Saturday 9 Thu al-Hijjah 1445 - 15 June 2024
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How Did Prophet Muhammad Spend His Day?

Question

How did the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) spend his day – an example of his daily life? Basically I want to understand the daily routine in the life of the Prophet. What did he do after Fajr prayer? How did he have his breakfast and when? What was his etiquette when eating? What did he do from noon until he went to sleep, and after Tahajjud? To sum up, I want to know the daily routine of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

Summary of answer

Prophet Muhammad spent most of his day dealing with that which concerned him of matters of religion and the people’s affairs, such as calling people to Allah, advising them, reminding them, introducing rulings, striving in Jihad, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, helping the needy, and so on.

Praise be to Allah.

What did the Prophet do after Fajr?

When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) woke up, he would pray Fajr with his Companions in the mosque. Then he would sit in the place where he had prayed , remembering Allah until the sun rose, and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) would sit with him. Sometimes they would talk and remember things that happened before Islam; they would laugh and he would smile. 

How did Prophet Muhammad offer Duha prayer?

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) regularly offered Duha prayer with four or more Rak`ahs. 

`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to pray Duha with four Rak`ahs or more, as Allah willed. (Narrated by Muslim, 719)

What did Prophet Muhammad do in his house?

In his house, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would be at the service of his family: he would milk his sheep, patch his garment, serve himself and mend his shoes. When the time for prayer came, he would go out and lead the people in prayer, then he would sit with them, talk with them, teach them, exhort them, remind them, listen to their complaints, and reconcile between them. Then he would go back to his house. 

`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked: What did the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) do in his house? She said: He was a human being like any other; he would clean his garment, milk his sheep and serve himself. (Narrated by Ahmad, 26194; classed as authentic by Al-Albani in As-Sahihah, 671)

According to another report also narrated by Ahmad (24903): He used to stitch his garment, mend his shoes and work as other men work in their houses. (Classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jaami`, 4937) 

Al-Bukhari (676) narrated that Al-Aswad said: I asked `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to do in his house. She said: He would serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to the prayer. 

Did the Prophet never criticise any food? 

He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never criticised any food; if he liked it he would eat it , otherwise he would leave it. 

Sometimes month after month would go by, and he would not find any food except dates and water. 

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never criticised any food; if he liked it he would eat it, otherwise he would leave it. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3563; Muslim, 2064) 

`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: We would look at the new moon, then another new moon, three new moons in two months, and no fire would be lit in the houses of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). I – i.e., `Urwah ibn Az-Zubayr – said: O aunt, what did you live on? She said: The two black ones, dates and water. But the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had some neighbours among the Ansar who had milch-animals, and they used to give the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) some of their milk, and he gave it to us to drink.  (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2567; Muslim, 2972) 

How many meals did the Prophet have a day?

There are no details in the Sunnah about the meals that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to eat. 

It was not the custom of the Muslims in the earliest times to eat three meals every day as people do nowadays. Rather the most they would have would be two meals: one at the beginning of the day and another in the evening. 

How did the Prophet gather the companions for important matters?

If he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) wanted to bring the people together for some important matter, he would instruct someone to bring them together for him or to call out among them “As-salatu jami`ah (prayer is about to begin)”, then he would talk to them about the reason he had brought them together. If he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) wanted to send a party out on a mission, he would send them; if he wanted to remind them of something, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would remind them; if he wanted to tell them about a new ruling, he would tell them, and so on. 

Did the Prophet use to take a nap?

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would take a nap at midday, so that this siesta would give him strength to pray Qiyam Al-layl (voluntary prayers at night). He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would say: “Take a nap at midday, for the satan does not take a nap at midday.” (Narrated by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, 28; classed as sound by Al-Albani in As-Sahihah, 1647) 

How did Prophet Muhammad spend his day?

He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would check on people in their daily lives and interactions, and in their marketplaces ; he would go and see them in the places where they gathered; he would visit their sick and accept their invitations; and he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would attend to the needs of the weak and poor. Thus he spent most of his day dealing with that which concerned him of matters of religion and the people’s affairs, such as calling people to Allah, advising them, reminding them, introducing rulings, striving in Jihad, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, helping the needy, and so on. 

Muslim (102) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) passed by a pile of foodstuff; he put his hand in it and found that it had gotten wet. He said, “What is this, O seller of the foodstuff?” He said: It got rained on, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Why don’t you put it on top of the food so that people can see it? Whoever deceives (people) does not belong to me.” 

Al-Bayhaqi (20851) narrated that Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Let us go to Al-Basir who is in Banu Waqif and visit him (as he is sick).” He was a blind man. (Classed as authentic by Al-Albani in As-Sahihah, 521) 

An-Nasa’i (1414) narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to recite words of Dhikr a great deal and rarely engaged in idle talk. He would make his prayer lengthy and his speeches short; he was not too proud to walk with widows and the needy in order to meet their needs. (Classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih An-Nasa’i) 

What was Prophet Muhammad's night routine?

When night came and he had led the people in praying `Isha’, if there was some matter on his mind concerning the Muslims’ affairs, he would discuss it with his senior companions; otherwise he would stay up with his family for a little while. 

Imam Ahmad (178) and At-Tirmidhi (169 – and he classed it as sound) narrated that `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to stay up at night with Abu Bakr, discussing some of the Muslims’ affairs, and I would be with him. Classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Tirmidhi 

Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“It was part of his character that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) treated people kindly and was always cheerful. He would joke with his family and be gentle with them; he would spend generously on them and joke with his wives … His wives would gather every night in the house of the one with whom the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was staying that night, and sometimes he would eat supper with them, then each of them would go to her own house and he would sleep with the wife (in whose house he was staying the night) under one blanket; he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would take off his upper garment and sleep in his lower garment. When he had prayed ‘Isha’, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would go into his house and stay up for a little while with his family before sleeping, to cheer them up; (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/242) 

Did Prophet Muhammad sleep at night?

He would sleep at the beginning of the night , then get up to pray Qiyam Al-layl, and he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would pray as much as Allah willed that he should pray. Then when Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) gave the call for Fajr prayer, he would pray two Rak`ahs, then go out to the prayer. 

Abu Dawud (56) narrated from `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that water for wudu’ and his Siwak would be set out for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and when he woke up at night he would relieve himself, then clean his teeth with the Siwak. 

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I stayed overnight with my maternal aunt Maymunah. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) conversed with his family for a while, then he went to sleep . Then when the last third of the night came, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sat up and looked at the sky and said: “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding” [Al ‘Imran 3:190]. Then he got up and did Wudu' and cleaned his teeth, and prayed eleven Rrak`ahs. Then Bilal gave the call to prayer, so he prayed two Rak`ahs, then he went out (to the mosque) and prayed Fajr. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 4569 and Muslim, 763)

In conclusion, the life of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was not a strict routine, as may be understood from these words. Rather it was purposeful and blessed work, as his Lord instructed him (interpretation of the meaning): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)’” [Al-An`am 6:162]. 

His practice was to interpret in a realistic manner the commands and laws of Allah, as the Mother of the Believers `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said. 

Muslim narrated (746) that Sa‘d ibn Hisham ibn `Amir said to the Mother of the Believers `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her): O Mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). She said: Do you not read the Quran? I said: Of course. She said: The character of the Prophet of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the Quran. 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A