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Muhammad was a very simple person all his life. He was very unceremonious and informal in his habits. Even when he was the ruler of a state, he ate whatever he was given, wore coarse cloth, and sat on the floor, bare ground or a mat without any hesitation, alone or in the company of others. He ate bread made from coarse flour and even spent days living only on dates. He wore simple clothes and did not like display or show. He liked simplicity and informality in everything.

Worldly things meant little to the Prophet. Ibn Mas`ud said that Allah's Messenger slept on a reed mat and got up with the mark of it on his body. He said, "O Allah's Messenger! I wish you would order us to spread something out for you and make something." The Prophet replied, "What have I to do with the world? I am like a rider who rests for a while under the shade of a tree, then goes off and leaves it." `Ubaydullah ibn Muhsin reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "If anyone among you is secure in mind (also, among his family or in his house) in the morning, healthy in body, and has food for the day, it is as though the whole world has been brought into his possession." Abu Hurayrah reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "Look at those who are inferior to you and do not look at those who are superior to you, for that is more likely to keep you from despising Allah's Favor on you."

The Prophet abstained from ostentatious living. He often wore rough clothes. His bed was sometimes made of a rough blanket, sometimes of skin filled with palm fibers, and sometimes of ordinary coarse cloth. In the ninth year of Hijrah, when the Islamic state had extended from Yemen to Syria, its ruler had only one bed and one dry water-skin. `A'ishah reported that when he died, there was nothing in the house to eat except some barley.

Once `Umar entered Muhammad's house and noticed the state of the furnishings in it. Muhammad himself had only one sheet of cloth round him to cover the lower part of his body. There was one simple bed with one pillow filled with nut fiber. On one side of the room was some barley and in one corner near his feet was an animal skin. There were some water-skins hanging beside his bed. `Umar said that on seeing this tears came into his eyes. Allah's Messenger asked the reason for his tears. He replied, "O Allah's Messenger! Why shouldn't I cry! The strings of the bed have left marks on your body. This is a small room with all your furniture, I can see what there is. The Byzantine Emperor and the Persian Emperor enjoy luxurious living while you, the Messenger of Allah and the Chosen One, live like this." He said, "Ibn al-Khattab! Don't you like that they choose this world and we choose the Hereafter?"

In short, Muhammad lived and liked a simple life. He taught his Companions, through his personal example, not to be ostentatious and materialistic.







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