to be the greatest. So even if you dissect the different aspects of life of Muhammad (saw) and take them piece by piece, by just taking one piece alone, he would still be greater than anybody else that ever lived. So we are studying the life of Al-Mustafa. Mustafa means “the one who is chosen” Allah(swt) chose him. Al-Mustafa al khalqi He is chosen out of all the creation of Allah.

There might be some other reasons, why studying Seerah is important.

Ismail ibn Kathir (1301–1373) was a Muslim muhaddith, faq?h, mufassir, and historian.  His full name was Abu Al-Fida, 'Imad Ad-Din (His Kunyah), Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir Ibn Daw' Ibn Kathir Ibn Dir, originally Al-Busrawi, then Ad-Dimashqi Ash-Shafi'i and also Al-Qurashi. He was born in Mijdal, a village on the outskirts of the city of Busra, to the east of Damascus in the year 701 A.H and was taught by Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Mizzi, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Dhahabi, Ibn Al Firkah,‘Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmed bin Abi-Talib, Ibn Al-Hajjar, Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin ‘Asakir, Ibn Ash-Shirazi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, Zahriyyah Shaykh, and Muhammad bin Zarrad.
Muhammad ibn Sa'd ibn Mani' al-Baghdadi or Ibn Sa'd ,often called Katib ul-Waqidi, the scribe of Waqidi.  Ibn Sa'd was born in the year 168AH/784CE) and died in 230AH/845CE. He was a Sunni Muslim scholar of Islam and an Arabian biographer, received his training in the tradition from Al-Waqidi and other celebrated teachers. He lived for the most part in Baghdad, and had the reputation of being both trustworthy and accurate in his writings, which, in consequence, were much used by later writers.
Sahih Bukhari is a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), also known as the Sunnah. The reports of the Prophet's (saw) sayings and deeds are called ahadeeth. Imam Bukhari lived a couple of centuries after the Prophet's (saw) death and worked extremely hard to collect his ahadeeth. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established. Bukhari's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the most authentic collections of the Sunnah of the Prophet(pbuh).

Bukhari (full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai) was born in 194 A.H. and died in 256 A.H. His collection of hadeeth is considered second to none. He spent sixteen years compiling it, and ended up with 2,602 hadeeth (9,082 with repetition). His criteria for acceptance into the collection were amongst the most stringent of all the scholars of ahadeeth.

Sahih Bukhari is divided into nine volumes, each of which has several books. Each book contains many ahadeeth. The ahadeeth are numbered consecutively per volume. The books really only serve to group ahadeeth together, but the volumes impose the numbering.
Muslim Nishapuri, commonly known as Imam Muslim, was a Persian Islamic scholar, particularly known as a muhaddith (scholar of hadith). His hadith collection, known as Sahih Muslim, is one of the six major hadith. and is regarded as one of the two most authentic (sahih) collections, alongside Sahih al-Bukhari.

Sahih Muslim is divided into 43 books, containing a total of 7190 narrations
Sunan Abi Daawud is one of the Al-Kutub al-Sittah (six major hadiths), collected by Abu Dawood. Imam Abu Dawud He compiled twenty-one books related to Hadith and preferred those ahadith which were supported by the example of the companions of Muhammad
Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham  (died 833) edited the biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq. Ibn Ishaq's work is lost and is now only known in the recensions of Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari. Ibn Hisham grew up in Basra, Iraq, but moved afterwards to Egypt where he gained a name as a grammarian and student of language and history.  His works includes "As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah", He also wrote a work on South Arabian antiquities: Kitab al-Tijan li ma'rifati muluk al-zaman (Book of Crowns in knowing kings of the age)
Sources for this Course

1) Seerah of Ibn Kathir.

Ibn Kathir, he did not write a book called Seerah. Ibn Kathir wrote an encyclopedia of history. Called bidaya wan niaya. Called The beginning and the End. And it is literally the beginning and the end.

