A Day in the life of a Muslim: From Waking up till late Morning

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Description:  Learn how to make your daily routine activities into rewarding acts of worship by following the daily spiritual routine of a M...

Description: Learn how to make your daily routine activities into rewarding acts of worship by following the daily spiritual routine of a Muslim.
Prerequisites
·       Salah For Beginners II
Objectives
·       Learn the daily spiritual routine of a Muslim from the time you wake up till late morning.
Ordinary every day activities can become rewarding acts of worship if a Muslim does them for the sake of pleasing Allah.  Of them, the regular, consistent deeds are best.  Allah’s Messenger, may Allah praise him, said, “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are minute.”[1]  We do not have to do anything extraordinary in our day to obtain divine rewards, but we should establish some daily routine that incorporates not only salah prayer, but reading Quran, remembrance of Allah (Dhikr), and other simple good deeds.  This will bring satisfaction to the heart, heal the soul, and keep the believer on the Straight Path.
Many of us are students or work full time.  We are teenagers, single moms, full time mothers, or retired from the workforce.  Muslims vary, and this means everyone has a unique life and schedule, but the common spiritual practices of Islam bring harmony and balance in all our lives.  This article will attempt to bring that spiritual side in the everyday life of an average Muslim which reconnects the mundane with the divine.

Early Morning

(1)  The very first thing a Muslim does upon waking up in the morning is thank Allah for giving him life by saying the supplication:
Al-Hamdu-lil-laa-hil ladhee Ah-ya-naa baa-da maa Amaa-tanaa wa ilay-hin nu-shoor.
“All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.”[2]
(2)  The second thing a Muslim does is make wudoo’ or perform ghusl (if needed) for the Fajr prayer, except for menstruating or postnatal women who are not offer salah.  Before entering the bathroom, one says “Bis-millah,” followed by the supplication for entering the bathroom:
Allah-humma in-nee aa’oodho-bi’ka min-al khub-thi wal-kha-baa’ith.
“I begin with the  name of Allah.  O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the evil and evil things.”[3]
Then he or she enters it with the left foot.
(3)  Be sure to use the left hand in the bathroom for cleaning yourself.  Aisha, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the right hand was used by Allah’s Messenger for his ablution and for taking food, and his left hand was used in the toilet and the like.[4]
(4)  One is encouraged to brush the teeth[5].  The Prophet said:
“If I had not found it difficult for my followers, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth for every salah.”[6]
(5)  The Supplication after finishing wudoo’ is:
Ash-hadu ann la-i’laaha il’lalaah wah-da-hu la shareeka-lah wa ash-hadu an-naa Muhamma-dann ab-do-hu wa-rasooluh.
“I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”[7]
 (6) Upon leaving the bathroom, a Muslim says:
Ghufraa’nak.
“(I ask for) Your forgiveness.”[8]
(8)  Before going to work or school, Muslims begin their day by performing the obligatory Fajrsalah preceded by two rak’ah of Sunnah.  A Muslim should make it a habit to offer salahat the earliest time after its time has begun.  The Prophet, may Allah praise him, was asked which deed was most beloved to Allah.  He said:
“Salah which is performed at its time.”[9]
A Muslim should offer the salah prayer with proper attention and concentration, as salahwill be the first thing that one will be accountable for on Judgment Day.  The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:
“When you stand up for your salah, make it as if it was your last salah; do not say a word for which you will have to make an excuse the coming day; and build no hope on what is in the hands of men.”[10]
(9)  The quiet hours of the early morning is a good opportunity to recite the Quran for those who can.  This allows one to fully concentrate and obtain the most spiritual benefit.  The Prophet said:
‘The recital of the Quran at dawn is always witnessed - the angels of the night and the angels of the day witness it.”[11]
There is no prohibition of returning to sleep if one so wishes after the Fajr salah.

