The Prophet's Worship
the prophet peace be upon him used to do much prayer, fasting, dhikr, supplication and other kinds of worship. and when he performed an act of worship he would continue with it and do it regularly. `a'ishah reported, "when he peace be upon him missed his night prayers due to pain or something else he peace be upon him would pray twelve rak`ahs the next day." (muslim)
he peace be upon him never abandoned night prayers and used to stand until his feet were swollen. when he was asked about it, he peace be upon him said, "should i not be a grateful servant?" (al-bukhari and muslim)
hudhayfah ibn al-yamanmay allah be pleased with him said, "the other night i prayed with the prophet peace be upon him and he peace be upon him began with surah al-baqarah. i thought that he would bow after a hundred verses but he continued, so i thought he would pray one rak`ah with it. but then he peace be upon him began surah an-nisaa' and recited it, and then surah aali `imraan and recited it; and he recited slowly. when he peace be upon him came to a verse of praise he peace be upon him would praise almighty allah, and when he peace be upon him came to a verse of supplication he peace be upon him would supplicate, and when he peace be upon him came to a verse mentioning punishment he peace be upon him would seek refuge in almighty allah. then he peace be upon him bowed in ruku`, saying,'subhana rabbi al-`adheem.' his ruku` was about as long as his standing. then he peace be upon him said,'sami`-allahu liman hamidah' and stood for almost as long as his ruku`. then, he peace be upon him prostrated, saying,'subhana rabbi al-a`la.' his prostration was almost as long as he peace be upon him had been standing." (muslim)
he peace be upon him always used to pray ten rak`ahs regularly when at home: two before dhuhr prayer and two after it, two after maghrib, two after `ishaa' and two before fajr. he adhered more strictly to the sunnah of fajr than any other voluntary prayer. he peace be upon him never missed these two rak`ahs or the witr prayer, whether travelling or at home, and it was not reported that he performed any voluntary prayers during his travels except the sunnah of fajr and the witr. he peace be upon him would sometimes perform four rak`ahs before the dhuhr prayer, and once he peace be upon him prayed during the night reciting one verse of the qur'an, which he peace be upon him kept on repeating until the morning.
he peace be upon him was keen to fast on mondays and thursdays and said, "deeds are shown [to allah] on mondays and thursdays, and i like to have my deeds shown while i am fasting."(at-tirmidhi - hasan)
he peace be upon him used to fast the first three days of every lunar month. mu`adhah al-`adawiyyah asked `a'ishah, "did the prophet peace be upon him fast three days of every month?" she replied, "yes." she asked, "in which part of the month did he peace be upon him fast?" `a'ishah said, "it would not matter to him in which part of the month he peace be upon him fasted." (muslim)
ibn `abbas may allah be pleased with him reported: "the messenger of allah peace be upon him would not fail to fast the days of the full moon (the 13th, 14th and 15th), whether at home or on a journey. (an-nasa'i – hasan) and he peace be upon him would fast `ashuraa'(the tenth of muharram)and encourage people to fast it.
and `a'ishah said, "he peace be upon him never fasted in any other month more than he peace be upon him did in sha`baan; he peace be upon him used to fast nearly all of it. in another narration she said, "he would fast sha`baan except for a little." (al-bukhari and muslim)
as for dhikr, the prophet's peace be upon him tongue never ceased mentioning allah, the mighty and majestic. he peace be upon him used to mention almighty allah in every condition. when he peace be upon him finished his prayer he would ask allah's forgiveness three times and say, "allaahumma antas-salaamu wa minkas-salaamu, tabaarakta ya dhal-jalaali wal- ikraam."
(o allah, you are peace and from you comes peace. blessed are you, o owner of majesty and honour.) (muslim) and after ending the prayer and pronouncing the final salutation, he peace be upon him would say,
"la ilaaha ill-allaahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa `ala kulli shay'in qadeer. allaahumma la maani`a limaa`tayta, wa la mu`tiya limamana`ta, wa la yanfa`u dhal-jaddi minkal-jadd.” (there is no god but allah, alone, having no partner. his is sovereignty and to him is all praise and he is over all things competent. o allah, there is no preventer of what you grant and no granter of what you prevent, and no means will benefit a man of means against you.) (al-bukhari and muslim)
during his ruku` and sujud (prostration) he peace be upon him would say, "subbuhun quddusun rabbul-malaa'ikati war-rooh." (exalted and pure, lord of the angels and the spirit.) (muslim)
anastreported that the most frequent supplication of the prophet peace be upon him was, "rabbana aatina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-aakhirati hasantan wa qina `adhaaban-naar. (our lord, grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter and save us from the torment of the fire) (al-bukhari and muslim)
and he peace be upon him would ask allah's forgiveness often. ibn `umar may allah be pleased with him reported: "we would count that the messenger of almighty allah said a hundred times during one meeting,
"my lord, forgive me and accept my repentance. indeed, you are the oft-forgiving, the merciful." (abu dawud and at-tirmidhi, who graded it as hasan-saheeh)
the prophet peace be upon him prohibited going to extremes in worship and warned against overexertion. he peace be upon him said,
"take on only what you can endure, for allah does not lose interest until you do." and he peace be upon him said that the best worship is that which is done consistently. (al-bukhari and muslim)
"the spirit" refers to the angel jibreel.