He started from the beginning of creation and went all the way until people enter Jannah and hell. One of his volumes is about the life of Rasulullah(saw). Another volume is about the Prophets and another is about Khalifa Ar Rashida. Khilafa Muwaya  , Khilafa Abbasia. And he went all the way up to his times. The last volumes is called Al Fitan. Signs of the day of judgment and then the day of judgment and Jannah and hell.

 So we are going to be taking his part of Seerah as a primary source. We will talk a little bit on why I have chosen ibn kathir to be our primary source.

Saheeh as-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibraheem al-‘Ali is the second book that I have used in compilation of these notes.

Science of Seerah and Science of Hadith: The Difference

Traditionally, Seerah was a separate science from hadith. Even though there are some areas where they cross each other, there is over laying, over lapping between them. But traditionally Seerah had a different set of rules compared to hadith.

CD 00 :35

Scholars of hadith were very stringent, very strict in their rules. While scholars of Seerah, were more liberal, more flexible. The reason is, when they were dealing with hadiths and drawing ahkam (drawing rulings), they wanted to make sure they were basing the rulings on hadiths that were sound. They do not want us to worship Allah based on weak sources. So that’s why they applied very strict rules to hadith.

Scholars of hadith were very stringent, very strict in their rules. While scholars of Seerah, were more liberal, more flexible. The reason is, when they were dealing with hadiths and drawing ahkam (drawing rulings), they wanted to make sure they were basing the rulings on hadiths that were sound. They do not want us to worship Allah based on weak sources. So that’s why they applied very strict rules to hadith.

However, when it came to Seerah, they were more flexible in their rules, because they saw this as history which does not affect ahkam (rulings). It does not affect rulings. There is no ahkam based on it. So imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, who is a scholar of hadith, he says when we talk about history we are more flexible. So you would find that writers of Seerah would accept narrations ,they wouldn’t normally accept if they were dealing with  hadith. So that’s one track that was followed by our early scholars.

The Seerah of Ibn Ishaq was written according to these rules. The Seerah of Al Maqraizi, ibn Saad, all of these early scholars of Seerah, they followed these flexible rules in narration.

Recently, there was a new trend among some of our scholars. They wanted to apply the rules of hadith on Seerah. Why?

These scholars said now we are living in a time when the history of Rasulullah (saw) is ahkam (rulings) for us. In time of Ahmed bin Hanbal, Khilafa was established, so when they studied the life of Rasulullah (saw), they were studying to learn general lessons from it, but it wasn’t to guide them in methodology of a movement. Because Islam was already established.

But now we need to go through the Seerah and learn rules from it. On how to do dawah and how to establish Islam again. So it’s becoming similar to fiqh applied to us. Therefore they say we should apply the same rules of hadith on Seerah.

The second book which is Sahih Seerah ibn nabawiya is based on the rules of hadith. So what these scholars did, they went into Bukhari, they went into Muslim, they went into Sunnan Abi Dawood, they went into these books of hadith and they gathered the bits and pieces that were referring to Seerah. And they constructed the Seerah of Rasulullah (saw) based on Hadith. So rather than going to the book of Ibn Ishaq, they would go to Bukhari. Rather than come to Maqrizi or other earlier scholars or ibn Hisham, they would go to Muslim. Saied Hawa has written a book based on hadith, its called the asas ul Suna. This book we mentioned by Ibrahim Al Ali which is called Sahiah Seerah ibn Nabawiya. And there are  few other books  also following this line.

Now the reason why I chose ibn Kathir as our primary source is because ibn kathir, he combined both in one book. So he would draw information from the books of Seerah and he also draw information from the books of hadiths. So you would find him narrating from Bukhari and narrating from Ibn Ishaq. That’s why you would find the Seerah of Ibn kathir unique.

Just one draw back with the Seerah of Ibn Kathir is that it is a bit complicated and cumbersome to use, because he would mention all of the chain of narration, sometimes he would not stick to a chronological order and some times he would bring in information that seems to be contradicting. But it is an excellent source and Alhamdulilah, it is now present in the English language. It has been recently translated by Legassick (Martin Legassick).  A professor in the US and it is a very good translation. Other books we might not  be using, some of them , I have got quotations from them.

