There are many reasons to study Seerah, some of them will be explained in the coming days.
1. It is an obligation
The benefits of studying the Seerah are numerous. First and foremost, Allah has commanded us to know the Prophet (ﷺ). It is an obligation that Allah has put upon us. Over 50 verses in the Qur’an command us to take the Prophet ﷴ ﷺ as an example.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah often.(Qur’an 33: 21)
أُسْوَةٌ (uswa) means something you follow and حَسَنَةٌ (hasana) means perfect. So we have in the Prophet ﷴ ﷺ the perfect example to follow.
Therefore, the study of the life and times of the Prophet ﷺ is the study of someone we need to follow.
And amazingly, no matter which angle we look at the Seerah, we will benefit from it:
(i) In terms of religion: how the Prophet ﷺ worshiped Allah
(ii) In terms of manners and morals: his mercy and tenderness
(iii) In terms of leadership: how he led the Muslims to success
(iv) In terms of how he was as a father and a husband, etc.
The purpose of Allah sending prophets is so that we have a living example to follow. Allah tells us in the Quran that if He had wanted, He could have sent angels. But what would the nonbelievers have done if Allah sent angels? They would have rejected them [see Quran, 6: 8 – 9].
Indeed, of the perfection of Allah’s wisdom is that He sent down human beings —people like us, flesh and blood— so that we don’t say, “But we can’t be like them.” They are born of women, they marry and have children just like us. The only difference is they are chosen by Allah and are made role models.
2. Learning the History of Our Religion
Seerah is not only limited to biography, the scholars have commented that the life of Muhammad ﷺ is the history of Islam.
The Seerah is divided into three parts:
1. Forty years before Prophethood
2. Makkan period after Prophethood
3. Madinan period
By studying the different stages of his life, we can learn how Islam became the greatest religion in the world. We need to know how by starting with secret Da’wah, the Prophet ﷺ strengthened his efforts with the help of the Sahabah radhiAllahu ‘anhum and stirred the entire nation. It is important to learn his strategies so that we can improve our own Da’wah skills. We also need to fight the notion that Islam was spread by the sword. Is that really true? Are the Muslims taught to kill anyone who does not believe in their religion? Is that what the Prophet ﷺ taught the Companions RA? We cannot find out unless we read up on the life of the greatest leader.