Manners And Importance Of Sleeping in Islam

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Islam is a complete code of life. Religion Islam teaches everything for a human being for their successful and happy life in this world and the hereafter. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has taught us very beautiful and worthwhile disciplines which we should follow in every aspect of our life. If we follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in general then our day to day activities will be considered as Worship and we will be given rewards from Allah Almighty.

Sleeping is one of the daily activities that we all human beings must perform and also a gift from Allah (SWT). After a long tiring day at work, we need a peaceful night sleep. Before going to bed we must do a few good things daily at night just before sleeping to remember Allah (SWT) and to earn great rewards from Him. These are the Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and we all should follow them.


Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

Manners of Sleeping in Islam

Religion Islam like all other matters of life also gives instructions about the right and proper way of sleeping in the form of the sleeping habits of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Doing these good, short yet powerful deeds won’t take much time and once it becomes a habit you will love doing it every day before sleeping.

  • Sleeping time is one of the most important things, sleeping on time should also be made a habit if one wishes to remain healthy. It is quite natural that those who go to bed early, rise early as well. We should go to bed early so that we can wake up on time for Fajr prayer. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would go to bed early and commended that a person should stay up late night only if he is to offer the night prayer, recite the Holy Quran or if he is married and has a newlywed life.
  • The sleeping position also matters it is recommended to sleep on the right side while facing the Qibla and keeping the right hand placed under the right cheek. Sleeping on the left side or lying on the stomach is Makruh and thus should be avoided.
  • Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to perform wudu before sleeping. The Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Whenever you intend to go to bed, perform Wudu’ as is done for Salat (prayer)” (Bukhari). Hence, for a Muslim performing Wudu before going to sleep is a great chance to make the act of sleeping as an act of worship.
  • Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to sweep His bed before going to sleep, which points towards the fact that a Muslim must ensure cleanliness. Therefore, when going to bed we must make sure that it is clean in all regards. It is further advised to brush one’s teeth, go to the bathroom, to cleanse oneself from sweat and unpleasant odors before sleeping.
  • Before going to sleep a Muslim must also remember Allah (SWT) by supplicating to Him. The Dua of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) before going to sleep is: “بِاسْمِكَ اللَّهُمَّ أَمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا” (“In your name O Allah! I live and die.”)
  • Say “Subhan Allah” 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” 33 times and “Allah u Akbar” 34 times before going to sleep.
  • Recite Durood Sharif and don’t sleep on your stomach as it is the way of the people of hell and is not liked by Allah Almighty

Muslims should follow the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and make the simple act of sleeping into an activity that provides religious and spiritual benefits.

Importance of Sleep

Modern sleep scientists believe that sleep deprivation has deleterious effects on mental concentration, memory, mood, and quality of life. In addition, recent data indicate that sleep deprivation impairs endocrine and metabolic functions. Islam also emphasizes the importance of getting enough sleep. One Hadith by the Prophet (pbuh) in Sahih Al-Bukhari (SB) says, “If anyone of you feels drowsy while praying he should go to bed (sleep) till his slumber is over”.

READ MORE: 5 things before sleeping

The Prophet (pbuh) told one of his companions (Ibn Amr) who was praying the whole night “Offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you”. Once the Prophet (pbuh) entered the Mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said, “What is this rope?” The people said, “This rope is for Zainab, who, when she feels tired, holds it (to keep standing for the prayer.)” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Don’t use it. Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired, sleep”). Another Hadith narrated by Aisha (wife of the Prophet [pbuh]) in Musnad Ahmed (MA) tells of a woman from the tribe of Bani Asad, who was sitting with Aisha when Allāh’s Apostle (pbuh) came to my house and said, “Who is this?” Aisha replied, “She is so and so”. She does not sleep at night because she is engaged in prayer. The Prophet said disapprovingly, “Do (good) deeds which are within your capacity as Allāh never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds”.

