Seerah Class Notes: Part One

Sallam alaykum.

This is going to be a series of class notes from a course I am currently taking, taught by Shaykh Atabek Shukurov.

I would like to say a massive thank you to the Abu Zahra Foundation and to all the organisers from Islamic Cultural and Educational Association. Last, but not least, Shaykh Atabek Shukurov. May Allah reward and bless them all! Ameen.

Part One

The Arabic word, Seerah, means way.

From Sara which means to walk

Sayrun means trip/journey/walk.

Seerah is the biography of anyone.

Reasons why we should learn Seerah.

In order

  1. To understand who he was and to understand what made him so special.
  2. To find good/excellent examples for us to follow. He is the most amazing example of being a father.
  • Whenever Sayida Fatima (peace be upon her) used to go to the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) house, he would stand up, take her hand, and would sit her down.

He is the most beautiful example of being a brother. He is the best example of being a leader. And he is the greatest example of being a teacher.

  • A Sahabi once said that he didn’t find any better teacher than him. Another example is that once the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was giving a khutba (a lesson) on his minbar (chair). A Bedouin approached him and asked “Ya Rasul’Allah, teach me my religion.” The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) ordered for a chair to be brought for the Bedouin and he then proceeded to answer the Bedouin’s questions. Once he finished teaching the Bedouin, he returned to his minbar and proceeded with his khutba.

If we want to be the best leader or the best teacher, then we should go back to the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and we will learn from the best of examples.

  1. To lean more about Islam and about Islamic knowledge. When learning about Seerah, we will come across Quranic Ayat (verse) which will be to do with Fiqh or Aqida etc. When someone learns about Fiqh they only learn Fiqh. When someone learns about Aqida, they only learn Aqida. Seerah is different. Seerah includes Fiqh, Tafseer, Hadith and thus Seerah includes all the subjects of Islam.
  2. To meet more Sahabah and to learn about more Sahabah. We know about the famous Sahabah such as Abu Bakr and Umar (peace be upon them both), but by learning Seerah, we will learn about other lesser known Sahabah such as Dihatul Qalbi (peace be upon him).

If we were to write up our own biographies we would rip out or destroy pages. However, the Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is not like that. Nothing needs destroying or made a secret of. This makes him an amazing human being.

No one else has a detailed biography as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The Shaykh said these are clear signs from Allah that this is the Prophet of our generation. Allah provded the most information about this Prophet as he is the Prophet of our generation.

What are the main references of Seerah?

Two kinds of references:

  • Primary (includes general references and specific references).
  • Secondary.



  1. The Qur’an.
  2. The books of Ahadith (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah, Musanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Tabakat, Hilyatul Awliya, Muajam Tul Awsatul, Muajamul Akbar by Tabarani. All of these books included a big part of the Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). We can cover all of his life relying on the books of Ahadith.


  1. A book called Seeratul Rasul’Allah, by Arwatul Ibn Zubayr, who was a Tabi’i. He passed away 92nd of Hijra.
  2. A book by Aban Ibn Usman, who passed away 105th after Hijra.
  3. A book by Wahab Ibn Munabih, most of the transmissions of Faza’il comes from him, he was a Tabi’I, he passed away 110th after Hijra.
  4. Sharahbil Ibn Saad, who passed away 123rd after Hijra. He is Tabi’i.
  5. Muhammad Ibn Shihab Az Zuhri,

These scholars were the first to write a separate book about the Seerah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Do we still have any of these books?

No, we don’t have them as separate books.

However, Imam At-Tabari was from the third Islamic generation, he was alive at the same time as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. He passed away in the third Islamic generation. Imam At-Tabari transmitted all the above books in his own book, which was a history book, which not only covered Islamic history but history even before Rasul’Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). It was called Tarikhul Ul Muluk Wal Umrah, and became famous as Tarikhut Tabari (the history of Imam Tabari). He included all the above books in his own book.

We have the original copy of the book by Wahab Ibn Muhabih, in the library of Heidelberg, Germany.

