A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BELOVED PROPHET ﷺ
By: Mufti Patel
Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would wake up after his dawn nap at the call to prayer by Bilal RA. He would use the siwak (miswak), say his supplication, perform ablution and offer two rakats of sunnah of Fajr prayer. He would then lie down on his right side for a short while. When the people had gathered, Hazrat Bilal رضي الله عنهwould stand close to the Prophets house and inform him. As the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would enter the masjid, Hazrat Bilal رضي الله عنهwould call the iqamah and the companions would assemble in rows and would be led in prayer by the Prophet.
The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would then observe his Fajr prayer with the congregation followed by remembering Allah and supplicating to Him. The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would then sit cross-legged facing his companions in the masjid until sunrise. He would sometimes ask his companions to narrate to him if any of them had a dream. He would hear the dream and provide his interpretation. Sometimes, he would relate his own vision and himself provide the interpretation. The companions would occasionally narrate tales of pre-Islamic period, recite encomiums and couplets and, with due regard, share humour. The prophet would listen to his companions and smile with them.
Thereafter, the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would offer Ishraq prayer. Often at this time he used to distribute the booty as well as stipends to the people. Thereafter the meeting would be dispersed and the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would proceed to the apartment of that wife whose day it was. The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would then go on his morning round to visit his wives. When the sun sufficiently went up, the prophet would observe Dhuha prayer. After that, he would return to the Masjid and sit with his companions settling personal matters, deciding disputes and imparting religious education. This time was known by everyone to come and visit the Prophet if they had any queries or required anything from him. The people would bring to him their new born babies or a new harvest for him to pray upon. The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would receive delegations and greet them and enquire of their conditions. He would occasionally pay visits to his daughter and grandsons, or some of his relatives and companions, or he would engage himself in the service of his family and completed his own chores such as repairing his shoes, milking the animals and helping in the home. At noon, he would have his nap prior to Zuhr prayer (to allow his body to rest and be active and ready for night prayers). He sometimes took meals twice a day and mostly only once a day which was before this siesta. He would eat with a group of his companions sharing from a single big dish. However, on Fridays, he and his companions would only take a nap after Friday prayers followed by meal.
After waking up and observing the Zuhr prayer in the congregation, the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would generally address his congregation if something had happened. He would return home (which was adjacent to the masjid) to observe the voluntary prayer. He would then once again sit with his companions and attend to their needs. It is also now that the Prophet would visit the markets of Madinah Tayyibah, attend to some business, look into the dealings of shopkeepers, examine their merchandise, inspect their weighing and measuring tools and, if during the visit any individual required his help, he attended to their needs.
After observing Asr prayer in the congregation, the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would make his evening round, visiting the apartments of each of his wives, enquiring their welfare, and staying with each of them for a short while. This he did so regularly so that every one of them realised how much he valued each of them, time and punctuality. The Prophet would spend this time to relax with his family.
After having observed Maghrib prayer early in congregation, the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would go to that wife`s apartment whose turn it was for him to pass the night by and he would stay there and observe sunnah and awwabin prayers. Mostly, all the wives came over there; as also other ladies of Madinah Tayyibah gathered there for at this time the Prophet would impart religious teachings to the women. In short, this was the madrasah for the women where they used to have lessons in religion from the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم. Here the women used to put forward their cases, difficulties and complaints and he would solve them. The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would sometimes eat his dinner at this time. However, at times, there would be nothing but dates and water and months would pass and no food would be cooked in any of the houses of Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم. Thereafter the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would go to the masjid for Isha prayer.
After observing Isha prayer with congregation, the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would return to the apartment where he had to pass that night and he would lie down on his bed. He would sometimes go to visit some of his companions discussing the affairs of the community. However, he would return early and sleep until midnight. He always slept on his right side and generally placed his right hand under his cheek, facing towards the qiblah. He kept a siwak (miswak) at the head of the bed which he would use before going to sleep and on waking up. While going to sleep, he would recite specific chapters from the Quran and blow on the hands and wipe them from head to foot. He would perform ablution, use siwak and slept until midnight. Upon waking up, he used to mildly rub the face and eyes with hands, supplicate to Allah, apply the siwak, perform ablution and observe Tahajjud prayer. He would spend about one-third of his night in praying, supplicating, reciting and in prostrating. The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم would then wake his wife and they would observe the witr prayer. Thereafter he would take rest and lay down when only one-sixth of the night remained. The call to prayer for Fajr would then wake up the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم from his dawn nap. This was his daily routine.