After the `Isha’ Prayer
  • Tue, 08/27/2013
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The Prophet returns home from offering the `Ishā’ prayer at the mosque. As soon as he enters the house, he prays the two-unit Sunnah prayer for `Ishā’, then sits for a while speaking with his family. He chats about things and enjoys this family time before going to bed.

There are days where he visits some of his Companions and spends part of the night speaking to them before retiring to his home. He visits with the local people of Madinah on some occasions. Sometimes, he meets with Abū Bakr and `Umar at Abū Bakr’s house to confer with them about the concerns of the Muslim community. When they finish, they walk with him back to the mosque to enjoy some more of his company.

On the way home at night, he often hears one of his Companions reciting the Qur’an in a beautiful voice and pauses to listen. He hears Abū Mūsā al-Ash`arī reciting and listens for a while. The next morning he goes up to him and says: “O Abū Mūsā, If you had only seen me yesterday listening to you recite. You have indeed been blessed with one of the wind instrument’s of David.”

Sometimes, the Prophet goes back into the mosque at night. On one occasion, he finds Ibn Mas`ūd standing in prayer, slowly and sweetly reciting the chapter of the Qur’an entitled al-Nisā’. The Prophet stands by and listens. He then comments to Abū Bakr and `Umar: “Whoever wishes to recite the Qur’an in the way it was revealed, let him recite like Ibn Mas`ūd.”

When the Prophet enters the mosque at night, he greets those who are awake in a soft voice so as not to disturb the sleepers. There are always some poor people sleeping in the mosque. Then the Prophet offers prayers before going home.

The Prophet returns home intending to sleep. He changes into lighter clothes. First, he places a cloth at the head of his bedding and then wraps it about himself. Then he takes off his two garments and hangs them up. Then he slips in under the blanket next to his wife. The mattress and pillow he shares with his wife are made of leather filled with palm fibres.

He places his tooth stick near his head so he can brush his teeth upon waking. Whenever he wakes up from sleeping, day or night, he always brushes his teeth. His tooth stick is always kept clean and near at hand. The Prophet is keen on oral hygiene. If anything, he worries that his teeth might fall out as a result of how vigorously he brushes them.

His concern for oral hygiene may stem from his constant communication with the angels of his Lord. For the same reason, he avoids eating herbs and vegetables that cause bad breath. When people ask him about his avoidance of those foods, he explains: “I am ashamed to face Allah’s angels like that. Those foods are not forbidden. I communicate with those you do not communicate with.”

He spends some time making conversation with his wife. We can imagine how sweet their conversation must be. It is night. The city is quiet. They are a husband and wife who love each other and long for each other’s company. It is a time for tenderness and romance. It is a time to draw closer and keep the bonds of marital love strong and healthy.

In this time of intimacy, the natural needs that a husband and wife have for each other might be consummated. If it is time for her menstrual period, the Prophet does not forget about her needs. He will still embrace her, but she will wear a waistcloth. Then they will do everything they wish with each other except for sexual intercourse.

This lets her know that her husband desires her for herself, and that the menstrual period is just part of nature which has no effect on how the husband and wife feel for each other and relate to each other. The Prophet describes menstruation as merely “something that Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam.”

The Prophet usually bathes before going to sleep after having sexual intercourse. He and his wife bathe from the same water basin. They take turns reaching in to scoop out water with their hands, saying to each other jokingly: “Let me go now.”

Then, the Prophet prepares his bed and lays down, intending to sleep.