List of Biographies of Muhammad

This is a chronological listing of biographies of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ranging from the earliest traditional writers to modern times.

Earliest biographers

The following is a list of the earliest known Hadith collectors who specialized in collecting Sīra and Maghāzī reports.

7th and early 8th century (1st century of Hijra)

  • Sahl ibn Abī Ḥathma (d. in Mu’awiya’s reign, i.e., 41-60 AH), was a young companion of Muhammad. Parts of his writings on Maghazi are preserved in the Ansāb of al-Baladhuri, the Ṭabaqāt of Ibn Sa’d, and the works of Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and al-Waqidi.[1]
  • Abdullah ibn Abbas (d. 78 AH), a companion of Muhammad, his traditions are found in various works of Hadith and Sīra.[1]
  • Saʿīd ibn Saʿd ibn ʿUbāda al-Khazrajī, another young companion, his writings have survived in the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal and Abī ʿIwāna, and al-Tabari’s Tārīkh.[1]
  • ʿUrwa ibn al-Zubayr (d. 713). He wrote letters replying to inquiries of the Umayyad caliphs, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan and al-Walid I, involving questions about certain events that happened in the time of Muhammad. Since Abd al-Malik did not appreciate the maghāzī literature, these letters were not written in story form. He is not known to have written any books on the subject.[2] He was a grandson of Abu Bakr and the younger brother of Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr.
  • Saʿīd ibn al-Masīb al-Makhzūmī (d. 94 AH), a famous Tābiʿī and one of the teachers of Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri. His traditions are quoted in the Six major hadith collections, and in the Sīra works of Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sayyid al-Nās, and others.[1]
  • Abū Fiḍāla ʿAbd Allāh ibn Kaʿb ibn Mālik al-Anṣārī (d. 97 AH), his traditions are mentioned by Ibn Ishaq and al-Tabari.[1]
  • Abbān ibn Uthmān ibn Affān (d. 101-105 AH), the son of Uthman. His traditions are transmitted through Malik ibn Anas in his Muwaṭṭaʾ, the Ṭabaqāt of Ibn Sa’d, and in the histories of al-Tabari and al-Yaʿqūbī.[1]
  • ʿĀmir ibn Sharāḥīl al-Shaʿbī (d. 103 AH), his traditions were transmitted through Abu Isḥāq al-Subaiʿī, Saʿīd ibn Masrūq al-Thawrī, al-Aʿmash, Qatāda, Mujālid ibn Saʿīd, and others.[1]

8th and early 9th century (2nd century of Hijra)

  • Al-Qāsim ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr (d. 107 AH), another grandson of Abu Bakr. His traditions are mainly found in the works of al-Tabari, al-Balathuri, and al-Waqidi.[1]
  • Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. during 725 to 737, or 114 AH). Several books were ascribed to him but none of them are now extant. Some of his works survive as quotations found in works by Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Abū Nuʿaym al-Iṣfahānī, and others.[1][2]
  • Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī (d. c. 737), a central figure in sīra literature, who collected both ahadith and akhbār. His akhbār also contain chains of transmissions, or isnad. He was sponsored by the Umayyad court and asked to write two books, one on genealogy and another on maghāzī. The first was canceled and the one about maghāzī is either not extant or has never been written.[2]
  • Musa ibn ʿUqba, a student of al-Zuhrī, wrote Kitāb al-Maghāzī, a notebook used to teach his students; now lost. Some of his traditions have been preserved, although their attribution to him is disputed.[2]
  • Muhammad ibn Ishaq (d. 767 or 761), another student of al-Zuhrī, who collected oral traditions that formed the basis of an important biography of Muhammad. His work survived through that of his editors, most notably Ibn Hisham and Ibn Jarir al-Tabari.[2]
  • Abū Ishāq al-Fazarī (d. 186 AH) wrote Kitāb al-Siyar.[3]

Others (710– 1100CE)

