In Islam, Al-sīra al-Nabawiyya (Prophetic biography), Sīrat Rasūl Allāh (Life of the Messenger of God), or Seerah are the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad ﷺ from which, in addition to the Quran and trustable Hadiths, most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived. Ibn Ishaq’s sīrat rasūl allāh has been preserved in the form of an edited copy of his oral reports collected by one of his students, al-Bakka’i, which were further edited by ibn Hisham. Of the other authors of sira, none of their books have survived to this day although some quotations and hadith have.
A person’s sīra is that person’s journey through life, or biography, encompassing their birth, events in their life, manners and characteristics, and their death. In modern usage it may also refer to a person’s resume. It is sometimes written as “seera”, “sirah” or “sirat”, all meaning “life” or “journey”.
The phrase sīrat rasūl allāh, or al-sīra al-nabawiyya, refers to the study of the life of Muhammad ﷺ. The term sīra was first linked to the biography of Muhammad ﷺ by Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, and later popularized by the work of Ibn Hisham. In the first two centuries of Islamic history, sīra was more commonly known as maghāzī (literally, stories of military expeditions), which is now considered to be only a subset of sīra — one that concerns the military campaigns of Muhammad.