About the Book:
Acclaimed worldwide as the definitive biography of the Prophet in the English language, Martin Lings’ life of Muhammad 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.
This book 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. In 1990, after the book had attracted the attention of Azhar University, the author received a decoration from president Mubarak.
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? and 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 … Longs 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
About the Author:
Martin Lings also known as Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din was born in Lancashire in 1909. After a classical education he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. In 1935 he went to Lithuania where he lectured on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English and subsequently he went to Egypt and lectured mainly on Shakespeare at Cairo University. In 1952 he returned to England and took a degree in Arabic and in 1955 he joined the staff of the British Museum where from 1970–73 he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts. For the following year he held the same post in the newly founded British Library.
In addition to writing many books he is also the author of the chapter ‘Mystical Poetry’ in Abbasid Belles-Lettres, which is Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, and the chapter on ‘The Nature and Origin of Sufism’ in Vol.19 of World Spirituality, as well as articles for Studies in Comparative Religion, Sophia, The New Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din better known as Martin Lings passed away in the year 2005.