  1. Muhammad Ibn Ishaac, who lived in the same time as Imam Malik, and wrote a separate book on Seerah. He passed away 152nd of Hijra. We have his book by transmission of Ibn Hisham in his book Seeratun Ibn Hisham. His full name was Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham, he passed away 202nd of Hijra. This book was translated in several languages including English and French. The original copy is in 4 big volumes. It includes the names of the Sahabah who went to the battles of Badr and Uhud.

The above books including the books of Ahadith, are references for famous Seerah books such as The Sealed Nectar. The most important reference for Seerah is Seeratun Ibn Hisham because it is very detailed and reliable and was transmitted by lots of people.


Books that rely on the above mentioned books:

  1. Kitabul Shifa (Ash Shifa).
  2. Al Muwahibulad-Duniya by Qastalani (the Shaykh recommended us all to buy this book as it is important and most of the transmissions of the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’a come from this book), the name of the book translates to ‘The Holy Gifts’.
  3. As-Seerah by Ibn Katheer.
  4. Al Khasahisul Qubra by Jallaludin Suyuti. Shaykh again recommended that we buy this book. It answers questions such as, was the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) a Prophet before Prophethood/before he reached the age of 40? The book answers yes including evidence. In addition, was the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the light from Allah? The book answers yes. Again this is a reference for the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’a.
  5. Hujjatullahi Al Alameen, by Shaykh Yusuf An Nabahani.
  6. Rahikul Maktoum,

What are the most important periods in Western history?

If we want to understand how Rasul’Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to be, we need to have an idea about the situation around him (the world), that’s why as the course progresses the Shaykh will mention things that took place in Turkey or Italy to give us an idea of the situation in which Rasul’Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to live.

Most important periods in Western history are:

  1. The Ancient Age, which started 3200 BC (the calligraphic ere i.e. writing). We Muslims believe calligraphy was established before, and that Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) taught Adam (peace be upon him). Allah taught everything, including how to cook how to build, how to name (plants and trees etc) and how to write.
  2. Middle Age, when the Barbarians destroyed Rome, in 476 AD. The most famous period in Western history as it is also called the Dark Age. The Muslim scholars woke up the western countries from the Dark Age. They were the scholars of Al Andalusia. Ibn Rushd and Ibn Tufail.
  3. The New Age, which started when Muhammad Ibn Murad, the 7 Khalifah of the Usmans took Constantinople, in 1452 AD.
  4. The last period starts at 1789, when the French Revolution occurred, this is when the new history starts.

These ages to not apply to Muslims, as for example, the Middle or Dark Age does not apply to Muslims because it was the Golden Age of Islamic history.

All good in these notes is from Allah. Any mistakes are from this student alone.

And Allah knows best.

This entry was posted in Abu Zahra Foundation, Class/Course Notes, Courses, Madni Jamia Masjid-ICEA, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Seerah, Shaykh Atabek Shukurov Nasafi. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Seerah Class Notes: Part One

  1. asqfish says:

    Asalaamoalaikum, These notes are very helpful. I hope you post all your classes, thus we can attend with you (virtually).
    I found Yasir Qadhi’s “Muhammad (PBUH) life and morals” very helpful as an overview, even more interesting and well described than Sheikh Awlakis.
    What would you recommend for a good in depth reading in Seerah,(in English) could you please ask your Sheikh?

  2. says:

    Jazak-Allahu Khairan!! I am attending a Seerah Class right now at Cal Poly Pomona University using the book Al Rahikul Maktoum and your notes will come in handy, May Allah (s.w.t) reward you!

  3. Umm Yasmin says:

    Jazakallahu khayran – fantastic link Adnan, and the last point about the ‘ages’ not referring to Muslim history is really a good one. The notion that the ‘dark ages’ were universal is simply uncharacteristic of the Muslim civilisations at the time.

  4. Arshad says:

    Sheykh Atabek said that we have the book of Wahb bin Munabbih still available in on of the Germanian libruaries. Please Brother Adnan can you quote the name of the libruary from the records of the lecture?

  5. Hi, I cant understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please

  6. Best you should change the page name Seerah Class Notes: Part One Adnan Tariq to something more better for your content you make. I enjoyed the post still.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s