Islamic Way of Sleeping

Today  medical science tells us that it is healthy sleeping position to sleep on your back or on your right side which is also the Islamic way of sleeping and we (Muslims) were told this 1400yrs ago by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). Sleeping on the right side does not let the weight of stomach & intestine to suppress heart, hence blood circulation is not affected.

Why Sleep ?

All living things require rest after activity, because activity entails wear and tear of living tissues, and rest means their repair. During sleep worn-out cells are replaced and waste products are eliminated. Not only do human beings and animals require sleep, but plants also stand in need of it. This is well exemplified in the case of the sunflower, which opens its petals at sunrise and closes them at dusk.

The example of the Holy Prophet is the best ideal in this respect. He generally went to bed early and got up a little after midnight for offering Tahajjud prayers, taking a nap again in the forenoon. Some people assert that it is advisable to go to bed late and get up late, but this practice is unsound as well as unnatural.

How Much To Sleep

As regards the amount of sleep, no hard and fast rules can be laid down, because it depends upon the age, occupation, temperament of the individual. As a rule, infants and children require more sleep than adults. The aged require more rest than actual sleep, i.e., they should spend more of their time in a reclining position. Brain workers require more sleep than those doing physical labour. Weak and sick people require more sleep than healthy ones. Healthy adults doing brain work should sleep for seven hours, as a rule.

Best Time To Sleep

Regarding the best time for sleep, it is evident that night is the best time for it. It is not a question of mere custom, that people work during the day and go the sleep at night; nature itself seems to have made the daylight hours specially suited for work and night-time for sleep and rest. Departure from this natural order causes greater strain and results in ill-health. The proof of it is, that watchmen’s and cinema star’s nocturnal work and consequent diurnal sleep produce a deleterious effect upon their health.

Sleep interferes with metabolism and stimulates the power of assimilation. Prolonged sleep is accordingly injurious to health, because it favours the absorption of foul vapours. That is why a prolonged period of sleep depresses an individual instead of refreshing and invigorating him. The advisability of alternating short periods of rest with short periods of activity is thus clear. The example of the Holy Prophet is the best ideal in this respect. He generally went to bed early and got up a little after midnight for offering Tahajjud prayers, taking a nap again in the forenoon. Some people assert that it is advisable to go to bed late and get up late, but this practice is unsound as well as unnatural. We find that all the animals and birds get up early in the morning. A Muslim is commanded to get up early in the morning to say his prayers, and this practice is natural as well as healthful.

The Kind Of Mattress

Hazrat Aishah report: “the mattress the prophet used to sleep on sleep-4was made of hide, stuffed with fiber. Benefit of avoiding soft bed in the light of medical science: Backache is often caused by regular use of soft bed as the mucsle of back are loosened. The pain gets aggravated on continuous use. Extremely soft and comfortable bed can lead to the inflammation of ureters, hence kidney diseases can be prevented by not using soft bed. The use of soft bed can reduce the gap between the vertebrae. The experts don’t recommend it. Infants using soft bed can suffer from deforming of bones, which may lead to disability.

It is sunnah to dust the bed before sleeping [AL-BUKHAARI (6320) & MUSLIM (2714)] NARATED BY ABU HURRAIRAH: the prophet(pbuh) said,”where one of you goes to his bed, let him dust off his bed with the inside of his lower garment for he does not know what came onto it after he left it. Then let him say: BISMIKA RABBEE WADA’TU JANBI WABIKA ARFA’UHU WA IN AMSAKTA NAFSI FARHAM-HAA WA IN ARSALTAHAG FAHFAZHAA BIMAA TUHFAZ BIHI IBAA DIKA AL-SAALIHEEN (IN YOUR NAME, MY LORD, I LIE DOWN, AND IN YOUR NAME I RISE, IF YOU SHOULD TAKE MY SOUL THAN HAVE MERCY ON IT, AND IF YOU SHOULD RETURN MY SOUL THEN PROTECT IT AS YOU PROTECT YOUR RIGHTEOUS SLAVES)”.

Sleeping Postures

Imam shafi states that there are 4 types of sleeps:

1-   Tto lie on the back-this is the sleep of the prophets.

2-   To sleep on the right side-this is the sleep of the worshippers (us!).

3-    To sleep on the left side-this is the sleep of the ruler.

4-   To sleep on the stomach-this is the sleep of the devil. [related by Al-BUKARI, Muslim, Al-TRIMIDDI AND ABU-DAWOOD.]

Sleep on Back or Right Side

sleep-5Today  medical science tells us that it is healthy sleeping position to sleep on your back or on your right side which is also the Islamic way of sleeping and we (Muslims) were told this 1400yrs ago by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). Sleeping on the right side does not let the weight of stomach & intestine to suppress heart, hence blood circulation is not affected.  By sleeping on the right side, the heart remains in the topside, one will not have a deep sleep. A little noise can prepare some one to face any contingency. It also develops the habit of early morning rise. Sitting & rubbing the eyes for a while after awaking adjusts the heartbeat according to the new posture hence it has positive impact on the hearth.

