Islam not only serves as a religion but also as a complete way of life. Allah (SWT) sent man, the most favorite amongst all His creations, to this world with the sole purpose of worshipping Him and leading a certain way of life, which was prescribed by the Quran and the Sunnah.
In essence, the word “Sunnah” entails the actions, practices and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the Prophet’s (PBUH) life poses as a source of endless inspiration and teaches us what it means to be humble, simple, and modest and yet, at the same time, be the most exalted of all mankind. His was the perfect way of life.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah was the perfect practical execution of the Quran. The most ideal way of understanding Allah’s book and its teachings is to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and mold ourselves according to the example he left behind.
Allah has stated in Quran:
Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (3:31)
As Muslims, we must make it a point to imprint the Sunnah in our hearts and souls in order for its teachings to be translated in our everyday actions. Our Islamic identity is further preserved and strengthened through the application of Sunnah in our daily practices, behaviors, morals, manners, principles and habits. The importance of Sunnah is highlighted several times in the Quran, for example:
“Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him whose hope is in Allah and the last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (33:21)
Practicing the Prophet's (PBUH) way of life not only leads to spiritual gains but proves to be beneficial on a physical and psychological level as well. We’ve hand picked a few simple Sunnah that you can easily implement in your everyday lives and reap their great rewards:
Begin Every Task with the name of Allah (SWT)
Before the commencement of any task, the very first word to be uttered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was “Bismillah”. By beginning a task or any form of action with the pronunciation of Allah’s (SWT) name with deep humility and utter sincerity, the person enjoys God’s complete support in that designated task or undertaking. So make it a habit to say “Bismillah” before doing absolutely anything- make a mental note every time!
Yes, that’s right! Smiling is Sunnah. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to smile very often and with pure and utter joy. A smile, in itself, seems as very simple expression but it holds great meaning and blessing. The Prophet (PBUH) mentioned:
“When you smile to your brother’s face, it’s a charity.” (Tirmidhi 1879)
One does ponder over how exquisitely simple Islam is that even smiling leads to spiritual and worldly rewards.
Offering Salah 5 times a day
The Prophet (PBUH) never missed any of his prayers. He was extremely vigilant in offering salah. What people generally do not know is that Salah not only nurtures our soul but our bodies as well.
The different movements throughout the course of the prayer are greatly beneficial for the person offering the prayer. It’s been found that during Salah, there is an increase in the body’s strength and flexibility. Moreover, standing with your back straight helps with posture, rukoo helps stretch a number of important muscles and going into sujood enhances the activity in the parietal and occipital parts of the brain, which leads to greater relaxation and calm.
The Prophet(PBUH) said:
"Pray as you have seen me praying” (Sahih Bukhari 631, Book 10, Hadith 28)
And these are just a few of the added benefits of prayer, think about all the spiritual rewards God has in store for us for praying salah!
Prophet’s (PBUH) prescribed way of drinking water
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught six Sunnah regarding the drinking of water:
- Start drinking water by saying “Bismillah”
- Drink water with your right hand
- Sit down while drinking water
- Look at the water before drinking it
- Drink the water in 3 steps (3 breaths)
- After finishing, say “Alhamdullilah”
According to scientific studies, drinking water in three steps (three breaths) helps the heart rate and improves the body’s blood flow. This just goes to show how the Prophet’s (PBUH) is beneficial to us in more ways than one.
Never criticize food
Food, whatever it may be, is Allah’s ‘rizq’ and blessing for us and one should never complain or criticize it. Even if it’s not up to certain standards, one must never speak ill of the food presented to them, for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) never complained about any food put forward to him. According to Sahih Bukhari:
“The Prophet (PBUH) never criticized any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat it if he liked the food, and leave it if he disliked it.” (Sahih Bukhari, 5909)
Sunnah of sleeping
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was an early sleeper and an early riser. Upon waking up, he used to tidy his own bed and perform “wuzu” every morning and before going to sleep. He once explained that if someone performs wuzu before going to sleep and if he should pass away in his sleep, he will die as a ‘faithful’ Muslim. He is reported to have also said:
“When you go to bed, you should perform the ablution for the prayer, and then lay down on your right side” [Bukhari]
Every Muslims should identify the integral position that our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) inhabits in our daily lives as the perfect example we must look up to. The greatest trial for any Muslim is to do justice to his/her role as an ambassador of the Prophet (PBUH) and all that he stood for. Through our actions and speech and living a life of integrity and humbleness, we should help the world understand who Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was and what he set out to achieve.