Sunnahs Before We Sleep

bunnies and bears with moons background
Sleepy-time night blanket with bunnies and bears © Innaqueen | Dreamstime.com

As Muslims, we believe that we should follow the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We should strive to do this in every aspect of our lives. We may think that we are already following him (SAW) by doing certain things, but there is always more for us to learn about him and adapt our lives so that we are following his example as well as bettering our relationship with our Lord.

We should learn about the way he (SAW) would live his life, what he would do before sleeping, his behaviour towards others and many other things.

There are many hadiths about what our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would do before going to sleep. We should strive to follow these practices.

Often before we head to sleep, we may end up speaking to those around us (whether that be our relatives or friends) about matters of this temporary life. Maybe we are planning a family gathering, or discussing tomorrow’s shopping trip.

We may be, to a certain degree, consumed by our careers, families, friends, homes etc. This mindset may mean that even before we go to sleep, those things remain on our minds. Amongst all this, we may forget simple but valuable things that we can do before going to sleep in order to follow the Sunnah.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would sleep on his right side. We should make an effort to remember this Sunnah. Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (RA) said in hadith:

“Whenever Messenger of Allah went to bed, he would lie down on his right side…” (Bukhari)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would also perform wudu (ablution) before he went to sleep.

It may be that before going to sleep, we feel lazy or tired to do this, but we should remind ourselves that Allah will reward us for our efforts in trying to follow the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We read in a hadith that he (SAW) said:

“Whenever you go to bed, perform Wudu’ as you do for prayer then (before sleeping)…” (Bukhari)

Sometimes when we have had a long day, or we are feeling unwell or exhausted, we may not realise the position we are sleeping in. We should remind ourselves to follow the Sunnah. There is a hadith which says:

Ya’ish bin Tikhfah Al-Ghifari (RA) said: “My father said: I was lying down on my belly in the mosque when someone shook me with his foot and said, “Lying down this way is disapproved by Allah.” I looked up and saw that it was Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (SAW).” (Abu Dawood)

We learn from this that we should avoid sleeping on our stomach. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that this sleeping position is disapproved by our Lord.

Our intention as Muslims is to please our Lord, so we should try to keep these things in mind.