Etiquette of sleeping
Fatwa No: 90183

  • Fatwa Date:15-6-2005 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 9, 1426
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Question

Some people say that keeping hand on the forehead while sleeping is Haraam. Is it true? What does the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, say? Then how to sleep? Is it Haraam to sleep straight without bending sideways?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

There is no evidence in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that it is forbidden to put one's hand on the forehead when sleeping, and we have not heard that any scholar said this.

A person who is not eligible for Fatwa should refrain from giving Fataawa because talking on behalf of Allaah without knowledge is one of the great major sins.

The appropriate manner of sleeping is that which corresponds to the way the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to sleep; he used to sleep on his right side putting his cheek on the palm of his right hand.

Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported that Al-Baraa' Ibn 'Aazib  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: "When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to go to his bed, he would lie on his right side and say:" Allaahumma aslamtu nafsee ilayk, wafawwadtu amree ilayk, wawajjahtu wajhee ilayk, wa-alja'tu thahree ilayk, raghbatan warahbatan ilayk, laa maljaa walaa manjaa minka illaa ilayk, aamantu bikitaabikal-lathee anzalt, wabinabiyyikal-lathee arsalt.[O Allaah, I submit my soul unto You, and I entrust my affair unto You, and I turn my face towards 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. I believe in Your Book which You have revealed and in Your Prophet whom You have sent.]

Of course, one puts his hand under the cheek according to the Hadeeth by Huthayfah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him: "When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to sleep, he would put his hand under his head." Another Hadeeth reads: "…He would put his hand under his cheek." [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "The best way to sleep is to sleep on the right side so that, in this manner, the food will be well stabilized in the stomach as the latter is a little bit to the left side [of the body], and then one turns to the right side for a while in order to quicken the digestion as the stomach in such a way leans on the liver, and then one should turn again to sleep on the left side so that the food will be quickly and easily digested. So, one should sleep on the right side at the beginning of his sleep and at the end of his sleep. Sleeping too much on the left side causes harm to the heart because of other organs being pushed towards it."

As regards sleeping on one's back, we do not know any evidence that prohibits it. However, Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "The worst kind of sleep is to sleep on one's back, but this does not cause any harm for someone who lies on his back without sleeping, and worse than this is to sleep on one's stomach."

Therefore, sleeping on one's back is bad, and some scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them said that this is how the tyrants and oppressors sleep. Sleeping on one's back is even more disliked for a woman. Imaam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked: "Is it dislikeable for a woman to lie and sleep on her back? He replied: "Yes, I swear by Allaah, this is disliked."

Moreover, As-Safareeni  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "It is reported that 'Umar Ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him disliked for a woman to sleep on her back. This is because it is assumed that if a woman sleeps in this manner, her 'Awrah (the parts of the body that must be covered in Islam) will be unveiled and it is easier in this manner that evil may happen to her [that a man would rape her]."

For more benefit on the mention of Allaah that one should say before going to sleep, please refer to Fatwa 87928.

Allaah Knows best.

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