CD 00 :40

We have Manhaj Al haraqi by Moid Al  Ghabban. The thing about this book is that the author  tried to  draw movement lessons from Seerah. So he would divide it into Secret stage, public stage, then he would go through the Hijrah and then different stages of Jihad. So he tried to construct a movement work line from Seerah. It is a recently written book.

Then you have Fiqh as Seerah by Muhammad Ghazali. (rahimullah) This book has tarbiya lessons.

There is another book by the same name Fiqh As  Seerah by Al Buyti. Muhammad saeed Ramadan Buyti. And Al Buyti emphasizes on fiqh. He draws many fiqh lessons from Seerah.

And then there is a book called Al Ghuraba by Sheikh  Salman al Auda. And it is dealing with Hadith of the Strangers. And he tries to draw co relation with the strangers in the time of Rasulullah (saw) and the strangers now. Al Asas al sunna, we talked about this by Saeed Hawa and  then At Tariiq Il Al Madina by Muhammad Al Abda, which is lessons drawn from Seerah and Fiqh As Seerah by Al Buyti.


Arabic Terminologies

Sallalahu Alihe Wassalam: means May the  peace and blessings of Allah be on him. This is what we say when we hear the name of Muhammad (saw). Now the Hukum (rule)  of saying it : It is mandatory to say it the first time you hear the name of Muhammad (saw). Any other time after that, it is recommended. So in this lecture, the first time you hear the name of Muhammad , it is mandatory to say Sallalahu Alihe Wassalam (saw). Any other time after that as long as we are in the same gathering, it is recommended. So this is the hokum of Salat salam ala Muhammad (saw).

Rasulullah (saw): The word Rasulullah (saw) means the Messenger of Allah.

Jahiliya: Is the ignorance of the Pre Islamic era. So Jahiliya is a time period but it is also conduct. Whenever you have a time that resembles the pre Islamic era, it is called jahiliya. And you will find that Syyed Qutub uses this word a lot in reference to the times that we are living in. he says that there is a lot of resemblance between it and the early jahiliya. So jahiliya comes from the root word Jahal, which is ignorance. So it is the time of ignorance. The absence of the  message. Even if the message is there and the people are not following it, it is a jahiliya.

Eman:           Faith

Jannah:         Paradise

An Naar:       Hell fire

The last section is discussing the difference between hadith and Seerah scholars. We talked about this. Hadith scholars more stringent in their narrations coz of basing their rulings. Seerah scholars less stringent coz they want us to get the stories, so they were flexible in their narrations. We mentioned that we are using a combined approach. So I will use hadith and in the situations where there is no hadith, we will fill in the gaps by referring to Seerah.

So this is the introduction to the series. Inshallah o Tala the next session will start talking about some background history.


Sallalahu Alihe Wasalam Ala Muhammad waashabihe wasalam


SubhanaKalahuma Wabihamdik,Ashaduan  La ilaha ila inta, nastaghfiruka wana tubu ilaik