It Is forbidden to sleep on Stomach

00-sleepIts forbidden and not recommended to sleep on stomach; ya’eesh ibn Tihfah al ghifaari reported that his father said: “i stayed as a guest with the messenger of Allah (pbuh) with those of the poor whom he hosted. The messenger of Allah (pbuh) came out in the night to check up on his guest, and saw me lying on my stomach. He prodded me with his foot & said, do not lie in this manner, for it is a way of lying that Allah hate. According to another report, the prophet(pbuh) prodded him with his foot & wooke him up & said. “do not lie like this, for this is how the people of hell lie”, (reported bx Ahmad, Al-Fath Al-Rabban 14/244-245; by al trimidih, no.2798′ shaakir end:, and by abu dawood, al-sunnan, kitaab al-adab, no.5040, al-da’aas end. Also reported in saheeh al-jaami;2270-2271).

Best Example

(surah al ahzab ch33;v21 trans.) “there has certainly been for you in the messenger of Allah an exellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah & the last day & (whop) remember Allah often”.-in the present day science tells us that it’s best to sleep on the right side or back & not lying on the left side & stomach. Our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was aware of this back in his time. Beyond doubt he is the best example for us all to follow for all time.

So from these Hadith we see that it is okay and recommended to sleep on one’s back and right side. However, not recommended to sleep on one’s stomach. There is no prohibition of sleeping on the left side, however it seems that the Sunnah is on the right side or back. 

What does science today tell us about sleeping positions?

What does Modern Science Say

Researchers now know that sleeping on the stomach raises the risk of SIDS (sudden Infant death syndrome) sevenfold. That realization led to “Back to Sleep” campaigns in Britain in 1991 and in the United States in 1994. Between 1970 and the unveiling of that advice, 11,000 British infants — who might have survived if sleeping on the back had been the norm — died of SIDS. In the United States, Europe and Australia, “at least 50,000 excess deaths were attributable to harmful health advice,” Gilbert and her colleagues wrote.

It has been experienced that , vagal maneuvers ((neurology) of or sleep-3relating to the vagus nerve ) have worked sometimes to terminate the AF (,The nerve system which could damage the heart beat rhythm) but usually not on the first try.  Light exercise can also terminate AF, particularly when it has lasted into the morning or early afternoon.  Several posts to the atrial fibrillation message board have also reported that sleeping on the left side can trigger The nerve system which could damage the heart beat rhythm  during the night and it has been found that situation can be avoided by sleeping on the right side. It can also help to elevate the head and upper part of the body when sleeping, either by using several pillows or a bed that can be adjusted to do this.

Before Going To Bed

The Master Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) enjoined upon the Muslims to recite and meditate upon the text of the verse of the Holy Quran, entitled as Ayat-ul-Kursi and the last three chapters from the Holy Quran, before going to bed. These verses are not recited like a charm. As will be seen, they deal with the most sublime attributes of God, and as such deeply impress the mind of the individual. Contemplation of these Divine attributes purifies and elevates the soul – one seeks protection with God from all evil ideas and mischievous things. This practice if intelligently carried out, becomes a great source of moral strength.

It is inadvisable to go to sleep soon after the evening meal. The old adage, “After supper walk a mile,” holds good at all times. Islam advises the Muslims to say their Isha (late evening) prayer in particular, in congregation in a mosque. This commandment is good for the soul as well as for the body.

Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness is a frequent cause and accompaniment of insanity. Hence it is very important to get a good night’s rest. Sleeplessness can be overcome by concentration of ideas at bedtime. Factors which help in concentration and bring on sleep are ablution at bed time, warm bath, and hot drinks, etc.

The Islamic teachings are all based on natural and sound hygienic principles. It would be a pleasant task to study the Islamic doctrines in the light of the modern sciences.

Ideas Before Sleep

An important practical point to remember in connection with sleep-6sleep is that any idea which is present in the mind before going to sleep remains latent in the subconscious mind throughout the night and unconsciously moulds our thoughts and actions. The proof is, that if a child goes to sleep while crying, he generally wakes up crying. Again, if he falls to sleep while sucking, he make similar movements when roused from sleep. Hence it is advisable to concentrate our attention upon moral and spiritual ideas before going to sleep.

Today science tells us that it is best to sleep on the right side or back and not on the left side and stomach. Glory be to Allah, how did the glorious Prophet Muhammad know this back in his time? Truly he is a great example for us all to follow (Surah 33:21) for all time.


 Best Sleeping Position…

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Retired as Aeronautical Engineer, and worked as a journalist for a long time. Settled down to dedicate myself to the service of the religion. Have translated holy Quran in poetry, and I am in the process of writing Tafsir. I encourage all interested to send articles to this website, where the articles shall be printed with their own names. If you like an article, please "Like' in the "Facebook box" on right side

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