As the morning sun climbs high into the sky, Prophet Muhammad heads to the home of one of his wives, particularly the wife whose turn it is to spend the day with him. He enters the house with the greeting of peace, brushes his teeth (with teeth cleaning twig), and then offers the four-unit late morning prayer. It is an optional prayer, but one that he offers nearly every day.
Sometimes he offers six or eight units of prayer instead of the usual four. He looks to see if there is food ready. If there is, he might eat a little. This is especially true if he had not eaten anything earlier in the morning.
Sometimes, he is fasting, but if there is food at his wife’s home at this time of day, he might choose to break his fast and share in it, especially if it was a gift. For instance, on one occasion when he came to Aisha’s house in the late morning, she said to him:
“We’ve been given a gift – someone visited us – and I put some aside for you.”
“What is it?”
She told him it was haysh, a dish made from dates and cottage cheese. He asked her to bring it to him and ate it.
Then he said:
I started off this day fasting.” (Muslim)
It was at this time of day that he once spoke about a well-known and meritorious way to engage in the remembrance of God. It was on a day when he was staying at the house of his wife Juwayriyah. He had been at her house much earlier in the morning to find her seated on her prayer rug engaged in God’s remembrance. When he returned in the late morning, he found her to be in exactly the same position. He asked her:
“Have you been like this since I left you?”
She replied: “Yes.”
“I have since then uttered four phrases, three times each, that if they were weighed against all you have said today, it would weigh equally: ‘Glory and praise be to Allah as often as the number of His creations, to the extent that He pleases, to the weight of his throne, and to the amount of ink it would require to write out His words’.” (Al-Albani)
With His Companions
This is the time of the morning when the Prophet’s closest companions would visit him at home if they were facing some difficulty they wanted to discuss with him. For instance, once the Prophet was resting in bed wearing a nondescript housecoat belonging to Aisha that did not cover his lower legs. Abu Bakr came to visit at this time and sought permission to enter.
The Prophet bade him come into the house while he was in this state of dress. Abu Bakr then spoke to him about his problem and departed. After he left, Umar paid a visit and the Prophet received him in the same way. After he left, Uthman came along and sought permission to speak with him. The Prophet first sat up and arranged his housecoat so that it covered his legs and then bade him enter. Uthman then spoke to him about his problem and departed.
Aisha noticed the difference in the way he received her father and Omar, and the way he received Othman. She asked him:
“When Abu Bakr came, you did not arrange your clothes and compose yourself. Nor did you do so with Umar. But when Uthman came, you sat up and arranged your clothes. Why is that?”
“Should I not feel shy before a man the angels are shy of? Uthman is a very shy man. I was concerned that if I received him in the state I was in, he would have left without speaking to me about his problem.” (Al-Albani)
With His Household
Usually, the Prophet is left alone at home at this time of day. Aisha tells us how he was at this time:
“He was the gentlest and most generous of people when he was home alone with his family. He was a man like any of your men, but he was ready with a smile and easy with his laughter. He was a normal man, but one who helped his family out with the housework. He would mend his own sandals and stitch his own clothes and milk his sheep. He took care of his own needs and work in the house like any one of you would work. (Authenticated by al Albani)
The Prophet’s life is very family-oriented. Prophet Muhammad’s homes are modest one-room houses. They do not demand the kind of upkeep that requires his helping out with the housework. Nevertheless, he is conscientious in doing so. He wants to share in their daily activities to be an equal partner in the household and an integral part of their lives. The Prophet prioritizes marital life. This is an aspect of the Message he comes with. He is not only the best of men in public, he is also the best of men when it comes to his family.
The Prophet’s home life is full of love, affection, and mercy. His attitude at home is relaxed and familiar. He is easygoing and playful. On one occasion, Sawdah came to visit Aisha in her home, which was adjacent to hers. The Prophet sat down between the two of them with one of his legs extended into the entrance of Sawdah’s house. Aisha had made wheat stew and told Sawdah to have some. Sawdah refused, saying:
“I don’t like that food and will not eat it.”
“You will eat it, or I will smear it on your face.”
She still refused, so Aisha took a bit of the food in her hand and smeared it on her face. The Prophet laughed and moved his foot out of the entrance to Sawdah’s house to give Sawdah more room to maneuver and defend herself. He said:
“Smear it on her face too.”
She took some out of the bowl, reached over and smeared it on Aisha’s face. Then all three of them broke into laughter and they could be heard from the mosque. Then they heard Umar from within the mosque calling out to his son Abdullah.
Quick, the Prophet said:
“Clean your faces. I think Umar is coming. Just then, Umar came to the door”, just like the Prophet expected. Umar called out:
“Peace be upon you. Can I come in?” The Prophet replied:
“Come in. Come in.”
This playfulness is normal at the Prophet’s home. It is part of his practical example of how a Muslim’s life should be. He teaches his companions:
“Religion has room for recreation.”
A short time before the noon prayer, the Prophet takes a siesta. He always takes this nap at one of his wives’ homes, except for the occasions he goes to visit his relative Umm Sulaym.
On those occasions, he might take his siesta at her house. He sometimes takes his nap there even when he finds her outside home, and she discovers him sleeping upon her return.
By Sheikh Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Turayri