  • Later writers and biographies (1100–1517 CE)Zubayr ibn al-Awam, the husband of Asma bint Abi Bakr.
  • Abaan ibn Uthman ibn Affan, the son of Uthman wrote a small booklet.
  • Al-Sha’bi.
  • Hammam ibn Munabbih, a student of Abu Hurayrah
  • Asim Ibn Umar Ibn Qatada Al-Ansari
  • Ma’mar Ibn Rashid Al-Azdi, pupil of Al-Zuhri
  • Abdul Rahman ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Ausi, pupil of Al-Zuhri
  • Muhammad ibn Salih ibn Dinar Al-Tammar was a pupil of Al-Zuhri and mentor of Al-Waqidi.
  • Hashim Ibn Urwah ibn Zubayr, son of Urwah ibn Zubayr, generally quoted traditions from his father but was also a pupil of Al-Zuhri.
  • Ya’qub bin Utba Ibn Mughira Ibn Al-Akhnas Ibn Shuraiq Al-Thaqafi
  • Abu Ma’shar Najih Al-Madani.
  • Ali ibn mujahid Al razi Al kindi.
  • Al-Bakka’iِِ was a disciple of Ibn Ishaq and teacher of Ibn Hisham and thus forms a very important link in Sira between two great scholars.
  • Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham, his work incorporated the text of Ibn Ishaq; he was a pupil of Al-Bakkaa’i.
  • Salama ibn Al-Fadl Al-Abrash Al-Ansari, pupil of Ibn Ishaq.
  • Al-Waqidi, whose surviving works “Kitab alTarikh wa al-Maghazi” (Book of History and Campaigns) and Futuh al-Sham have been published.
  • Abu Isa Muhammad Al-Tirmidhi wrote compilations of Shamaail (Characteristics of Muhammad)
  • Ibn Sa’d wrote the 8-volume work called Tabaqat or The Book of the Major Classes; he was also a pupil of Al-Waqidi.
  • Imam al-Bayhaqi, wrote Dala’il al-Nabuwwa (Proof of Prophethood).
  • Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote the well-known work History of the Prophets and Kings, whose earlier books include the life of Muhammad, which cite Ibn Ishaq.
  • Abu Sa`d al-Naysaburi wrote Sharaf al-Mustafa
  • Abu Nu`aym wrote Dala’il al-Nubuwwa
  • Al-Asbahani wrote Dala’il al-Nubuwwa
  • Al-Baghawi wrote al-Anwar fi Shama’il al-Nabi al-Mukhtar
  • Faryabi wrote Dala’il al-Nubuwwa
  • Al-Hafiz Abdul Mu’min Al-Dimyati, wrote the book “al-Mukhtasar fi Sirati Sayyid Khair al-Bashar” but is commonly referred to as Sira of Al-Dimyati.
  • Ala’al-Din Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Khilati Hanafi,wrote Sirat of Al-Khilati.
  • Sheikh Zahir al-Din ibn Muhammad Gazaruni.
  • Abu-al-Faraj ibn Al-Jawzi,wrote books on Sira such as al-Wafa bi-ahwal al-Mustafa and Sharaf al-Mustafa (actual full Title of book(s):Uyun al-hikayat fi Sirat Sayyid al-Bariyya).
  • Ibn Kathir, wrote Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya (Ibn Kathir).
  • Abu Rabi Sulaiman ibn Musa Al-Kala’i compiled a book titled “Iktifa fi Maghazi al-Mustafa wal-Khulafa al-Thalatha”.
  • Ibn Sayyid Al-Nas, wrote Uyun al-Athar.
  • Qadi `Iyad, wrote the famous [ash-Shifa|al-Shifa bi ta`rif huquq al-Mustafa – Healing by the Recognition of the Rights of or News of the Chosen One.
  • Zain al-Din Iraqi was a teacher of Ibn Hajar and he wrote Sira Manzuma.
  • Al-Qastallani, his book on Sira is al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya.
  • Al-Zurqani wrote a commentary on the al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya by Qastallani and it was called al-Zurqani ‘ala al-Mawahib.
  • `Allama Burhanuddin al-Halabi,wrote Sirah al-Halabiyya.
  • Al-Mawardi wrote I`lam al-Nubuwwa.
  • `Abd al-Haqq al-Muhaddith al-Dahlawi wrote Madarij al-Nubuwwa.
  • Mulla Nuruddin Jami wrote Shawahid al-Nubuwwa.
  • Al-Aydurusi wrote Nur al-Safir.
  • Bajuri wrote Sharh al-Mawahib al-laduniyya.
  • Ibn Abdul-Barr wrote al-Durar fi ikhtisar al-maghazi was-siyar.
  • Ibn Hajar al-Haytami wrote Ashraf al-wasa’il ila faham al-Shama’il.
  • Ibn Mulaqqan wrote Ghayat al-sul fi Khasa’is al-Rasul.
  • Ahmad Sirhindi al-Faruqi wrote Ithbat al-Nubuwwa.
  • Ibn Dihya wrote Nihaya al-Sul fi Khasa’is al-Rasul.
  • Jalaluddin al-Suyuti wrote Al Khasais-ul-Kubraal-Khasa’is al-Sughra and Shama’il al-Sharifa.
  • `Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi wrote al-Durra al-Mudiyya.
  • Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Salihi al-Shami wrote Subul al-huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirah Khayr al-`Ibad.
  • Nuruddin `Ali ibn Ahmad al-Samhudi wrote Khulasa al-Wafa bi-Akhbar Dar al-Mustafa.
  • Abu al-Qasim `Abdur-Rahman al-Suhayli wrote al-Rawd al-anf fi Sharh al-Sirah al-Nabawiyya li-Ibn Hisham.
  • `Izzuddin ibn Badruddin ibn Jama`ah al-Kinani wrote al-Mukhtasar al-kabir fi Sirah al-Rasul.
  • Mufti Asif uddin Nadwi Qasmi wrote Aasan Seerat un Nabi

19th century

  • Bush, George (1831). The Life of Mohammed: Founder of the Religion of Islam, and of the Empire of the Saracens. J. & J. Harper.
  • Gustav Weil, Mohammed der Prophet, sein Leben und seine Lehre (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler’schen Buchhandlung, 1843)
  • Aloys Sprenger, The Life of Mohammad, from Original Sources (Allahabad: The Presbyterian Mission Press, 1851).
  • William Muir, The Life of Muhammad and History of Islam to the Era of the Hegira (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1858-1861), 4 vols. – several later editions with slightly different titles.
  • Aloys Sprenger, Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad: Nach bisher größtentheils unbenutzten Quellen (Berlin: Nicolai’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1861-1865), 3 vols – a revised 2nd edition was published in 1869.
  • Theodor Nöldeke, Das Leben Muhammed’s: Nach den Quellen populär dargestellt (Hannover: Carl Rümpler, 1863).

