Quick question to refresh our minds: who was Prophet Muhammad? As Muslims, we believe he was the last and final messenger of the Creator to mankind. His life is an example for generations after generations until the end of time on how to live in a pure and humble way, with the worship of Allah, the Creator, as our purpose and pivotal role.
The word “sunnah” is used to describe the life and teachings of the Prophet. The Prophet said:
“Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi).
Not only for our personal gain, but out of love for our beloved Prophet we should try to live our life by the sunnah as much as possible. We should be active in learning about the life of the final messenger to mankind. While engaging in knowing about the life of a person, your love and respect for him grows. Similarly, when learning about the Prophet, you will find hundreds of stories, attributes and habits that will be beneficial for your life if implemented. Here are some sunnahs of the Prophet:
1. Sleeping and waking up early
Aisha said about the Prophet:
“He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed.” (Bukhari)
When you have a million things to do, it is easy to fall into a horrible cycle of sleeping late and waking up late. Due to our failure to wake up early, one day extends into the next in order to finish your list of tasks. Break that cycle today! Wake up early and sleep early to be the strong, successful you that you want to be.
2. Having a pleasant smile always
Ibn Jaz reports: “I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
Smiling has been shown to increase the natural antidepressant hormone, serotonin, causing the one who wears a smile to be happier. We underestimate the power of a smile on both ourselves and those around us. This characteristic is highly contagious and plays a massive role in building relationships with those around you. A positive mind and attitude is irreplaceable in the quest to be productive and achieve your goals in life. Smiling is a simple, inexpensive act that helps lift your mood and make you feel more grateful and content since our Prophet was seen frequently doing it. So, let’s follow along this great sunnah. Consciously take note of your usual facial expression: is your normal expression a happy one or do you always appear sad, exhausted, preoccupied or frustrated? It will take a bit of regular effort, but you can cut down on the frowning, smile more often and spread joy and peace around you as the Prophet instructed.
3. Maintaining the 1/3rd rule in eating
Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:
‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.'” (Ibn Majah)
It is an underestimated fact that food has a dramatic effect on your body’s and brain’s performance. This hadith clearly highlights that overeating is a reprehensible quality we should stay away from. However, it is also important to remember that under-eating is equally as harmful to a person. In order to function, we need to have a balanced outlook towards our meals; your level of food consumption should not leave you feeling tired or bloated as this is a state that leads to laziness, which is a vice we seek refuge in Allah from.
4. Speaking good or keeping silent
The Prophet said:
“He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.” (Muslim)
We often find ourselves in situations where we sit and talk about things that do not concern us. We waste precious minutes, even hours, just by talking about matters that will not increase us in knowledge, character or anything for that matter. When speaking ill of a person or situation, the conversation becomes elongated, sadly due to the desire to gossip. The beauty of this particular sunnah is that it will help you save time and reduce the amount of energy used to contemplate over irrelevant matters being discussed. This energy and time could be well spent on something beneficial, such as reading Qur’an or doing vital tasks, or only speaking things that benefit oneself and others in duniya and akhirah.
5. Visiting the sick
The Prophet said:
“Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives.” (Bukhari)
The concept of looking out for others is found throughout the teachings of the Prophet. Sadly, we are regularly aware of people within our circle of acquaintances who are tested with an illness, big or small. Visiting and spending time with them has two major benefits. You demonstrate love towards another, instantly tightening the bonds of kinship/friendship. Also, to see someone who is unable to function as well as they normally can, is a strong reminder to us all of the blessing of health that we currently have and take for granted. The next time you hear of someone who is ill, try your best to go beyond sending them a ‘get well soon’ and practice a forgotten sunnah: make the effort to be physically present and comfort them.
(Extracted from “12 Super Sunnahs We Should Seriously Begin to Follow” by Aishah Iqbal, hosted on http://productivemuslim.com/12-super-sunnahs/)