End of CD 01 Mecca Period

Sayyid Qutb (October 9, 1906 – August 29, 1966) was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s.  Author of 24 books, including novels, literary arts’ critique and works on education, he is best known in the Muslim world for his work on what he believed to be the social and political role of Islam, particularly in his books Social Justice and Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones). His magnum opus, Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the shade of the Qur'an), is a 30-volume commentary on the Qur'an. During most of his life, Qutb's inner circle mainly consisted of influential politicians, intellectuals, poets and literary figures, both of his age and of the preceding generation. By the mid-1940s, many of his writings were officially among the curricula of schools, colleges and universities  [Ref : 01_01_22]
Salman bin Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ouda or Salman al-Ouda (born 1955 or 1956) is a Saudi cleric or Sheikh and Muslim scholar. Al-Ouda is a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and on its Board of Trustees.  He is a director of the Arabic edition of the website Islam Today and appears on a number of TV shows and authors newspaper articles.  Among the roughly fifty books that he has published are:The First Strangers, Characteristics of the Strangers, Withdrawing from Society and Participating in It',A Discussion with Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazâlî,Who has the Right to Engage in Independent Juristic Reasoning?, and Guidelines for Studying Islamic Law.
Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti: Sheikh Al-Bouti is the leading Islamic scholar in Syria. He is a retired Dean and current professor at the College of Islamic Law at Damascus University. Al Bouti preaches very often and is highly respected by many of the leading scholars in the Muslim world.
Saheeh as-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibraheem al-‘Ali   [the info is not available at the moment , if some one can help us with the info with complete source reference will be great helpful for ummah , please  email to:]
Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Abu `Abd Allah al-Shaybani (780 — 855 CE / 164 — 241 AH) was an important Muslim scholar and theologian. He is considered the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Imam Ahmad is one of the most celebrated Sunni theologians, often referred to as the "Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah," honorifics given to the most esteemed doctrinal authorities in the Sunni tradition. Imam Ahmad personified the theological views of the early orthodox scholars, including the founders of the other extant schools of Sunni fiqh, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik ibn Anas, and Imam ash-Shafi`i.
The Khilafah (Caliphate) is a general leadership over all Muslims in the world. Its responsibility is to implement the laws of the Islam system and convey the Islamic Message to the rest of the world. The Khilafah is also called the Imama as both words have been narrated in many sahih ahadith with the same meaning.

The Khilafah ruling system bears no resemblance to any of the governments in the Muslim world today. Although many commentators and historians have tried to interpret the Khilafah within existing political frameworks, it is in fact a unique political system.

The Khaleefah (Caliph) is the head of state in the Khilafah. He is not a king or dictator but an elected leader whose authority to rule must be given willingly by the Muslims through a special ruling contact called baya. Without this baya he cannot be the head of state. This is completely opposite to a king or dictator who imposes his authority through coercion and force. The tyrant kings and dictators in the Muslim world are ample examples of this, imprisoning and torturing the Muslims and stealing their wealth and resources.

This contract of baya stipulates that the Khaleefah must be just and rule the people by sharia. He is not sovereign and cannot legislate laws from his own mind that suit his personal and family interests. Any legislation he wishes to pass must be derived from the Islamic legal sources through a precise and detailed methodology called ijtihad. If the Khaleefah legislates any law contrary to this or commits oppression against his people, the highest and most powerful court in the State - the Unjust Acts Court (mahkamat muzalim) can impeach the Khaleefah and order his removal from office.

The Khaleefah has been likened by some to a Pope, who is the Spiritual Head of all Muslims, infallible and appointed by God. This is not the case as the Khaleefah is not a priest. His post is an executive post within the Islamic government. He is not infallible and can make mistakes, which is why many checks and balances exist within the Islamic system to ensure he and his government remain accountable
Sheikh Said Ibn Mohamed Bin Mahmoud Hawa Al-Naiemi, know as Sh. Saied Hawa, was born in the city of Hama, Syria on September 27, 1935. He was brought up in a righteous family, where he received not only his strong and pure Islamic values, but also where he learnt, discipline, communication skills and work ethics. His father was a well known dignitary of the city of Hama. He actively participated in the Syrian struggle to expel the French from Syria. His mother passed away when he was 2 years old, so his grandmother had to take care of him. Beside his education, young Saied Hawa worked with father (who was a merchant). He used to sell, fruit and vegetables in the local market. Young Saied was among the bright students and memorized the Quran on the hands of an old blind lady.

He joined the Ibn Rushd High School, where he was first exposed the ideas and teachings of Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was based in Egypt and led by Imam Hassan Albana. He joined the movement when he was in the first year of his high school. During his high school years, he was famous for his desire to read and he was most well-known for his capability to deliver eloquent and influential speeches