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Aishah Iqbal

September 9

Islam & Productivity

83 Comments

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Doodle by Quratulain Tariq

Quick question to refresh our minds: who was Prophet Muhammad


believe he was the last and final messenger of the Creator to m

? As Muslims, we
ankind. His life isan

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 sunnah

is an ultimate guidance for leading a productive, successful life. Sometimes we neglect the
sunnah, however, and we find ourselves googling how to be successful/smart/productive,
while the sunnah of the Prophet
yet, the Prophet

has provided us with gems on how to do just that. Better

said:

Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever


loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise. [Tirmidhi]

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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 grow. Similarly, when learning about the Prophet

, you will

find hundreds of stories, attributes and habits that will be beneficial for your life if
implemented, In sha Allah.
In this article, we will discuss 12 sunnahs of the Prophet

that we must aim to revive, In sha

Allah, in hopes of increasing our productivity, and seeking the company of the beloved
Prophet

in the Hereafter.

1. Sleeping and waking up early

Our sleeping pattern plays a great role in our ability to function effectively during the day. The
hours after Fajr are among the most blessed of the day. Starting the day off by praying the
morning salah sets you in the right frame of mind to be the best you can be throughout the
day. However, in order to rise in the early hours it is imperative to sleep early as your body
requires an adequate amount of rest.

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 millionthings 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, In sha Allah.

2. Having a pleasant smile always


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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,
causingthe one who wears a smile to be happier. We underestimate the power of a smile
onboth ourselves and those around us. This characteristic is highly contagious and plays a
massive role in building relationships with those around you. Apositive mind and attitudeis
irreplaceable in the quest to be productive and achieve your goals in life. Smiling is a simple,
inexpensive act that helps lift your mood andmake you feel more grateful and content
sinceour Prophet

was seen frequently doing it. So, lets follow along this great sunnah.

Consciously take note ofyour usual facial expression:is your normal expression a happy
one or do you always appear sad, exhausted,preoccupied or frustrated?Itwill takea bit
ofregular effort, but you cancut down on the frowning, smile more often and spread joy and
peace around you as the Prophet

instructed.

3. Using the siwak

Abu Hurairah

narrated that Allahs Messenger

said:

If it were not that it would be difficult on my nation, then I would have


ordered them to use the siwak for each prayer. [Tirmidhi]

This hadith indicates the view of the Prophet

towards the siwak. Siwak comes from the

Salvadora persica tree and has many anti-bacterial qualities, making it a great way to maintain
hygiene of the mouth. It can be said, given how often the Prophet

would have liked us to

use the siwak, that there is a big emphasis on maintaining oral hygiene. It is narrated that the
Prophet

would use siwak upon waking. The teeth are delicate and when problems occur

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can cause tremendous amount of pain, so this sunnah introduces preventative measures
against a problem that can have you rolled up in bed for days. Siwak is easily purchasable and
relatively cheap, making it an easy sunnah to uphold. It keeps the mouth clean and fresh
naturally and effortlessly all the time.

Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Atiq said: My father told me: I heard Aishah
say, (narrating) from the Prophet

: Siwak is a means of purification

for the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord. [Sunan an-Nasai]

4. Oiling hair

I heard Jabir bin Samurah being asked about the grey hairs of the
Prophet

. He said: If he put oil on his head they could not be seen,

but if he did not put oil on his head, they could be seen.' [An-Nasai]

The act of oiling is something many of us do not recognise to be a part of the sunnah. This
hadith alludes to the idea of using oil to prevent grey hairs being visible, highlighting that the
sunnah of the Prophet

encompasses every aspect of life. Oiling hair on a regular basis

prevent hair loss and greying,promotes strong and lustrous hair by strengthening hair protein
and rejuvenates and relaxes the mind by soothing the brains nerves and capillaries. We seek
all this by spending a great deal of money at hairdressers and spas, yet this simple sunnah
can save us a great deal of money, time and effort whilst we continue to live like our beloved
Prophet

5. Maintaining the 1/3rd rule in eating


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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 bodys and brains
performance. This hadithclearly highlights that overeating is a reprehensible quality we
should stay away from. However, it is also important to remember that undereating is equally
as harmful to a person. In order to function, we need to have a balanced outlook towards our
meals; yourlevel of food consumption should not leave you feeling tired or bloated as this is a
state that leadsto laziness, which is a vice we seek refuge in Allah

from.

Can you conquer the world by sleeping? No. So, eat a nutritious, balanced meal that is
sufficient in suppressing your hunger.

