The Prophetic Morning Routine in 5 Simple Steps
What is your morning routine?
Our daily habits and routine influence our mental health and general wellbeing in such a profound way. As such, we will explore this theme throughout this month with a special focus on the routine of the Prophet ﷺ which we can learn so much from In Sha Allah.
We all know what it feels like to wake up late, rush and run and panic about being late for class or work, and how this stress in the morning can impact our whole day. Maybe even just remembering this has made us stressed! On the other hand, we’ve experienced or can imagine how freeing and blissful it would be to start the morning in a state of calm contentment, with deep gratitude and excitement for the day ahead. Our small choices daily add up and contribute to the improvement or decline of our mental health, and today we will be taking inspiration from the Prophet ﷺ’s morning routine to hopefully start making small changes which will boost our wellbeing long-term.
- Wake up to the call to prayer
After a night of prayer the Prophet ﷺ would sleep and wake to the Fajr (dawn) adhan (call to prayer). It’s beautiful to think that the first thing he wakes to is the remembrance of Allah. Find a way to start our day with a reminder of Allah SWT, maybe by setting up the adhan as a morning alarm will help if you haven’t done this already.
- Say the Morning Supplication
On waking the Prophet ﷺ also said a short dua, which we can easily memorise In Sha Allah:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ
“All praise be to Allah, who gave us life after he made us die (sleep is a form of death) and to Him will we be raised and returned”.
It’s worth really thinking about how we wake up and what the first things we think about are, because they reveal a lot about our spiritual and therefore mental state.
If we find that we wake and all of a sudden feel stressed, upset and thinking ‘I don’t want to leave this bed and deal with whatever challenges I’m facing’, a change needs to be made. The Prophet ﷺ started his day by praising Allah for giving him another day of life, even though he also suffered deeply in his life and faced many challenges. SubhanAllah, every new day is a gift and we need to be conscious of this both in happy and sad times. Notice how we feel in the morning and what could be contributing to that. If we are reaching out to our phones in the morning and checking social media as the first thing we do in the day – reflect upon that instead of making us feel gratitude, this may be encouraging us to be ungrateful by comparing our life to others, or it may make us feel stressed to see news articles about awful situations around the world especially first thing in the morning.
- Use Miswak/ brush your teeth and do wudu
Our body has rights over us and taking care of it in the knowledge that our health is a great blessing is important. The Prophet ﷺ took care of his oral hygiene by using a Miswak to clean his teeth, both to show gratitude and care for the blessing of having teeth and as a sign of respect to Allah SWT to ensure that his breath smelt good and his teeth were clean during the morning prayer. None of us would be comfortable speaking to a friend with our morning breath, the idea of someone else thinking our breath stinks is embarrassing, and we should also think about this before praying as a Sunnah. We know that sometimes people who are struggling with depression in particular can neglect their personal hygiene. Taking things step by step and making brushing our teeth and washing in the morning non-negotiable is something that can help us feel more awake and motivated to face the day.
The Prophet ﷺ would pray optional prayers, before leaving the house with his left foot to go to the masjid where he would enter with his right foot to pray Fajr with other believers. Whilst all the obligatory prayers are special, the early morning and late evening in particular can be so peaceful because it is a time before we start interacting with others, there’s a quietness and aloneness with Allah that we can find in this time. So make the most of this to speak to Allah SWT, to pray for forgiveness and show gratitude for the blessings He has given. Speak to Him about what you intend for the day ahead, anything can be a form of worship with the right intention, don’t underestimate how powerful it is to set your intentions and seek the help of Allah in bringing those to life.
- Serve the community and spend time with family
The Prophet ﷺ would also show interest in the people who gathered to pray Fajr in the mosque, speaking with them after the prayer and staying in the Mosque until sunrise to serve his community before returning home to spend time with his family. There are certainly ways we can think of to serve our communities in the morning, whether this is packing an extra sandwich with us to give to a homeless person for breakfast, or simply sending a good morning message to our families with an Islamic reminder that can bring joy to their day. We have the power to positively impact people’s lives even if it is just through a resolution to be kind and calm in the morning rush hour.
We have time to contemplate things now but when lockdown is over let us try not to be one of those people that pushes and shoves and is grumpy in the morning. Our smile is a sunnah so even the resolution to exude gratitude and joy throughout the day is a service to the community and a form of ‘ibaadah (worship).
What is one small change you want to make to your morning routine inspired by the Prophet ﷺ?