Why follow Prophet
Muhammad(PBUH) in Everything?
This question has come up many
a time from friends and family. This post is the story of my search for the
answer to that question followed by an experiment on myself and its results. So
it is a little long as it spans the period of approximately six months of
experimentation and evaluation.
I am no expert in the life of the Prophet and the
Quran, but I realized after some research that the answer is in at least three
places in the Quran. The succinct one that comes to mind is:
in Surah Al Imran: 31 Allah (SWT)
says “ O Nabi tell the people that if you truly love
Allah then follow me in what I do (i.e. Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and Allah will
love you and will forgive your mistakes as He (SWT) is supremely Forgiving and
But then the question comes up, why not follow him only in his
religious practices why in everything? What and how he ate? What he did or did
not do and in his daily behavior?
As I understand it, (Allah knows best) Allah sent us Prophet Muhammad
(SAS) for a reason. He was a human being who had human needs and emotions., and
thus we could relate to him knowing that he shared all the fallibilities of
Allah SWT could have sent us a saint or an angel who would
not have all the attributes and vulnerabilities of a human being, and would
have been hard to even imagine imitating.
He (SWT) did this so that we could follow the example of a human being and
learn how to live with all the daily challenges of life and yet be subservient
Since Islam is a way of life, Prophet Muhammad’s (SAS) way of living is
the way to emulate for a Muslim. Understanding the basis of each and every one
of his actions may become possible if one researches each aspect separately in
detail and is cognizant and able to access the most recent scientific and
It is almost impossible for an average person to have the resources,
time & intellect to research all the sciences of food, sleep,
sociology, medicine and human behavior. If an average person wants to get
closer to Allah and live a happy and peaceful life, it would be difficult for
him and her to research every aspect of life as illustrated by Prophet
Muhammad. Thus even though at this time many of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAS)
behaviors may be incompletely understood, or not understood at all by the
average person, Allah made
it easy for an average person to get closer to Him (SWT) by following
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Since everyone may not have the ability or time or the resources to do
all that research prior to understanding why Prophet Muhammad did certain
things in a certain way and how are they beneficial to us, Allah SWT provided a
living , breathing , normal human being to provide us an example of how to live
with God consciousness (taqwa) in all aspects of life.
In other words he provided us
with Cliff notes on how to get to jannah and leveled the playing field for all.
MY TAKE ON THIS:
Personally my “gegenhalten” attempts at following the Prophet have
resulted in the evolution of the positive aspects in my life.
I personally started my path to follow the actions of the Rasool (PBUH)
with Salah. This was something that the Prophet (SAS) did with love; He
described it as “ the coolness of his eyes” it was his personal time with
Allah. I on the other hand had always done Salah as a duty as something I
crossed off my “to do” list as “done” so that I could go on and do more fun
stuff without feeling guilty. I stuck it in between my other activities, which
were a priority for me. At that time of Salah I may not have been dressed for
it or in a mood for it or in a place for it and it was more a necessary chore
rather than a priority.
The major difference in how I did Salah before and now was a change in
• Previously I did Salah to get my credits up with Allah
• Now I do it like a phone call to chat with Him (SWT), tell him how I am doing
and ask him for advice and help (For advice He (SWT) has commanded us to go to
his book or He guides me and makes the path easy to take)
• Previously I fitted Salah when I could, in my daily activities and
many times it did not fit in my lifestyle, as I may be at a place at Salah time
where it was unclean, or public or noisy or not conducive to making that phone
call to Allah, or even if I did I could not confide in Allah at that time.
• Now I try to plan my day around Salah. I do my daily work around Salah
times. I try to make sure when I put on my clothes in the morning that they are
clean and tayyab and that I would be able to pray in them and that I have
appropriate head covering, available. As an extra I have a small back pack
ready at all times in the car with my hijab, traveling prayer rug, a compass,
Tasbeeh and a small book of supplications. I really do not need all of this,
but if I am stuck waiting in line or in an office or on the plane, I can read
and memorize some new adkaars or do Dhikr instead of reading something mindless
to while away the time.
• I accept my dinner invitations based on: before or after Maghrib,
unless I am sure I can pray where I am going, without tension.
• Previously I could not wait to finish my prayers so that I could go do
what I needed or wanted to do
• Now I look forward to my next prayer and feel forlorn, if I cannot
pray it at the optimal time (start of the prayer time).
HOW HAS THAT MADE A PRACTICAL
DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE?
Having to plan around my Salah times has forced me to:
• Be punctual in my appointments, as I have to be punctual in my
appointment with Allah.
