Why study the seerah of the Prophet SAW?
1. 33:21 from the Qur’an tells us “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah (Yusuf Ali translation). The Qur’an suggests an immersive approach to the Prophet SAW.
2. Humanizes the Prophet. Not some out of this world human being. Someone that we can actually follow.
3. Studying the seerah allows us to extract practical, relevant lessons from the life of the Prophet SAW. God uses nouns to describe the Prophet, because throughout time the Prophet is the epitome of these qualities.
4. When you don’t know a person, there is little possibility of having love for that person. Need to be intimately familiar with a person in order to love them.
5. Life of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, is an aid in understanding the Qur’an. The teachings of the Qur’an come alive through the teachings of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.
When the wives of the prophet were asked how he conducted himself in daily life, they answered, كان خلقه القرءان. Meaning he practiced what is in the Quran.
We already know that Quran is the manual on how we should conduct our lives. The same as when you buy an electronic gadget, it would come with a manual on how to operate it. But won’t it be better if a person that is already familiar with the gadget would come to you and show you exactly how to use the gadget? That similarly with the prophet. The prophet shows us how to practically implement what is being told in the Quran.
For the past couple of decades the ummah has been in recovery mode. We have become so distant from the sources of our own religion. The Qur’an has become a ceremonial part of our lives. For the past couple of decades we have been in rehabilitation mode. Need to extract practical lessons of how to live our life from the life of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. Prophet has said that he left us with two things.
6. When we study the seerah, we are able to see the Prophet SAW interacting with lots of different people – youth, women, non-Muslims. We know how to interact with others today by looking at the seerah. The Prophet became a Prophet at age 40, but many of the people following the Prophet were youth. Umar al-Khattab, we forget that he was 27, 28 years old when he accepted Islam. He was young! The courageous people of our tradition were young people.
In our communities today we have gender questions. Women are an equal part of our community. We find answers about where the right lines are in the life of the Prophet.
Nobody is busier than the Prophet and yet he had a family. And he was the best of people to his family. When you read the seerah in detail, you can observe how the Prophet was with his family. What about the educational process? The Prophet was sent as a teacher, and we can learn from him how to be teachers.
7. No single human being’s life has been documented in so much detail. Everything about him was observed. The Shamail of Imam Tirmidhi gives us detail, down to the colour of his skin and the shape of his head, peace and blessings be upon him. He was very calm and peaceful to be around. He wouldn’t talk unnecessarily. When he spoke to people, he would turn to people completely, even when he was sitting. He would introduce himself to people, give salaams and ask how they were before asking them for anything. Studying seerah is a lifechanging experience. The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, his words were brief, comprehensive, profound words. Every people was sent a specific Prophet. And like his words, the Prophet’s being encompasses so much. We have narrations that there were 100,000 Prophets sent. And yet we have the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. He encompasses so much, teaches us so much.
8. For the recovery of the ummah, we have a safe mode. Vast majority of the ummah is in spiritual crisis. Crisis of identity, crisis of iman. So we need to remind people about basic things. When we look at seerah and Qur’an, tells us about this mode. Two things are needed, talim (education) and tarbiyyah (nurturing).
a) Talim is education, indepth, detailed education that the average Muslim needs. Average Muslim needs basic understanding of the Qur’an. General iman. Iman 101.
b) Tarbiyyah is the establishment of Muslim identity. Remind people about being Muslim.
Need revive the teaching of seerah.
What is the text? There’s many. One that we use is ‘Sealed Nectar’.
If we need inspiration and reminder of why we need to study the Prophet, the Prophet is the Habib, the Beloved of Allah. The crowning jewel of humanity. He is referred to as Muhammad, al Mustafa. Abul Qasim. No being has been praised as much as him. No human being has been talked about as much as him. He is Abdullah, the perfect servant of God. He is Allah’s Nabi and Rasul. He is the Khaleel of Allah, the Friend of Allah. He is a mercy for all of humanity and creation of God.
Link to the next session