Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources
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Lings, Martin. Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Inner Traditions; Revised edition (October 6, 2006). pp. 23. Hernandez, Aaminah (14 July 2005). "Best Biographies of the Prophet Muhammad". OnIslam . Retrieved 1 July 2013.
a b Eaton, Gai (26 May 2005). "Martin Lings". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 1 April 2016. In 1955, he joined the staff of the British Museum as assistant keeper of oriental printed books and manuscripts; he was keeper from 1970 to 1973, when he was seconded to the British Library. This work focused his interest in Qur'anic calligraphy and he published a classic work on the subject, The Qur'anic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, to coincide with the 1976 World of Islam Festival, with which he was closely involved. A Spiritual Giant" (PDF) (363ed.). Q News. June 2005 . Retrieved 4 July 2013. [ permanent dead link]
Upon its first edition, the book was subject to criticism by some Muslims who decried the "Perennialist poison" in the book. The author gave public answer in a Saudi newspaper to the objections.  Awards [ edit ] A distinctive element of the biography is the vivid, approachable narrative style,  which is fast moving and flows fluently.  The book reads more like a novel  and was written in a style, which is easily readable,  comprehensible and it uses language, which reflects both simplicity and grandeur.  In 1944, Lings married Lesley Smalley, and their home in a village at the foot of the pyramids provided a refuge for both Egyptian and foreign visitors. The highlight of the year was Lings's annual production of a Shakespeare play. His passion inspired the student cast, one of whom became an Egyptian film star. His understanding of Shakespeare's spiritual significance led, 40 years later, to his book, The Secret Of Shakespeare: His Greatest Plays Seen In The Light Of Sacred Art.
The Spectator described the book as "an enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worthy of his subject." The Islamic Quarterly called the book "a true work of art, as enthralling as the best novels with the difference that this is not fiction but fact."  The Times said "this work is widely recognized as the most readable account of the life of the Prophet to date."  Parabola stated that "for those interested in Islam in one way or another, it is mesmerizing." 
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Lings uses a more archaic style of English to depict conversations and translations of the Qur'an, which helps slows down the rapid flow of the narration. The focus in the book is less about the teachings of Islam and more about Muhammad.  1991 edition [ edit ]