• Be punctual in ending appointments as I have go do salah on time
• Forgo those activities especially late night ones (which are
physically tiring and have no spiritual value and in no way enhance my
closeness to Allah), as I know that if I partake of them, I will miss my fajr
• Be punctual in my social appointments, both in arrival and in
departure as I have a priority, which has to be met after I leave.
• To simplify my self, as I cannot put on makeup four times a day after
each prayer, thus I have resorted to less, allowing my skin to breathe and
making me relax and accept who I am without a lot of fakeness put on for the
benefit of others
• I am more comfortable in my skin. There is no confusion in my decision
making as to whom do I have to please. I know that I only have to behave in a
manner so as to please Allah and as a fall out my behavior pleases others also,
as I attempt to follow the Prophet’s etiquette with people.
• Spiritually beautiful people and People with taqwa have come into my
life, and I have recognized the goodness in my existing friends, giving me
peace and beauty in my daily living. These wonderful people, old and new are
not judging me in my material goods, where I live what I wear but are
supporting me and helping me for the sake of Allah and Allah alone
• I thought there would be major fallout. People around me would get
upset and would think I have gone crazy. None of this has happened.
• My night time wasting activities have fallen by the wayside, so I am
not exhausted in the am
• My nightmares and night awakenings have disappeared since I started
doing Isha and Witr and the night adkaars as the Prophet (SAS) did.
• I don’t enjoy obscene or violent movies, never did but watched them
out of politeness to my company, I don’t now and no one is at a loss, and the
gut wrenching feelings have passed.
• I don’t agonize over what people think of me, I try to do what would please
Allah and leave it at that.
• I don’t try to please people and don’t get upset if they don’t like
me. I try to do my best as to what would please Allah the most, in my behavior,
and Alhamdulillah it works well with most people as the basic fitra of people
in general is good, and appreciates a good effort.
• I don’t envy other people’s accomplishments and their children and am
at peace with what Allah gave me or took away, even though I don’t know the
• My anxieties about my family still surface from time to time, I try to
sort them out by separating the ones that have to do with the finality of Qadr
and those that are behavioral. I try to pray for change in the ones that have
to do with the spirituality of the inner self by educating my self and them.
The hardest part is to accept what ever they do after that and to accept that
as their Qadr and to pray for guidance for them and me.
• All this sounds kind of soppy and “Yahweh”, I don’t have any new words
to use to express the inner cleanliness and simplification of my life that I
feel in my continuing attempts to follow Rasool Allah (SAS)
All of the challenges come from within. My desire to sleep through the
dawn prayer, my desire to overeat, my desire to not have the regimentation of
the five phone calls to Allah. My depression of losing my son, my regret of all
the things I did not do with him, my regret of things I could have done in the
past, and my regrets of things past.
My desire to change others without first practicing
the change in my self until it is permanent.
Whenever I feel I have reached a stable state of Salah, Shaitan makes me slip
or perhaps my Nafs does and…….. I slide.
I have noted that the slide is similar to the slide of
the mountain climber, if you lose a footing a few rocks loosen and if you are
paying attention you can regain your foothold. However if you are climbing in a
cocky manner and are “full of yourself” that nothing can falter you, then the
loss of the foot hold is hard to regain.
Paying attention or focus has
been the key for me: What do I pay attention to? What is my focus?
If I pay attention to the distractions here and there and forget that my
goal is to get to the peak of what I am climbing and be engulfed by His (SWT)
love eternally, then the slide is bad and I may find myself at the bottom of
the abyss, which is where I was when my son died.
I previously thought that I could see, hear and participate in
everything with the non-believers in the name of “tolerance” and still be a
functioning pure Muslim. I have found that I am weak.
I realized that there are eight doors to my heart: i.e. my five
senses, my arms, my legs and my tongue. If I leave all these door open to
unchannelled distractions, by the end of the day I am overwhelmed by what has
entered through them and has affected my heart.
I find that I have not accomplished any thing and
have lost my focus in salah. Whatever enters through those doors is either a
potent distracter or is a potent support for helping me focus my efforts in my
Salah and my climb towards Allah’s love.
I now know and admit that I am weak. I cannot pour
distractions in the form of TV news, violent movies, mindless novels,
non-energizing music and disaster announcing newspapers and politics, through
the doors into my heart and be unaffected by them. I know that these
distractions deter my focus, in my search to find happiness, peace and
tranquility for my soul through Salah and are an impediment in obtaining the
connection that I seek with Allah (SWT)
No one ever told me till recently that the human beings were designed in
a manner that the closer they came to their Creator (Allah) the happier they
became. This was a foreign concept for me.
My western education had made me think that the avenues of
happiness and religion were separate and different. Religion was the bitter
pill you took to land in Paradise, but everyday happiness lay in the mundane
distracters of “entertainment” Thus I undertook an experiment, with me as
the guinea pig.
