This book is not a melodramatic or emotional account of the Prophet Muhammad. For that, you have to look elsewhere. It is instead a beautifully composed account of the Prophet Muhammad based directly on some of the earliest sources to the Prophet Muhammad including Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa'd, Waqidi, Azraqi, Tabari, and Suhayli.
There are variations of the Prophet Muhammad's biography, depending on what sources are used. This is to be expected. But Martin Lings is a very honest author, and he does little to inject his own opinion into the biography gathered from these sources. That is the true value of this book - composing the traditions about the Prophet Muhammad into a timeline, and helping give the reader a deep and connected context of what caused different events to occur.
The abridged version does not do justice to the book - it leaves out too much. But if you insist on listening to an account of the Prophet Muhammad's life, this is the book to read.
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