Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the noblest and most virtuous character among the creations, and he gets the highest honour from Allah. Loving and following him is an essential part of believers’ faith. So, studying Seerah to learn about Rasulullah ﷺ should be a top priority for Muslims.
If you haven’t explored it yet, you may wonder why Seerah is essential. Seerah is a complete biography of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ that guides you to increase your love for him, teaches you to relate today’s events with the prophetic era, fosters your spiritual journey, and more.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the meaning of Seerah and some benefits of studying Seerah.
What is Seerah?
Seerah (سيرة) is an Arabic word that means the ‘biography’ or ‘life story’ of a person in general. In the Islamic context, Seerah mainly refers to the biography of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. But the word Seerah is also used for the life journey of other people, like the Seerah of Sabaha (RA). Seerah is also pronounced as ‘Seerah’, ‘Sirah’, ‘Seerat’, or ‘Sirat’.
Seerah gives you a detailed history of the Prophet’s ﷺ life, from before and after he became a prophet, his efforts to spread Islam, the battles and challenges he faced, his personal life, etc.
Why is Studying Seerah Important? 10 Key Reasons Explained
You can understand the importance of Seerah from the saying of ‘Ali ibn Al-Hussain (RA), the grandson of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA), who said: “We used to be taught Seerah of Rasulullah ﷺ just like we are taught the Qur’an.”
Studying the Seerah gives Muslims insights into the Prophet’s ﷺ character, his teachings, and the context in which the Quran was revealed. It serves as a guide for Muslims on how to live according to the teachings of Islam.
Now, let’s talk about some important reasons and benefits of studying the Seerah of Rasulullah ﷺ.
1. Knowing the History of Islam
Seerah describes all the important events during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. By studying Seerah, you can clearly understand his life, from birth to death.
It will show you how he lived before becoming a prophet, how he spread the message after receiving revelations, and the obstacles he faced along with his achievements. When you read about his life, you can get a summary of what happened during that time. This way, the Sirah helps you understand the history of Islam.
2. Understanding the Quran and Sunnah
Seerah is a historical commentary on the noble Quran and Hadith. Each verse of the Quran was revealed upon Allah’s Messenger ﷺ in specific circumstances addressing particular events. And the same goes for the hadith.
The Sirah provides a context to these revelations. It will help you understand when and why certain verses of the Quran were revealed. So, you can easily relate the Quranic verses and hadiths with the life of the Prophet ﷺ.
3. Increasing Our Love to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ
Allah chose the prophet Muhammad ﷺ to guide mankind. Loving and following him is part of our Iman.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “None of you will attain true faith (Iman) until you love me more than your parents, your children, and the entire world.” [Sahih Bukhari]
The companions of the Prophet (RA) loved him more than anything else, as they knew him well. So, they followed him the most and experienced true faith. Studying Sirah helps you learn his great virtues, which will increase your Iman in sha Allah.
4. Studying Seerah is Ibadah
Reading Seerah is not just for entertainment. When you read personally or gather in a halaqa to know about the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, this will act as worship.
Abu Hurairah (RA) and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah (tranquillity) descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those (angles) who are near Him.” [Sahih Muslim]
5. Knowing and Following the Best Human Being
Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’Ala blessed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with all the noble attributes and unique characteristics that make him the best among all the creations.
Allah says in the noble Quran,
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often.” [Sura Al-Ahzab, 33: 21]
Allah commands us to follow the footsteps of the Rasulullah ﷺ in many verses of the Quran, such as
“Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Sura Al-Imran, 3: 31]
His life shows countless examples of honesty, compassion, patience, leadership, and more. By studying his Seerah, you can learn all the best virtues and become a better person.
6. Defending The Honor of Rasulullah ﷺ
In our times, the haters of Islam attack the honour of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and try to defame him. As Muslims, we have to defend his honour at our best.
If you know the Seerah of Rasulullah ﷺ, you can secure your Iman and also defend his honours by replying to the haters of Islam. In this way, you can earn great rewards too.
7. Improving Your Spiritual Growth
The lessons of the Prophet’s ﷺ life can boost Muslims’ spiritual growth. His teachings, challenges, and connections with Allah inspire and guide the believers’ lives. By reading Seerah, you can improve your interactions with others, purify your heart, and positively impact your character in sha Allah.
8. Discovering The Testimony of Prophethood
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’Ala gave many miracles to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, such as the Quran, Isra and Mi’raj, splitting the moon, predictions of future events, etc. Al Quran was the greatest miracle among them.
The Torah and the Bible have prophecies and references to the final prophet, Muhammad ﷺ. By studying Seerah, you can learn about his prophethood testimonies, which will strengthen your faith.
9. Bridging Today’s Events with Prophetic ﷺ Eras
Seerah is full of stories of trials, triumphs, and interactions that are still relevant today. The challenges that Rasulullah ﷺ faced and how he dealt with them can guide us in similar situations now.
If we really understand Seerah, we can see similarities between what’s happening today and the time of the prophets. This helps us distinguish right from wrong.
10. Building Muslim Community
The power of revelations made Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions (RA) spiritually strong, so they established a peaceful Islamic State in just 23 years. Through Seerah, we can learn how he guided the Ummah to greatness.
It shows how Allah’s Messenger ﷺ started his personal growth and then extended to family, neighbours, relatives, and the wider community. It helps us grow personally and develop our communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What’s the primary source of Seerah?
Ans: The primary sources include the Al Quran, Hadith collections, Seerah books from early Muslim scholars, and books written about the characteristics of the Prophet.
Q. What are some prominent Seerah book names?
Ans: There are many notable works on Seerah by Islamic scholars from various periods, such as
- Sirat Ibn Hisham, which is an edited version of Seerat Ibn Ishaq
- Seerah An-Nawawiyyah by Ibn Kathir
- Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) by Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri
- Seeratun Nabi ﷺ by Allama Shibli Naumani
- Seeratul Mustafa ﷺ by Moulana Muhammad Idrees Kandhlvi
- Noble Life of The Prophet by Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee
- Seerat Khatim Ul Ambiya by Mufti Muhammad Shafi
Nowadays, extensive Seerah lectures and podcasts, and apps like Seerah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ make Seerah learning easier.
Q. Can non-Muslims benefit from studying Seerah?
Ans: Absolutely! Seerah offers universal values and life lessons to know the life of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Studying Seerah isn’t just about learning about the challenges and successes of the life of Rasulullah ﷺ; it’s about applying those lessons to our own lives to become better Muslims. So, start learning Seerat from an authentic Seerah book to increase your love for the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. And if you have any difficulties, highlight the points and consult with local scholars.