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I'm looking for an English Seerah book that fits (at least some of) the following qualities:

  1. written in narrative form
  2. gives significant consideration to authenticity (not a compilation of unverified reports)
  3. preferably concise
  4. preferably authored in English, but translated works are also welcome
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    Look at the book by Mahdi Rizqullah Ahmad, and When the Moon Split. – Ansari Sep 17 '13 at 20:08
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There is only one Seerah book which satisfies most of the above qualities , specially considering the authenticity and quality. Many of the commonly heard stories about the prophet pbuh have been discarded as weak in this book. The Seerah book by Allama Shibli Nomani is strongly supported by authentic narrations which were explained to be of paramount importance in any such seerah writing endaevors. Unfortunately most of the similar books don't treat this fact with same rigor. The book spans seven volumes and presents the reader with an unbelievably high quality of writing and scholarly exposition of the Seerah weaved in a vivid narrative which according to me is the best seerah ever written even though I read the English translation. The book was originally written in Urdu.

I was only able to find the English Vol II :

http://archive.org/details/SeeratUnNabiVolIienglish

The full version is available here for preview:

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=pQITLEsFFSYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Amazon Link

Some other Seerah books:

  • Seerahtun Nabvi by Ibn Kathir
  • Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

  • Sealed Nectar by Mubarakpuri (This won't satisfy most of your criteria except authenticity)

Also see wikipedia link which lists all the Seerah works.

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  • Thank you. You probably meant the best book on Seerah you've read. – geeljire Sep 17 '13 at 20:27
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I would suggest "Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum : The Sealed Nectar (Saif ur Rahman al Mubarakpuri) Revised Edition" which can be bought here. I cannot recommend it enough. It is beautiful.

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Although, your preference is clear, I can't say here is the best source for everyone to read; it depends on your purpose of reading. There are books are more likely suitable to scholarly details; books for general leaders; books for Western readers. You could decide the best book of seerah when you decide the purpose of your reading, find a list here

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