Contribution of Bengali scholars to Sir’ah literature
Md. Masudur Rahman
Islam came to be spread in Bengal at the end of the 8th century or the beginning of the 9th century. The preachers resorted to propagating Islam and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) orally highlighting the spiritual and miraculous events found in the Qur‟an and the Sunnah. However, some writers did write poems, essays and lyrics about the life of the Prophet (SAW) in Bengali language before the 18th century, a tradition which continues till today. There are over a thousand books on the biography of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Bengali which were published in the last 200 years. Contribution of Bengali scholars to the biography became an invaluable wealth of Bengali literature. Many Bengali Muslims keep at least a copy of the Sir’ah literature and consider its reading a kind of a virtuous act. The Bengali scholars presented the life of the Prophet (SAW) to the people with devotion and sincerity and in a pleasant language. This study focuses on the origin of the biographical works of the Prophet (SAW) in Bengal and provides a critical analysis of the contribution of Bengali scholars to the Sir’ah literature.