6. 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
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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 Quran or doing vital tasks, or only
speaking things that benefit oneself and others in dunya and akhirah.

7. Doing hijama (cupping)

The Prophet

said:

If there is any healing in your medicines, then it is in cupping, a gulp


of honey or branding with fire (cauterization) that suits the ailment, but I
dont like to be (cauterized) branded with fire. [Bukhari]

The Prophet

would be cupped on a regular basis. This form of treatment has been used

throughout history in a number of countries. The benefits of cupping are vast, including the
removal of toxins within the blood. Studies have shown cupping to be beneficial in the
treatment of migraines, fertility and joint pains. This can be taken as a therapeutic measure
against stress, helping to relieve a person of thoughts that impinge on their ability to complete
their daily tasks.

8. Visiting the sick

The Prophet

said:

Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives. [Bukhari]

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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.

9. Sitting when eating/drinking

It was narrated from Anas

: The Prophet

prohibited that a man

should drink while standing. (Qatadah said) So it was said: And


eating? He (Anas) said: That is worse. [Tirmidhi]

Those who stand to eat or drink always look like they are in a rush. Sitting down to eat slows a
person in their eating habits, reducing the amount they are likely to eat and the
unhealthyspeed bywhich they do so. As mentioned above,eating consciously prevents a
person from becoming fatigued due totheir stomach size. Importantly, eating together as a
family, which requires you to sit, is a crucial way to build relationships.

10. Sleeping on your right side

When Allahs Messenger

went to bed, he used to sleep on his

right side.[Bukhari]

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One of the main points to consider when a person wants to have a productive, blessed day is
to look at how you go to sleep. The Prophet

was the most successful in how he spent his

days; the way in which he took to his sleep plays a role in helping him to be like this.
Following in his footsteps is the key to unlocking a fruitful morning.

11. Saying Salam/Bismillah before enteringa house

The Messenger of Allah

said:

If a person mentions the Name of Allah upon entering his house or


eating, Satan says, addressing his followers: You will find nowhere to
spend the night and no dinner. But if he enters without mentioning the
Name of Allah, Satan says (to his followers); You have found (a place)
to spend the night in, and if he does not mention the Name of Allah at
the time of eating, Satan says: You have found (a place) to spend the
night in as well as food. [Muslim]

None of us want shaytan to enter our homes; we are aware of the distractions he creates to
lead to our destruction. That being said, it is fundamentally important to seek refuge from his
evil ways. Upon entering our homes, it is crucial to utter the Name of Allah to prevent our
doors being open for him. shaytan is an enemy of productivity and success; his ultimate goal
is to see us fail in our journey to develop a relationship with Allah

. Take the measures, as

given in the sunnah, against him because he will squeeze into whatever gap visible to him.
Never let the enemy win!

12. Untying the three knots


Waking up for Fajr is a battle many of us have experienced or are experiencing. The hours of
the morning, as mentioned above, are a blessed time for being productive in studying and
completing various tasks. The sad reality is, many of us miss out on this because we fail to
wake up for Fajr on time.
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Allahs Messenger

said:

During your sleep, Satan knots three knots at the back of the head of
each of you, and he breathes the following words at each knot, The
night is, long, so keep on sleeping, If that person wakes up and
celebrates the praises of Allah, then one knot is undone, and when he
performs ablution the second knot is undone, and when he prays, all
the knots are undone, and he gets up in the morning lively and in good
spirits, otherwise he gets up in low spirits and lethargic. [Bukhari]

This hadith sets out the plan of action to be successful: wake up, praise Allah

, perform

wudu and pray fajr. Being lively and in good spirits are the perfect ingredients to having a
productive day, and this is what you will achieve when you follow this sunnah, In sha Allah.
How blessed are we that our religion teaches us about all the ingredients of a successful life?
Alhamdulillah!

Tell us, do you think you can easilyincorporate all these sunnahs in your life? What other
sunnahs can you think of that can help increase our productivity?

About Aishah Iqbal

Aishah is a medical student due to finish her studies next year


Insha'Allah. She is a keen writer who blogs on issues
concerning Muslim Women. She focuses on areas of personal
development such as productivity, fitness and health. Visit her blog
www.grainsandgains.com or facebook grainsandgains

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Haleema
September 9, 2015 at 3:22 am

MashaAllah tabarakAllah (Allah has Willed it, with the blessings of Allah)
This was a very helpful article perfect timing Im going to be starting
university in a few weeks InshaAllah, & this is just what I needed to get out
of a bad sleeping routine which I currently have! May Allah reward you with
goodness!

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