I have always been told that in order to be “educated”
you must know current events, and be able to discuss them intelligently, thus
the excuse of sensory overload with the TV, news and internet. I have also
always been told that entertainment by defination is doing non-religious stuff.
I was at the bottom of the barrel drowning in
unhappiness as anyone could be in the circumstances, with my mothers
conflictual prolonged illness, her death followed shortly thereafter by my sons
sudden death, the swirling paranoia of anti Muslim hatred, the continuous
barrage of disrespectful tirades against the Prophet (PBUH) and the progressive
verbal diarrhea against Islam had engulfed me and my surroundings.
own state of no longer
knowing what happiness meant added to it. I had tried every western method
except alcohol to elevate my spirits and all methods failed. Every morning I
saw the abyss of unending depression staring at me and getting out of bed
seemed quite meaning less.
At a retreat I learnt that the closer you came to Allah the happier you
became and the start of that road began with Salah and Dhikr, and exclusion of
all the garbage and verbal and visual diarrhea of the media.
Thus as an experiment I took six months off from all input that was
distracting to me from my Salah, i.e. radio, movies, newspapers, and most of
the internet news, glossy women magazines and self help books, books about
grief and how to handle it, dinner parties with people or conferences where
Salah was not conducive. Browsing books in bookstores that had nothing to do
with Salah or the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
This sounds grim and self-denying but the outcome
I replaced the radio with CDs of the Seerah or Qiraat with meaning, or
stories of the Prophet (PBUH) or reviews of how to make Salah as the Prophet
did. I replaced the music with Nasheeds and I replaced the movies with nasheed
videos and videos of the Quranic verses recited with meaning on YouTube.
I replaced my Internet surfing to different Sunnahs of the Prophet
regarding Salah, and I continue to come up with priceless treasures from all
over the world.
I did away with all chain emails
I replaced my secular self-help books with books on
Salah and about the Quran, and some Tajweed and tafseer of the Quran on the
I connected with my Saleh friends who send me resources and share their
practical and spiritual attempts at refining the Sunnah of Salah. The
purification of mind and body before the Salah and keeping the connection with
Allah open after it.
I am at peace with myself in my skin for the first time in my life. I
have not impacted or changed any happening in the world, by my not reading the
news or listening to it on TV. I have lost no friends by not watching violent
movies or listening to obscene jokes or music.
The only change was within me:
• I have lost some weight and gained energy without dieting or
exercising, People ask me and I feel funny saying that all I have done is
attempted to follow how the Prophet (SAS) lived.
• I was neither despondent nor angry when I went to the bookstore and
saw all the violently antimuslim and aggressively evangelical material
displayed. It disgusted me like the attempts of a spoilt child wanting to mess
up a beautiful picture with his or her crayons. I prayed to Allah to guide
them, and me.
• I went to a Muslim home and saw an artsy painting of a naked woman
hung very proudly and I felt surprise and sadness and prayed that Allah may
lift the veil from their eyes and refocus their life away from material goals
and their race towards being accepted in the eyes of the non believers.
• I neither approve nor disapprove when I see or hear something that a
fellow Muslim is doing, as I know I have walked that path, though I do wish
that I had been granted more guidance earlier.
• I know how fragile my own attempt is at focusing on Salah; I have to
continue to struggle and cannot criticize others of their different focus.
• Actually I am actually quite stumped here, should I say something, should I
provide some resources, should I make dua for them or like the American way: “
leave them alone”? I don’t know!
• I also don’t know if I am strong enough to be an example as I slide often in
my attempts to keep my Salah and am struggling to decrease my distractions and
increase my ilm about my deen.
I thus struggle with my selfish desire to perfect my deen
first and ignore others and leave them on whatever path they are, and then I
feel guilty at not sharing this wonderful way of life, a peace that everyone is
searching for, that is not elusive, but is ignored because of all the other
distractions made by us that keep it at bay.
• My thirst for knowledge is for what is there actually in the Quran.
Being a story buff, I am amazed at the stories of the Prophet (PBUH) and how
much is out there internationally in the form of CDs videos programs and on the
Internet. My biggest stumbling block is that I am restricted because of
language as most of the authentic information is expressed is in the rich ness
of the Arabic language.
None so far
To become less judgmental
To become less selfish, and be able to gracefully share my focus in my search
for the Prophets (PBUH) path, without being preachy.
To do those things that would bring me closer to Allah’s love and move away from
those that are disliked by Allah.
To walk and travel and see the
signs of Allah and recognise them and be thankful for them.
• I have to remind myself to fulfill my Haqooq al Ebad to the best of my
ability which can sometimes be time consuming, and challenging
Please give me your advice on any of the aspects, mentioned here, or your own
personal formula of following our beloved Prophet (PBUH)
What habits of our
Prophet(PBUH) do you follow?
