The Importance and Benefits of Studying Seerah

By Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi . Posted in Life of the Prophet (P)

alpenglow"Of course I love him!" this is the answer of any Muslim when asked, "Do you love the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)", but do we really love him (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)? Do we really know who he was enough to love him (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)? It is natural that when a person claims or displays love for another individual that he or she would want to know him better. In the same way one who claims to love the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has to know this individual if he really claims this type of love. Along with this reason there are many benefits and blessings associated with this matter, and the following are a few:

Allah commands us to follow the example of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)

We have been commanded by Allah in the Qur'aan to follow the example of the Prophet(Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'aan: [Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.] Surat Al-Ahzab (33) Verse 21

As stated above, the Prophet(Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)'s character is an excellent example for us to follow, and we can learn this example by studying the seerah. Mohammed (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was a perfect model as a human being in each and every aspect of his life. He was a political leader, military leader, an imam, a father, and a husband. And there is no example better than his to be successful in any of these positions. His personality and character are like that of no other person and the best example for us to follow. Whose life is better to learn from than to learn from the life of the best man to ever walk the face of the earth, the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). And there is no example better to follow than to follow the example of the man who Allah commands us to follow, the Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).

Seerah increases our love for the Prophet(Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)

Studying Seerah is a sign for our love for the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) as well. When you love somebody you would want to know as much as possible about that person. Similarly if you love the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) there has to be an indication of your love for him (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). And one of the signs of a mu'min (believer) is their love for the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). If a person loves the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) then he is a mu'min and when a person has no love for the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) then he is not a mu'min. If a person claims to love Mohammed (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) then there must be an interest in him or a reason as to why he loves the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). There must have been something special in the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) that makes a person love the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) over everyone else. We learn those special things about the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in the Seerah.

Seerah educates us about the meaning of the Qur'aan

Without the complete knowledge of the seerah we could not understand the Book of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). The Qur'aan in some ways depends on the seerah for its full explanation or meaning. It sheds light on why the verse was revealed and the context of the revelation. In order to get a full understanding of the Qur'aan we need to get a full understanding of the seerah as well.

Studying the seerah raises our hopes and lifts our spirits

After studying the torture and turmoil that the companions and the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) went through, it helps us during our times of troubles and turmoil. It gives us hope that as long as we stay upon the truth there is always hope at the end. When we see that we're not the first ones to be persecuted, we find an increase in our eeman and it raises our hopes for the future, especially in these times when the muslims are being targeted and singled out and attacked in all kinds of ways. We get to see real life examples of what the people before us went through and the victory they achieved. Studying the seerah is one of the greatest ways to increase our optimism for the future. It gives up hope that at the end of the road as long as we stay upon Islam there is something good. The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was also revealed stories of the past prophets to give him hope. An example of this is the revelation of Surat Yusuf to the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) to show him that even though his own tribe is going against him, Yusuf (Alayhis Salaam)'s own brothers were inflicting harm upon him.

Seerah raises our eeman

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) reminds the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in the Qur'aan of the stories of the prophets of the past and you find that the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)'s eeman increasing due to this. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'aan,

[And all we relate to you of the accounts of the messengers is to strengthen your heart therewith; and in this has come to you the truth and an admonition, and a reminder to the believers] Surat Hud (11) Verse 120

As we know that the eeman of the Prophet(Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was incomparable to that of anyone else. It was higher than anyone else even the prophets of the past and the stories of the previous prophets that came before the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) raised the eeman of our Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), then what else could the story of our own Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) do for our own eeman except increase it. Would it not be befitting for us then, that we turn to the seerah of RasoolAllah(Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) to increase our own eeman?

Seerah in and of itself is one of the greatest miracles of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)

This is one of the greatest indications that Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was without shadow of a doubt the Messenger of Allah. As Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusee said, "If RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was only given the miracle of the seerah then he would not need to be given anything else except that to prove to everyone that he is a messenger of Allah." We learn from the seerah that some of the Sahaaba would see RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and would say, "I knew his face was not the face of a liar." And another thing that we learn from the seerah and we can use this example in our da'wah (call to Islam) to the non-muslims that proves that the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was indeed the RasoolAllah or the Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was when his son Ibraheem died at the tender age of maybe a year or year and a half. Only a father or mother could understand the pain of losing their son or daughter, and especially when a child grows to that age and passes away. This is when the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) cried and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) revealed the verse

[Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things] Surat Al-Ahzab (33):40

On that day the sun eclipsed. Seeing that, the sahaabah said "Even the sun and the moon are crying because of the death of the son of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)." The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) could have easily said "Yes even the sun is crying because my son died today!" He could have used this event as proof to show people that he's in fact that important and also the messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala). Instead RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) called the people to the masjid (mosque) and said to them in a khutbah (sermon), "The Sun and Moon are the miracles of Allah. They do not eclipse because of the death or birth of a person." He wasn't sent to call others to worship him, rather his duty was to proclaim the message of Allah and to worship Allah alone and to show everyone how to worship Allah alone.

