The Expeditions

The Expeditions

An Early Biography of Muhammad

424 Pages

May 2014

ISBN: 9780814769638

PDF Download Free Arabic PDF




Ma'mar ibn Rashid (96-153 H/714-770 AD) was originally a Persian slave from Basra who traveled extensively trading wares for the Azd tribe. Thanks to his nomadic profession and his dealings with the court of the Umayyad caliphs, he became acquainted with—and ultimately the pupil of—one of the greatest Muslim scholars of his generation, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. 124 H/742 AD).

Sean W. Anthony is Assistant Professor of History at University of Oregon. His books include The Caliph and the Heretic: Ibn Saba and the Origins of Shiism and Crucifixion and the Spectacle of Death: Umayyad Crucifixion in its Late Antique Context. His research and publications focus on the emergence of Islam and the origins of its sacred and sectarian traditions.

The Expeditions is one of the
oldest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad to survive into the modern era. Its
primary author, Ma'mar ibn Rashid (714-770 AD/96-153 AH), was a prominent
scholar from Basra in southern Iraq who was revered for his learning in
prophetic traditions, Islamic law, and the interpretation of the Qur'an. This
fascinating foundational seminal work contains stories handed down by Ma'mar to
his most prominent pupil, 'Abd al-Razzaq of Sana'a, relating Muhammad’s early
life and prophetic career as well as the adventures and tribulations of his
earliest followers during their conquest of the Near East.

from a sole surviving manuscript, the Arabic text offers numerous improved
readings over those of previous editions, including detailed notes on the
text’s transmission and variants as found in later works. This new translation,
which renders the original into readable, modern English for the first time, is
accompanied by numerous annotations elucidating the cultural, religious and
historical contexts of the events and individuals described within its pages.

Expeditions represents
an important testimony to the earliest Muslims’ memory of the lives of Muhammad
and his companions, and is an indispensable text for gaining insight into the
historical biography of both the Prophet and the rise of the Islamic empire.


  • "This book is a must for scholars in the field, and those who would join them."

    Religious Studies Review