There are many books available in English written on the life (sīrah) of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, such as:
▪ The Sealed Nectar by al-Mubarakpuri
▪ The Noble Life of the Prophet by al-Sallaabee
▪ Abridged Biography of Prophet Muhammad by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab
However, if you’ve never read a book on the Prophet’s life ﷺ or if you’ve found some books too long or overwhelming, try starting with this one written by Imām al-Nawawī (may Allāh have mercy on him).
Excluding the introduction and appendices, the book comprises only 70 pages. It’s short and to the point, making it ideal for someone who’s new to the Dīn. Not only does it summarise the Prophet’s life, but it also includes chapters on his manners, description and characteristics.
Reading a short book like this will, in-shā’ Allah, intrigue you, increase your thirst and make you want to read something more in-depth on the Prophet’s life.
This is an English translation of the book Hilyat Tālib al-‘Ilm by Shaykh Bakr Abū Zayd (may Allāh have mercy on him).
Some scholars prefer to teach their students the etiquette of seeking knowledge before teaching them other subjects. This is because Islamic knowledge cannot be properly obtained and fully digested prior to the acquisition of certain important etiquettes. Abdullah ibn al-Mubārak (may Allāh have mercy on him) said:
“They (the Pious Predecessors) used to learn manners before acquiring knowledge.”
This book is taught to students of knowledge in Islamic institutions and universities around the world. In order to really benefit from it, one should study it with a Shaykh as there are a lot of points that require elaboration.
One of the best explanations in Arabic was done by Shaykh ibn al-‘Uthaymīn (may Allāh have mercy on him) and is available online. In English, there is a very good explanation done by Dr. Bilal Philips (based mainly on Ibn al-‘Uthaymīn’s) which is available through the Islamic Online University.