This work, along with Tafsir Ibn Kathir, are the most famous works of Imam Ismail Ibn Umer Ibn Kathir. The title translates as: “The Beginning and the End.” As the name suggests, the Imam covers history starting with the beginning of creation and ends with the righteous entering into Paradise and the evil entering into the Hell fire. Here are some more details: First, he talks about the story of creation based on the verses of Quran and sayings of the Prophet and then he moves on to narrate stories that rely on “al-Israeelyyaat” (i.e. the stories of the People of the Book - If you want to know further about what it is, click here to read a relevant book). Then he proceeds with the stories of the Prophets. The next part covers the seerah of Rasulullah. The advantage of his coverage of seerah is that he combines what the scholars of seerah such as ibn Ishaaq, al Waqidi, and Musa bin Uqba wrote along with what the scholars of hadith have included in their books such as Bukhari, Muslim, the four books of Sunan, al Bayhaqi, Ahmad, and al Hakim. This makes his coverage of seerah very comprehensive and useful. The downside is that the story does not flow as it would with the seerah of Ibn Ishaaq, for example, and there is also a lot of repetition and sometimes there are contradicting narrations. This makes it serve better as a reference than a book to read.
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Imam Ismail Ibn Umer Ibn Kathir