Acclaimed worldwide as the definitive biography of the Prophet Muhammad in the English language, Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based to the Earliest Sources is unlike any other. Based on Arabic sources of the eighth and ninth centuries, of which some important passages are translated here for the first time, it owes the freshness and directness of its approach to the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life.
Martin Lings has an unusual gift for narrative. He has adopted a style which is at once extremely readable and reflects both the simplicity and grandeur of the story. The result is a book which will be read with equal enjoyment by those already familiar with Muhammad’s life and those coming to it for the first time.
Muhammad: His Life Based to the Earliest Sources was given an award by the government of Pakistan, and selected as the best biography of the Prophet in English at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad in 1983.
The late Dr Martin Lings, formerly Keeper of Oriental Manuscript in the British Museum and the British Library, is the author of three works on Islamic mysticism, A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, What is Sufism?, The Book of Certainty, all published by the Islamic Texts Society.
‘Despite the vastness of the subject, this biography makes an easy and absorbing reading for anyone interested in religion as such. For those interested in Islam one way or another it is mesmerising.’
S. H. Nasr, George Washington University.
‘An enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worthy of his subject.’
‘Before the appearance of this book, Western languages lacked almost entirely a comprehensive and authentic account of the life of the Prophet Muhammad… Lings has produced a superb narrative that in its sobriety and dignity of style, and its scrupulous and exhaustive fidelity to authentic and reliable sources, constitutes a major addition to Islamic literature in English. Highly recommended.’
Hamid Alhar, Religious Studies Review.
‘Muhammad is a true work of art, as enthralling and engrossing as the best of novels with the difference that this is no fiction but fact. With the magic of his pen, the author makes all the historical personalities of his book come alive… The skill of narration is enhanced throughout the book with the most regal and dignified English, inspiring the sense of majestic grandeur essential for any literary work dealing with Divine and Eternal Truths.’
The Islamic Quarterly.
‘This great book is a classic.’
‘There is a freshness, clarity and gripping suspense throughout the book… As a text in the how and the why and the when of various revelations—both Koranic and Prophetic traditions—it is enlightening and authoritative… Our author’s familiarity with all the complicated inter-family links of tribal Arabia gives us the certainty that he knows his material thoroughly… This work should be translated into Arabic so that the whole Arab world may drink from it.’
Muslim World (Cape Town).
‘An excellent introduction to the subject and very well written.’
‘I read it straight through, then re-read it, almost in its entirety, fascinated.’