Categories: inspirational · islamic spirituality
so far ↓
i am so amazed with your writing this time…
They are so true and so real to muslim who always purify their soul.
I have read one of your comment about stop writing the medicine thing to go
deep in islam, do you think it should be necessary that way ? If writing
medicine would help many people why should you stop ? Islam is a balance
religion, i mean ideally we win in dunya and win in akheera. Focus in akheera
doesn’t mean we give up this world. Muslim should be beneficial to others for
dunya and akheera. That’s my personal opinion.
as salaam wa barakatahu,
Thank you for reading through a very long article and sharing my journey. To
answer your question: There are a finite number of hours in a day and writing
medical articles takes research and a lot of time over and above the process of
reading articles and seeing patients.
I still see patients and try to help them the best I can, but medical research
and writing is extremely time consuming and has to be done at the expense of
everything else, i.e. there is no time left for anything else, so ………..to
answer your question, I had to give it up to make room (time) for focusing and
studying the Deen.
My patients have not lost any part of my time……..the only loss was to my ego
which felt inflated at being famous due to my medical writing.
I think when people say keep the deen and the dunya they mean do not give up
natural relationships and sit on the Musallah like the monks. What do you think?
I still have a lot to learn and practice…….please keep me in your prayers
alaikum blogger mom.
I like what you’re doing. I’m trying to do it myself. A lot of things, but I
haven’t reached very high up there, I think if my heart will pray the rest of
the body will automatically follow. I really need to fix my prayers. I’ve
sorted a lot of my television viewing, reading and music listening habits.
Nasheeds are absolutely beautiful, Junaid Jamshaid’s urdu naats are pretty
moving too. They’ve helped me connect with Allah(swt) many a times.
I need to be less judgemental.
I need to help those who are weak in faith.
I need to fix myself, again and again. You are so right about the slipping
part. Happens to me all the time, but it’s a blessing from ALLAH(swt) this
conscience that is alive.
I need to be kinder.
I need to set an example, and learn from the perfect example of Holy Prophet
salal la hu alaihe walihee wasallam.
No makeup feels so good, that mash’Allah I’ve noticed my skin’s glowing now.
Occasionally when I apply it, it looks pretty even. Otherwise kohl and lip
gloss were something I took for granted.
alaikum warahmat Allah wabarakatu my dear sister,
one of , if not the most moving post i’ve read in a very long time because it
hits me straight in the heart at various angles. may Allah reward you, increase
you in knowledge and always give you this contentment you feel. we are all
striving..and i can’t tell you how much your words have motivated me,
mashaAllah but this salah thing..is the first thing we are going to be asked
about on the Day as muslims, and there is definintely room for improvement with
many of us..and a big gap actually with me. salah out of love and not out of
guilt..subhan’Allah..may Allah protect us from shaitan..
and always sustain you through your salah..
way, your presence in the midst of others as a practicing Muslims is a
beautiful thing to others in the sight of Allah, but never shy away from
advising people. if you want people to come closer to the Truth…you should make
it clear to them in a wise manner. In all honesty, they may not accept it, they
may look at you as judgemental and even get defensive..but teaching them in a
non-confrontational way may be effective, and even if its not..you would have
at least earned ajr, reward, from Allah for “enjoining in good, and forbidding
in evil”. so don’t let shaitan whisper making you fear to offend others..they
might not get offended at all afterall..or they might, but at the end turn
their lives around..it could be a word, a gesture that you do for the sake of
Allah that brings them closer to knowing the Truth..
Allah guide us all in perfecting our salahs and helping each other becoming
better at our deen
alhamdulilah we are muslims.
feeki, may Allah pour blessings upon you sister..
happy to read this post. Definitely a change from your usual routine and also a
good one as well. It was different, interesting and uplifting. I do not agree
with all but thoroughly enjoyed it. So here are my stupid questions again.
difficult path you have chosen is praise worthy but do u think oen can sustain
watching TV, enjoying a movie , surfing internet or reading news bad for ones
we be inspired by non muslim writers? Read Eckart Tolle ” The power of now”, I
found it very spiritual.
lighter note please dont encourage women to stay away from make up. Daymares
will be worse than nightmares for the poor husbands.
Assalamualikum. Alhamdulillah, Allah has given you the ability to write so
fluently and the real truth. I spend almost 14 hours in the hospital as my
surgery and OPD take a long time to finish. I shall try to spend the rest of
the time as you have shown. I was curious to know what was your state of mind
regarding the Deen before the unfortunate tragedy. Were you like the most of us
follwing the deen as told to us by elders or were you thinking about the deen?
May Allah keep us in His mercy.