Article

Sīra

Gurdofarid Miskinzoda

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0149
Sīra

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The term sῑra (short for al-sῑra al-nabawiyya, meaning -“the sῑra of the Prophet”) refers to the body of literature devoted to the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Sῑra, as one of the earliest types of literature in the Muslim tradition and as an account of the life of Muhammad, served many tasks, all of which had an impact on the way it was shaped and developed. Sῑra has been predominantly studied as a major source for the life story of Muhammad. Although its value as a historical source has been questioned by modern scholarship, sῑra continues to be used for the purposes of the historical reconstruction of the life of Muhammad and the early history of Islam. Some scholars, however, are more interested in understanding the nature of sῑra as a separate genre of Muslim historical and literary tradition in order to gain better understanding of the concerns of early Muslims regarding such important questions as the concept of prophethood and the nature of religious authority and religious law. Although many works have been devoted to the life of Muhammad and its sources, few can be listed under works that deal with sῑra literature itself. The purpose of this entry is to suggest the most important works that belong to the latter category.

Article.  7137 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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