And of His signs is your slumber by night and by day, and your seeking of His bounty. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who heed. [Al-Room, ayah 23]
1. Ponder the Greatness of Your Lord
In Ayat ul Kursi Allaah ‘azza wajal says: Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep . . . Ponder on how weak we are and how much we are in need of Him. Sleep is an ayah (sign) of the Power of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’alaa.
2. Give Thanks by Sleeping with the Right Intention
Sleep is a blessing from Allaah ‘azza wajal that we don’t often reflect upon. Just like our free time, our health, our wealth, you give thanks for them by using them in the right way. Sleep with the intention to be strong for worship!
3. Remember Your Ultimate Destination
Just as we sleep and wake up, so will we die one day and be resurrected on the Day of Judgement where we will either get rewarded for for good deeds or punished for your bad deeds. What have you prepared for this day? Remind yourself of the Day of Judgement every time you wake up!
And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep [a means for] rest and has made the day a resurrection. [Al-Furqan, 25:47]
The Bigger Picture
Right now you might always have thought, I just have to fulfill a certain amount of sleep in order to get through my days. How come the righteous before us used to sleep much less and had much more energy than us during the day? The answer is barakah. Allaah ‘azza wajal put barakah in their sleep.
Let’s look at some do’s and don’ts of sleeping so you can gain these blessings as well and become more productive!
Sleep DO’s From the Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
1. Most important: have the right intention.
Sleep for the akhirah. Sleep with the intention to be able to worship Allaah subhanahu wa ta’alaa better and never use sleep as an excuse to not fullfill the rights of Allaah (like saying; “I’m too tired to get up for fajr, let me sleep!”) Ask Allah ‘azza wajal to help you sleep with the right intention and put barakah in it.
2. Hurry up to your family.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Journey is a piece of punishment because it disturbs one’s sleep patterns, eating and drinking so when one of you fulfils his job, you should hurry up to your family.
3. Make wudu’.
Ibn Abbas reported that Allaah’s Messenger said: Purify these bodies and Allaah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an Angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the Angel] says, ‘O Allah! Forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.’ [at-Tabaranee]. Even if you are in state of janabah and you want to sleep, still make wudu.
4. Say your bed-time supplications.
Here are some examples of evening adkhaar (dhikr) from the Sunnah of the Prophet:
- Recite Ayat ul-Kursi to get protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى from shaytaan
- Recite Surah al-Ikhlas, Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas thrice and dry spit in your hands thrice and with it wipe your body.
- Do 33x Tasbih (SubhanAllah), 33x Tahmid (Alhamdulillah) and 34x Takbir Allahu akbar) and contemplate upon them
- Read Surah al-Mulk and Surah al-Sajda and Surah al-Kafiroon
- Another bed-time dua is: Allahumma bismika ‘amootu wa ahyaa ( O Allaah, in Your Name I live and in Your Name I die.’ And there are many more, these are a way to follow the sunnah and gain barakah while you sleep. Nothing makes you sleep more peacufuil then remembering Allaah ‘azza wajal just before you fall asleep!
5. Dust off the bed and lie on your right side.
The Prophet said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side…” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
Amazing fact: Scientists say that sleeping on the left side is not favored, as the heart would be under the pressure of the right lung, the biggest of the two lungs, and this would affect its contraction especially if the person is old. Also they assure that the full stomach which itself is under the pressure of the heaviest organ in the digestive tract, the liver, which delays its emptying, would also impose a pressure on the heart. Hence they advise people to sleep on the right side especially for patients by any heart disease. Allahu akbar. Who told the Prophet this medical advice?
6. The Night Prayers: Witr and Tahajjud
If you sleep for the dunya, you will easily say; I rather sleep then pray the night prayer. However if you sleep for the akhirah, you will benefit in this life and the next! When the people would ask the Salaf-us-Salih, “Why are you spending all these nights in Qiyam?” They would reply, “So that we can rest on the Day of Judgement.” The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمused to pray Qiyam-al-Layl and would sleep about an hour before Fajr.
Tip: If you prefer to wake up before fajr to pray the witr prayer and the tahajjud prayer then obviously do so. But if you know you most likely won’t get up that early, it’s better if you pray them before you sleep!
7. Stay awake after Fajr to gain provision!
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to stay awake after Fajr till the sunrise. One of the Companions saw his son sleeping in that time and said to him, “Get up, this is not the time to sleep. This is the time when Allah سبحانه و تعالى divides the provision amongst His ‘Ibaad.”
One of the sahaabah had a business and he would always start his business early in the morning. The other Companions said, “He became a very wealthy person!”
Sleep DONT’s from the Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
Here are some makruhaat (discouraged acts) regarding sleeping.
1. Don’t sleep on your stomach.
Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله تعالى عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم saw someone sleeping on his stomach and he صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “This is a reclining that is not loved by Allah سبحانه و تعالى.”
2. Stay away from disobedience of Allaah.
To have a good sleeping pattern stay away from sins as much as you can. Sufyan ath-Thawri رحمه الله said, “I was denied of Qiyam-al-Layl because of the that I committed 5 months ago.”
3. Don’t nap after ‘asr.
During the day, sleep the Qailula which is the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم which is sleeping between Dhuhr and ‘Asr. He said: “Nap as Satans do not nap.” [at Tabaranee].
Amazing fact: A new scientific research has proved that napping during work reduces the possibilities of having serious heart problems that may be deadly.
4. A final motivation: Don’t let shaytan tie up those knots!
The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”
Extra note: care for your brothers and sisters around the world.
If you want Allaah ‘azza wajal to help you, always look out on how you can aid your brothers and sisters. The Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.” [Muslim]
May Allaah Al-Hayyu Al-Qayyum aid us in sleeping with the right intention, enable us to observe the sunan of sleeping, place barakah in our sleep and give us rest on the Day of Judgement, ameen!
I pray you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya, United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL, Qur’an & Productivity is a global project with the exciting goal to inspire every Muslim worldwide to open the Qur’an every day, pick one ayah and apply it to your own life by making acting on the ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Qur’an to our daily life! Check www.ayahjournal.com and follow us on www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for vibrant Qur’an & Productivity tips.