- A course on the sira taught entirely in Arabic
- Explore the sira and its technical relation to the Islamic sciences
- Learn about the sources traditional books of sira are based on, and their structure and authenticity
- Learn how to, and how not to derive legal and theological principles from sira
- Learn the importance of sira to studying fiqh, aqida, tafsir, and hadith
- Learn about the vast ramifications embedded in the life of the final Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him
About the Course
Studying the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is one of the greatest sources of knowledge about Islam and of increasing the light of iman in our hearts. Its study assumes multiple forms varying from books for children, songs for schools, detailed readings for a more mature audience, historical or academic analyses, and even posters diagraming the dates and events of the life of this great man.
This course seeks furnish an introduction to the technical study of the sira, addressing the key concepts and principles needed by future ‘seekers of knowledge’, and presenting the key facts required to understand various other fields of Islamic scholarship.
Sheikh Samer Jaber will present the key events of the Prophet’s life, peace and blessings be upon him, after shedding light on the importance of studying sira, its role in other Islamic disciplines, its sources and how they can, and have been, critiqued. The presentation of each event will include the dates, key events, the authenticity of the reports, and how knowledge of its happenings can be employed in the various disciplines of Islamic knowledge. From time to time, the teacher will actually have the students research a limited number of topics in books of hadith and tafsir to see how the various disciplines marry.
Key legal and spiritual reflections will be drawn from the celebrated works Fiqh al-Sira and al-Sira al-Nabawiyya: Durus wa Ibar, by Dr Ramadan al-Bouti and Dr Mustada Sibai respectively.
Being a 200-level course and taught entirely in Arabic, this course is recommended for students who already have a footing in their religious studies, and have completed a number, if not all, of the Foundations (insert hyperlink to Foundations) courses.
- Lesson One: The importance of studying sira; sources of Sira; books of sira; critiquing authenticity of sira; role of sira in tafsir, hadith, fiqh and other disciplines; dangers of improper use of sira literature.
- Lesson Two: Before prophet hood
- Lesson Three: From beginning of prophet hood to the flight to Ethiopia
- Lesson Four: From the flight to Ethiopia to the flight to Medina
- Lesson Five: The establishment of the Medinan polity
- Lesson Six: The Greater Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud
- Lesson Seven: The Battle of Bani Nadir and the Battle of Ahzab
- Lesson Eight: The Battles of Bani Quraydha, Khaybar and Muta
- Lesson Nine: The conquest of Mecca and the Battles of Hunayn and Tabut
- Lesson Ten: The Valedictory Pilgrimage and the Prophet’s death (Allah bless him and grant him peace)
The course will consist of weekly Live Sessions and a few lengthy assignments. Shaykh Samer shall hold weekly office hours where students can consult with him one-on-one.
Why is this course so special?
The study of sira is at one time extremely important, and extremely dangerous:
Ignorance of the life of best man to have ever walked on earth does not befit a Muslim, let alone a Muslim treading a path of learning sacred knowledge, for whom lack of knowledge of the sira proves a serious barrier to understanding the Islamic legal tradition, to true comprehension of Islamic theology, and any real study of tafsir or hadith.
Yet the danger of studying sira lurks in several layers: ignorance of proper critique and employment of the sira can lead Muslims and non-Muslim alike to arrive at false conclusions about the teachings and practice of Islam, a religion whose scholars and preservers have always been fully aware of putting every hadith or story in its proper place vis-à-vis its nature, content and relative authenticity.
What shall I know coming out of the course?
In this one-stop course, you will know the events and their dates of the sira, what can and cannot be derived from them, how important they are in other Islamic disciplines, and how they are critiqued. You will have some of the main tools to read the sira critically and appreciate how the scholars of Islam severed fact from fiction, legend from legacy, and the authentic from the awe-inspiring, while putting everything neatly in its proper place—neither ignoring the light of any lesson learnt, nor stressing maxims unsupported by hard evidence.