Modern biographies (1900 CE – present)

  • Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad in Arabic, 1933; with English translation by Isma’il Raji A. al-Faruqi.
  • Andrae, Tor (1933). Mohammed: The Man and His Faith. Dover. ISBN0-486-41136-2.
  • William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Mecca and Muhammad at Medina (1953 and 1956, Oxford University Press).
  • Alfred Guillaume, Ibn Ishaq: The life of Muhammad, a translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes, Oxford University Press, 1955, ISBN 0 19 636033 1
  • Maurice Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Mahomet (Paris: Éditions Albin Michel, 1957).
  • Maxime Rodinson, Mahomet (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1960) – also translated into English (1961).
  • Muhammad Hamidullah wrote four books on Sira, Muhammad Rasulullah: A concise survey of the life and work of the founder of Islam (1979); The Prophet of Islam: Prophet of Migration (1989); The Prophet’s establishing a state and his succession (1988); Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad (1992).
  • Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (London: Islamic Texts Society, 1983), ISBN 978-0-04-297042-4.
  • Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1991), and Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (New York: Harper Collins, 2006).
  • Sheikh Mohammad Iqbal, The Life and Mission of Muhammad (PBUH) (1st Volume out of five of The History of Islam and Muslims, 1992).
  • Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Muhammad, Man of God (KAZI Publications, 1995) ISBN 978-1-56744-501-5
  • Ali al-Sallabi, The Noble Life of the Prophet (Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers, 2005), 3 vols.
  • Allama Syed Saadat Ali Qadri, Jaan-e-Aalam – Soul of the worlds (2006).
  • Robert Spencer, The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2006).
  • Adil Salahi, Muhammad : man and prophet, a complete study of the life of the Prophet of Islam (Leicester: Islamic Foundation, 2012).
  • Lesley Hazleton, The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad (New York: Riverhead Books, 2013).
  • Tara MacArthur, Unsheathed: The Story of Muhammad (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016, 2018) ISBN 978-1541271821 [4]

Biographies missing date of publication

  • Dr. Muhammad Asadullah Al-Ghalib wrote Nobider Kahini (the most reliable collection in Bangla, based on the Glorious Quran and authentic Hadeeth).
  • Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki wrote Muhammad Rasulallah.
  • Prof Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri wrote Sirah al-Rasul (14 volumes, largest collection in Urdu).
  • As’ad Muhammad Sa`id al-Sagharji wrote Muhammad Rasulallah.
  • Yusuf al-Nabhani wrote Fada’il al-Muhammadiyya, al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyya and Shawahid al-Haqq.
  • Pir Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari wrote Ziya al-Nabi.
  • Shibli Nomani wrote his famous 5 volume book Sirat-un-Nabi in Urdu with the help of his disciple Syed Sulaiman Nadvi. The book was translated in English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni: ISBN 978-81-7151-282-9.
  • Syed Sulaiman Nadvi wrote Muhammad The Ideal Prophet and Muhammad The Prophet Of Peace translated by Rauf Luther.
  • Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi, wrote Muhammad-ur-Rasoolullah in 4 volumes.
  • Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi wrote Muhammad Rasulullah .
  • Naeem Siddiqui wrote Muhammad The Benefactor Of Humanity.
  • Ahmed Deedat wrote Muhammad the Greatest and Muhammad the Natural Successor to Christ.
  • Jamal Badawi wrote Muhammad A Blessing For Mankind, a Short Biography and Commentary.
  • Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri wrote Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar). Online link.
  • Khalid Masud wrote Hayat e Rasul e Ummi in Urdu (translated as: The Unlettered Prophet by Saadia Malik).[5]
  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan wrote Prophet of Revolution
  • Maulana Syed Shahabuddin Salfi Firdausi wrote Seerat e Badr-ud-Duja


  1. M. R. Ahmad (1992). Al-sīra al-nabawiyya fī ḍawʾ al-maṣādir al-aṣliyya: dirāsa taḥlīliyya (1st ed.). Riyadh: King Saud University. pp. 20–34.
  2. Raven, Wim (2006). “Sīra and the Qurʾān”. Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 29–49.
  3.  Published from Lebanon, Beirut: Mu’assasa al-Risāla, 1987.
  4.  “Tara MacArthur | Listen Free on Castbox” Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  5.  Preamble to the book

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