Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)


Daniel Sheard


Sirat Rasul Allah, Islam, jihad, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, maghazi


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This thesis is an examination of the way jihad is portrayed in the earliest surviving biography of Muhammad. Sirat Rasul Allah is the oldest most complete biography of Muhammad to which we still have access to today, and in this biography wars, raids, and other violent acts are treated as something that is morally good, beautiful, and rewarded. To engage in violence, war, and raids, on behalf of Allah, is seen as a mark of the pious, courageous, and noble-born. Jiha is also seen as Allah’s punishment of the wicked and those who enact jihad are depicted as being directly controlled by Allah when partaking in those actions. To avoid engaging in jihad is synonymous with being a hypocrite, coward, and base-born. The acts of jihad are praised as beautiful throughout the text. Those participating in jihad are rewarded both on earth and in heaven. In defense of this thesis the author quotes directly from Sirat Rasul Allah, looking extensively at the text itself. This is done in three sections. The first section looks at the metaphysical and ontological structure of morality that allows for jihad within Sirat Rasul Allah. The next section uses direct quotes to demonstrate that jihad is portayed as beautiful. This section is then followed by a final section showing how jihad is rewarded on earth and in heaven.