Mid and Late Morning

(1)  Allah knows what is best for his creation and has provided us with natural healthy foods for our health.  The Prophet used to eat healthy foods available to him, such as dates, olives, olive oil, honey, bread, meats, and milk.  It is best to avoid processed foods and to eat natural foods if available.  Seeking to follow his example with the intention to please Allah will naturally be rewarded as an act of worship. With this in mind, Muslim parents should take care of meet their children’s nutritional needs without making them obese.  Attention should also be paid to cleanliness which should be observed in all matters, especially in preparing and handling foods.
(2)  A Muslim begins his meal with the Name of Allah saying, “Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem,” eating and drinking with his right hand.  The Prophet taught eating manners to a boy who was attending a meal with him:
“... Mention the name of Allah, and eat with your right hand and eat of the food that is nearer to you.”[12]
 (3) After finishing the meal a Muslim thanks Allah for providing him by saying the supplication:
Al-Hamdu-lil-laa-hil ladhi At-a’ma-ni hadtha wa-raza-qanee-hi min ghayri haw-linn min’ni wa la qoo-wa.
“All praise is for Allah who fed me this and provided it for me without any might nor power from myself.”[13]
Overeating is unhealthy.  The Messenger of Allah said:
“The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach.  A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength.  If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing.”[14]
(4)  Raising children is an important and honorable task for a woman.  A Muslim mother should spend quality time with her children.  Especially, the young ones need the additional care of the mother.  It is essential to include quality time with the children in a busy daily schedule.  Quality time may include such things as reading books, teaching basic manners and morals, reading Quran together, playing games, going to the park and library, and more.  The emphasis should be on the children’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical development.  Doing this early in the day also makes it more likely that children will be content to play with themselves later on, freeing time for other activities.
Fathers should also spend time with their children as they have an important role to play in raising them.  A Muslim father should spend time with them in the evening or on the weekends, listen to their concerns, and bond with them by doing healthy activities with his children. The essential thing, however, is that your devoting time to your children be not merely for their sake or your own, but that you do it seeking Allah’s reward.
(5)  A Muslim steps out of his house trusting in Allah and says this supplication:
Bismillah.  Tawak-kaltu ‘al-Allah wa la hawla wa la qoo-wata illah billah.
“I begin with the name of Allah, I depend upon Allah, there is no might and power but with Allah”[15]
Allah’s Messenger said:
“When a man leaves his house, saying, ‘I begin with the name of Allah, I depend upon Allah, there is no might and power but with Allah,’ it is said to him at that time, ‘You are guided, you are taken care of, you are protected.’ The Satans turn away from him, and another Satan will say, ‘How can you harm a person who is already guided, cared for and protected?’”[16]


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[3] Abu Dawud
[4] Abu Dawud
[5] The best way is to use a root twig from the ‘arak plant, commonly known as “miswak” and sold in many Islamic Stores across the world.
[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Muslim
[7] Tirmidthi
[8] Abu Dawud
[9] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[10] Ahmad
[11] Tirmidthi
[12] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[13] Tirmidthi
[14] ibid.
[15] Abu Dawud
[16] ibid.


A day in the life of a Muslim: From Noon to Bed

Description: A continuation of the lesson on how to make daily routine activities into rewarding acts of worship by following the daily spiritual routine of a Muslim.
Prerequisites
·       Salah For Beginners II
·       A Day In The Life Of A Muslim
·       Simple Explanation Of Quran’s Greatest Verse: Aaya tul-Kursi
·       Simple Explanation Of Three Short Surahs Of Quran
·       Wudu’
·       Wudu’
Objectives
·       Learn the daily spiritual routine of a Muslim from noon till bedtime.

Afternoon

(1)  A Muslim eats a healthy lunch within the Islamic dietary guidelines.
(2)  Performing the 4 rak’ah of Dhuhr salah: One should try to pray 4 or 2 rak’ah of Sunnah before itm, and 2 rak’ah Sunnah after it.  Men should try to offer obligatory prayers in the mosque in congregation especially if a mosque is close to his work/school and on weekends.  Regarding the congregational prayers, the Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:
“Prayer in congregation is superior to a prayer performed individually by twenty-seven degrees.”[1]
Regarding the Sunnah salah, Aisha, with whom Allah is pleased, said:
“When the Prophet used to be in my house, he would offer four Sunnah rak’ah beforeDhuhr prayer, then go and lead the congregation, and thereafter return home and offer two Sunnah rak’ah.  Similarly, he would lead Maghrib Salah in the congregation and come back and offer two Sunnah rak’ah.  Likewise after having led the Isha salah, he would come back to my apartment and offer two Sunnah rak’ah.”[2]
It is preferable for women to perform both the obligatory and Sunnah salah at her home.  Regarding a woman’s prayer, the Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:
“Do not prevent women from going to the mosques, although their houses are better for them.”
(3)  A Muslim offers the Asr salah (4 rak’ah Fard) on time realizing its importance as the Prophet said:
“He who leaves the Asr salah is like one who has lost (some of) his family and his property.”[3]
“A person will not be sent to Hell who has offered his Fajr and the Asr salahs.”[4]
(4)  There are a number of supplications which should be recited before dusk, but they are quite lengthy and thus will be saved for another lesson.