Types of Sleep in the Quran

The Quran frequently mentions sleep. There is a general Arabic word for “sleep” (Noum) and other Arabic words for specific types of sleep. The word “sleep” and its derivatives appear nine times in the Quran. In addition, different Arabic words are used to describe sleep in the Quran, and these may correspond to the different sleep stages identified by modern sleep science:


This word has been defined as “slumber” or “dozing off for a very short period”, during which there is prompt arousal following environmental stimulation. This may correspond to stage 1 sleep identified by modern sleep scientists. A verse in the Quran uses the word “Sinah” when describing Allāh “No slumber (Sinah) can seize Him nor sleep” [verse 2.255]. In the Quran, sleep implies a manifestation of weakness and bodily need for rest. Therefore, while the Creator (Allāh) does not sleep or doze off, His creations, including mankind, need sleep every day.


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Two verses in the Quran use the word “Nu’ass”. One verse says “Remember when He covered you with a slumber (Nu’ass) as a security from him” [verse 8.11]. This describes the fear and stress of the believers during the battle of Badr, when slumber (Nu’ass) provided them with a feeling of security and relief from stress. Nu’ass in this verse implies a short nap, which may correspond to stage 1 and stage 2 sleep identified by modern sleep scientists. It was recently suggested that a short nap can reduce stress and blood pressure (BP), with the main changes in BP occurring between the time of lights off and the onset of stage 1.[8–10] A second verse of the Quran says “Then after the distress, He sent down security upon you. Slumber (Nu’ass) overtook a party of you, while, another party was thinking about themselves (as how to save their own selves)” [verse 3.154].


This word has been given several interpretations. In our view, the most appropriate definition is “sleep for a long period”, as Allāh has described the People of the Cave with this term in the Quran[2] “And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep (Ruqood)” [verse 18. 18]. The Quran states that the People of the Cave stayed in their caves for 300 solar years, adding nine (for lunar years) [verse 18. 25], as discussed later.


This term describes pious believers who fear Allāh, “They used to sleep but little by night (Hojoo). And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allāh) for forgiveness” [verse 51. 17-18]. This word indicates “sleep at night”.


The word “Subaat” is derived from the Arabic word “Sabt”, which means disconnecting.[2] “Subaat” may indicate a disconnection from the surrounding environment during sleep. A verse in the Quran says, “And we made your sleep (Subaat) as a thing for rest” [verse 78.9]. Therefore, “Subaat” may be considered to be “deep sleep”, corresponding to the slow wave sleep identified by modern sleep scientists.

READ MORE: Does Islam reject the Golden Rule and forbid befriending non-Muslims?

Based on the above, we suggest that the arrangement of sleep stages/states is Sinah and Nu’ass, followed by Hojoo, and Ruqood and then Subaat.


In the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in our knowledge of sleep physiology, sleep disorders, and the importance of sleep. Islam and other ancient religions also provide significant information about the historical and cultural views of sleep, and these precede modern scientific studies by hundreds or thousands years.

Manners And Importance Of Sleeping in Islam
Manners And Importance Of Sleeping in Islam

The Quran describes different types of sleep, and these correspond with different sleep stages identified by modern sleep scientists. About 1400 years ago, Muhammad (pbuh) stressed the importance of sleep for good health and the Quran stresses the importance of the alteration of night and day. A nap (Qailulah) is a well-established cultural practice in the Islamic culture. For some Muslims, the nap has religious dimensions. Modern sleep scientists acknowledge the beneficial effect of short naps. Muslims have been following certain sleep habits for hundreds of years, following the instructions and practices of their Prophet (pbuh). Modern sleep scientists currently recommend many of these same practices. Dream interpretation is an established science in the Muslim literature and Islamic theories of dream interpretation correspond with many theories currently proposed by modern sleep scientists.

We suggest that sleep scientists examine religious literature to understand the views, behaviors, and practices of ancient people in regard to sleep and sleep disorders. Such studies may help to answer unresolved questions in sleep science or lead to new areas of inquiry.

References: NCBI and Quran Reading

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