the prophet peace be upon him knew the reality of this world, its brevity and its temporary nature. so he peace be upon him lived in it not in affluence but as a poor person, enduring hunger one day with patience and eating one day with gratitude.
he peace be upon him made clear to his ummah the danger of worldly temptations and of becoming submerged in its desires and its pleasures. he peace be upon him said,
"the world is beautiful and green and allah has given you responsibility therein and observes what you do. so beware of the world and beware of women because the first temptation of the children of israel was from women."(muslim)
and the prophet peace be upon him knew that this world is a paradise only for those who have no share in the eternal paradise, and would say,
"o allah, there is no life but the life of the hereafter."(al bukhari and muslim)
hence, the hereafter was his greatest concern, so he peace be upon him would empty his heart of the concerns of this world. and although worldly things eventually came to him in abundance, he peace be upon him disassociated himself from them, saying, "what do i need of this world? it is like the shade of a tree in which a rider naps at noon; then he moves on and leaves it." (at-tirmidhi, who graded it as hasan-saheeh)
`amr ibn al-harithmay allah be pleased with him, the brother of juwayriah, wife of the prophet peace be upon him, said, "the messenger of allah peace be upon him did not leave at his death a single dinar or dirham, nor did he leave a male or female slave or anything at all except a white mule that he used to ride, his weapon and a piece of land that he had left as a charity to be used by travellers." (al-bukhari)
this is what the best of all creation peace be upon him left behind. he peace be upon him had refused to be a messenger who was a king and preferred to be a messenger who was a servant. abu hurayrah may allah be pleased with him reported that jibreel peace be upon himsat in front of the prophet peace be upon him, and he looked toward the sky and saw an angel descending. jibreel peace be upon himsaid to him, "this angel has not descended since he was created before now." when he descended he said, "o muhammad peace be upon him, your lord has sent me to you. shall i make you a king and messenger or a servant and messenger?" jibreel peace be upon himtold him, "be humble to your lord, o muhammad peace be upon him." so the messenger of allah peace be upon him said, "no, rather a servant and messenger." (ibn hibban – graded as saheeh by al-albani)
thus, the prophet's peace be upon him life was based on modesty and indifference to the world. `a'ishah reported: the messenger of allah peace be upon him died in my house where there was no meat and nothing for him to eat but some barley on my shelf which i had eaten from for a long period. then i ate it and it finished." (al-bukhari and muslim)
`umar ibn al-khattabmay allah be pleased with him spoke about what people had acquired in this world and then said, "i saw the messenger of allah peace be upon him bent over [with hunger], not finding even the worst quality of dates to fill his stomach." (muslim)
anas may allah be pleased with him reported that the messenger of allah peace be upon him said,"i have been frightened in the cause of allah as no one else has been, and have been harmed in the cause of allah as no one else has been, and have spent thirty days and nights with bilal when we had nothing to eat except what bilal could hide under his armpit." (at-tirmidhi, who graded it as hasan-saheeh)
ibn `abbasmay allah be pleased with himreported: "the messenger of allah peace be upon him would spend several consecutive nights with his family not finding anything for dinner, and most of their bread was of barley." (at-tirmidhi, who graded it as hasan-saheeh)
and anas may allah be pleased with him said, "the prophet peace be upon him never ate at a table until he died, and he peace be upon him never ate thin loaves of bread until hepeace be upon him died."
he peace be upon him used to sit on a straw mat and sleep on it. `umar ibn al-khattab may allah be pleased with him reported: "i came to the messenger of allah peace be upon him and he peace be upon him was lying on a mat. he peace be upon him was wearing a waistcloth and nothing else, so the mat had made marks on his side. and i noticed a handful of barley, about one measure, and some lentils in a corner of the room and a water skin hanging. my eyes filled with tears. he peace be upon him said,'what makes you weep, ibn al-khattab?' i said, 'o prophet of allah peace be upon him, how can i not weep when this mat has marked your side and i do not see on your shelf except what i see? chosroes and caesar live among fruit gardens and rivers while you are allah's prophet peace be upon him and his chosen one, and this is your provision?!' he peace be upon him said,
'o ibn al-khattab, are you not pleased that we have the hereafter and they have the world?'" (ibn majah – graded as saheeh by al-mundhiri)