Authenticity of the Messenger''s

Q: I want to learn about the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When was he born? How long did he live? When did he die? How many women did he marry? What was the Du‘a’ (supplication) he used to say before going to sleep?

A: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was born on Monday, 12th of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant (approximately 570 A.C.). He (peace be upon him) lived for sixty-three years and spent fifty-three years of his life in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and ten years in Al-Madinah. He died in Al-Madinah on Monday, 12th of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, 11 A.H. The Prophet (peace be upon him) married eleven wives: Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Sawdah bint Zam‘ah, ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Hafsah bint ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, Um Salamah Hind bint Abu Umayyah, (Part No. 4; Page No. 382)  Zaynab bint Jahsh, Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith Al-Mustalqiyah, Um Habibah Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan, Safiyyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab, and Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyah (may Allah be pleased with them all). Two of the Prophet’s wives died during his lifetime: Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzaymah (may Allah be pleased with them both). When he (peace be upon him) died, he left nine wives behind (may Allah be pleased with them all).There are many Prophetic Du‘a’ and Adhkar (invocations and remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) to be said before going to sleep. For example, Al-Bukhari and Muslim related on the authority of Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: When you go to your bed perform Wudu’ (ablution) as you do for Salah (Prayer), then lie down on your right side and say: ‘Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilaika, wa fauwadtu amri ilaika, wa alja'tu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika. La malja'a wa la manja minka illa ilaika. Amantu bikitabik al-ladhi anzalta wa nabiyik al-ladhi arsalta [O Allah, I surrender myself to You, and I entrust my affairs to You, and I totally rely on You, in hope and fear of You. Verily, there is no refuge nor safe haven from You except with You. O Allah! I believe in Your Book (the Holy Qur’an) which You have revealed and in Your Prophet (Muhammad) whom You have sent.]’ If you die (on that night), you will die on Fitrah (pure innate nature, i.e. on the religion of Islam). Let these be the last (words) that you speak (before sleep). Furthermore, Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to bed, he would say: Bismika amut wa ahyaa [In Your Name I live and die]. Whenever he (peace be upon him) woke up, he would say: Al-hamdu lil-Lahi al-ladhi ahyana ba`da ma amatana, wailahi an-nushur [All praise be to Allah Who has given us life after He made us die (sleep) and unto Him is the Resurrection.] According to another narration: Allahumma bismika amut wa ahyaa [O Allah, it is in Your Name that I live and die]. If you want to learn more supplications, you can refer to Al-Adhkar Al-Nawawiyyah (Part No. 4; Page No. 383) by Al-Nawawy and Al-Wabil Al-Sayb by Ibn Al-Qayyim. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.