Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad
by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui
This Worldly Life
Ibn Masud once saw the Prophet sleeping on a mat; when the Prophet woke up, there were marks impressed on his body by the roughness of the mat. Ibn Masud, on seeing this, begged the Prophet to let him or others know when and where he wanted to take a rest, so that they could make a proper bed for him. On this, the Prophet said that worldly comforts were not for him; he was like a wayfarer who took a little rest in the shade of a tree, and then went on the way to his real destination.
On another occasion, Umar saw the Prophet lying on a mat woven out of dried palm leaves, while his head was resting on a rough leather cushion. Umar’s eyes were filled with tears, and he requested the Prophet to pray to God to grant his followers worldly goods and comforts of life like those enjoyed by the non-Muslims of Persia and Syria. Thereupon, the Prophet chided him, but at the same time consoled him that although the worldly riches might be enjoyed by others, yet the rewards and comforts of the world hereafter awaited the faithful.