Outlines of Seera
If you are a non-specialist who just needs an overview of the Prophet's (saw) life, you could read the following, both of which are accurate, well written and accurate:
The books of the academic Karen Armstrong are widely recommended. Having trained as a Christian nun, she comes from a theological background, that permits her to contextualise the seera for a Western audience in a Judeo-Christian civilisation.
Like any writer, she has some downsides and quirks but overall her rendition is quite good:
Here the issue became more complicated and views are stratified.
If you are targeting scholarly details and you want to read only one book, in my opinion, it would be Ibn Kathir, as-Seera al-Nabawiyah. I always review it when I want to save time and only need to see the key issues surrounding a given event, especially when I have read about the issue in detail previously and I now need a recap.
But if you do not want to omit any piece of information regarding a certain event, you seriously need to review the following books, besides the above (in this order):
When you read these books regarding events, you will be able to analyze, check the authenticity, compare narrations and know omitted details of any given narration as well as having a bird's eye view of the events of seera.
I can't say there is a best source for everyone to read; it all depends on your purpose of reading.
There are books however that are more suitable to scholarly endeavours, beginners, general readers or Western readers.
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