Seerah lays out a precise methodology of the revival of the Muslim Ummah (Community)

The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) all alone by himself within two decades controlled all of Arabia. And when the sahaabaSal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). And if we want to get out of the condition that we are in today with all the disunity and discord among the many nations and groups of this Ummah, we have to go back and see the methodology RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) implemented in spreading the message of Islam. This can only be done by following the sunnah and it is the only answer to all our problems. We can have all the weaponry and knowledge of the dunya and not be able to accomplish what the sahaaba did without following the methodology of RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), and we learn this form the seerah. By studying the seerah and emphasizing the methodology of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) we too can follow in his steps and eventually attain success in our goals in this life as well as in the hereafter as was done by the people before us. followed his example they had an empire stretching from Spain in the West to borders of China in the East, all this within a century. And the people that did this were the most illiterate of the people of the world at that time and all they did was follow the example of the Prophet.

We see how the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) trained the sahaabah

The sahaaba are referred to as the best of all nations ever raised. It is through seerah that we find out how they actually became the best of all nations ever raised. Firstly they were under the direct guidance of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and secondly they followed this guidance and stayed firm upon it even after his (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)'s death. We find in the seerah what methodology did the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) use to make them from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high, the type of tarbiya (development and training) is seen here.

Seerah brings about comfort and peace to the heart

Each person enjoys what his or heart is conditioned to. If the person is all about following his desires he only like to listen to or follow that and anything else is not of any importance or weight to that person. If the person is all about following the revelation then this is what his heart is inclined to and this is what comforts him and this is what brings about peace in his heart. The heart takes consolation and peace with what it is conditioned to. An example given is that of a person who listens to music or likes it. He will find comfort and peace by listening to it and when the Qur'aan is recited he can't either stand hearing it or he feels uncomfortable around it. His sins prevent him from fully enjoying the recitation of the Qur'aan. Then there is the mu'min (believer) who finds complete comfort and peace in his heart when he is listening to the recitation of the Qur'aan and he feels uncomfortable being around anywhere where music is played. This feeling and example does not apply to everybody. Only those who fear AllahSubhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) and have hope in the Day of Judgment and remember Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) a lot. We know this from the ayat in the Qur'aan where Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) says,

[For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord] Surat Al-Anfal (8) Verse 2

Primary way of defending the honor of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)

Especially in times like ours where the enemies of Islam are trying to attack the honor of our Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) we need to find what is the truth and spread it. The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is being attacked by many different groups especially in this country. Their ideologies might separate them but their hatred for Islam and the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) unites them against us. And how else can we become more proactive, and we need to become proactive based upon the knowledge of the sunnah. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'aan,

[We have truly sent thee as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner. That you may believe in Allah and His Messenger and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening] Surat Al-Fath (48):8-9

This tells us that one of the rights the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has upon us is that we have to defend and honor his name in thisworld whenever he is attacked. He was sent by Allah so that we believe in Allah and the Messenger and we defend and honor the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and glorify Allah.

Seerah is the study of the best of all matters

Seerah is in fact the study of the best human being, the best timeframe, the best generation that ever lived and the best religion that was ever revealed in the history of mankind.

Best Human Being

The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was no doubt the best human being to walk this earth. We learn this from the hadith of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) when he said, "I am the leader of the children of Adam on the Day of Judgment and I am not being arrogant or boastful. On that day, I shall be holding the banner of praise and I do not say this to be boastful. And there is not a single prophet on that day from Adam until our times except that he will be under my banner and I do not say this out of arrogance. I will be the first person who will intercede and the first person's intercession that will be accepted by Allah. And I do not say this to be boastful"

So from this hadeeth of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) we learn that the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was not only the best man in his generation or the best prophet in his time, but also the best man and prophet to ever walk the face of this earth since Adam (Alayhis Salaam)'s setting foot on this earth to the Day of Judgment.

Best Generation of Muslims

The generation of muslims in the seerah are the best generation of the Muslims. We know this because Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'aan,

[You are the best of the nations raised up for mankind ....... ] (Surat Al-E-Imran (3):110)

Also the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said in a hadeeth, "The best of all generations is this generation and then the generation that follows them and then those that follow them."

When the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said this generation he means the sahaaba, and the one that follows are the tabioontaba tabioon (students f the tabioon). These three generations are referred to as the salaf and the ones that come after them are called the khalaf. This is enough proof to show us that the sahaaba were the best generation of the ummah of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) to ever live and the next best are the ones that come after the sahaaba (the tabioon) and the next best are the ones that come after the tabioon (the taba tabioon).

Best of all religions

The study of the seerah is the study of the best of religions. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) revealed religions in the past and they were all of the common essence but the shareeah was different. The proof that our religion is the best of religions is the statement of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala),

[.....This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.....] (Surat Al Maeda(5):3)

The study of the seerah is the study of how these blessings were perfected.

Seerah taught as a science in the madaaris (schools) of the past

Another reason for us to study the seerah of RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is that it is a science from among the sciences of Islam. The scholars of the past would teach seerah like every other science. We have a narration from Ali Ibn Al-Hussayn who said, "We would be taught the majaazi (seerah) of RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) just like the Qur'aan." This shows us that Seerah and Qur'aan were sciences taught at madaaris at that time.