Evening

(1)  A Muslim enters his house in the Name of Allah by saying the supplication:
Bismillahi wa-lajna, wa Bismillahi kharajna, wa-’ala Rabbinaa tawak-kalnaa.
“With the name of Allah we enter and with the name of Allah we leave, and upon our Lord we place our trust.”[5]
(2)  Perform the 3 rak’ah Maghrib salah: Try to perform 2 rak’ahs of  Sunnah after it.  The Muslim man should make every effort to pray in the mosque if he lives reasonably close to one.  Children should be taken to accustom them to worshipping Allah in the mosque.  For those living too far from the mosque, they should try to offer the salahtogether in congregation.  This is a good way of strengthening family bonding and setting a positive example for the children.
(3)  Conducting a study circle within the home.  The evening is a good time for family members to gather for study of Quran, hadeeth, Seerah (biography of Prophet Muhammad) and other areas of Islam knowledge.  This is something that can be made a regular part of the daily or weekly schedule.  Although parents will be primarily responsible for the topics and discussions, older children may be given assignments to prepare for the group.  Encouraging them to actively participate will enhance their excitement and interest in learning.  Creative and engaging methods may be used to maintain the attention of younger children, although they should not be forced to sit for long periods of time.  Regarding the importance of teaching, the Prophet said:
“Each of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked about your guardianship.  The leader is a guardian, and the man is a guardian over the people of his house, and the woman is a guardian over her husband’s house and children.  So each of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked about your guardianship.”[6]
The care one takes in teaching those for whom one is responsible, if it is done to please Allah rather than oneself and the family, is regarded  as worship.
(4)  A Muslim should be careful what he watches on TV and how much time he/she spends on the Internet or in chat-rooms.  A portion of the evening should be spent on holding a family discussion as it is an ideal time for family discussions since most family members are likely to be present.  The father should make himself available to his family members, discuss rules, schedules, plan vacations, address teen issues, and more.  Doing this on a regular basis will instill responsibility and respect in children and make them feel that they are vital part of the family and the father will play a responsible role in raising his children.  As children mature and reach the age of responsibility, it becomes necessary to include them in discussions, decision-making, even financial planning, particularly in matters that pertain to them.  This is actually a time for them to learn how a family should function since they will eventually begin a family of their own.  Obviously, the parents should provide acceptable role models that the children will want to emulate.  Controlling their leisure activities and one’s family bonding to please Allah will be on the positive side of the ledger of one’s life when we are called for Judgment.
A Muslim concludes any meeting or gathering by:
‘Subhanakal-laa’hum’ma wa be’ham’dik. Ash’hadu an laa e’laahah il’la anta astagh-fe’roka wa a’too-bo e’laik’
‘How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You.  I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You.  I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.’[7]
(5)  Performing 4 rak’ah of ‘Isha salah: One should try to pray 2 rak’ah Sunna, and 3 or 1 rak’ah of Witr after it.
Allah’s Messenger said:
“No salah is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr salah and the ‘Isha salah, but if they knew what blessing lie in them they would certainly come for them, even if they had to crawl.”[8]
(6)  A Muslim should not waste time watching movies, playing cards, or other non essential activities late at night.  Avoiding such things to please Allah will be counted as a good deed.  Staying up late at night is bad for one’s health and makes getting up for Fajrsalah harder.
Every night when the Prophet would go to bed, he would cup his hands together and blow into them after reciting Surat ul-IkhlasSurat ul-Falaq, and Surat un-Naas.[9]  He would then rub his hands over whatever he was able from his body, beginning with his head, face, and the front of his body.  He used to do that three times.[10]
The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:
“When you go to your bed, recite the verse of the Footstool (Aaya tul-Kursi), ‘Allah! There is no true god but Him, the Ever-living, the One who Sustains and Protects all that exists…’ (Quran 2: 255) to the end, for then there will remain over you a guardian from Allah, and Satan will not come near you until morning.”[11]
It is also preferred to make wudoo’ before sleeping and to lie on one’s right side.



Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[2] Saheeh Muslim
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[4] Saheeh Muslim
[5] Abu Dawood
[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[7] Tirmidthi
[8] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[9] There are other supplications to be recited before sleeping, but they are quite lengthy and thus will besaved for another lesson.
[10] Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim
[11] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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Jama Masjid: A Day in the life of a Muslim: From Waking up till late Morning
A Day in the life of a Muslim: From Waking up till late Morning
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