Regular sleep is necessary for the purpose of rest and rejuvenation. On average, we spend one third of our day sleeping. Such a large part of daily life should be examined to make sure that this time is spent in the right way and not carelessly. When the fruitful lives of productive people are exam- ined, we can see that they worked much and slept little. Thus, it follows that we should sleep only as much as necessity dictates. Those who sleep less actually have more energy than those who sleep too much, and are more effective and outgoing. People who sleep little are more likely to be happy with themselves and their life, and to have better interactions with the outside world. From the active person’s perspective, time spent sleeping is lost time. It is obvious that reducing the time spent sleeping will increase the time we have to do things that matter in life. So, once again, we should approach our sleeping and waking consciously and with care.
- Before going to bed we should make ablutions. There is a hadith related by Abu Umama that the Prophet said, “Whoever enters the bed with ablutions and engages in remembrance of God until falling asleep, and then wakes up at some hour of the night and asks God for something either material or eternal, God will certainly give it to him.”62
- It is Sunna, to clean our teeth before bed and upon waking. The Messenger also cleaned his teeth when he woke up during the night to pray.63 In addition, he would clean his teeth and take ablutions before lying down, whether at night or in the daytime.64
- When going to bed for the night, we should intend to wake up during the night and pray. The Prophet said, “I recommend that you get up at night. For the saints who lived before you used this as a path to get close to God, to save themselves from sin, to atone for wrongs, and to pro- tect the body from illness.”65 In another hadith he said, “May God extend His bounteous mercy to the man who gets up at night to pray, and wakes up his wife also, and if she does not get up, pours water on her face. May God extend His bounteous mercy to the woman who gets up at night to pray and wakes up her husband, and if he does not get up, pours water on his face.”66
- Someone who is unsure whether or not they can wake up at night should perform the three rakat witr prayer before going to bed, though its preferable time is after the super- erogatory prayer of tahajjud which is performed at night. For the Prophet said, “Whoever is afraid he cannot get up at the end of the night to pray witr, let him do it at the beginning of the night. Whoever hopes to wake up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the end of the night (before the time comes for the obligatory morning prayer). For prayers at the end of the night are acceptable and pleasing to God (since both night and day angels are gathered together ready to bring mercy.) So it is more virtuous to pray at the end of the night.”67
- If you have trouble sleeping, the Prophet made the follow- ing suggestion. One day, Khalid ibn Walid al-Makhzumi said to the Prophet, “O God’s Messenger, last night I could not sleep at all!” The Prophet told him, “When you enter your bed say this prayer: ‘O Lord of the seven heavens and everything else they shade! O Lord of the worlds and everything else they contain! O Lord and Creator of satans and all the creatures they have led astray! Safeguard me against the evil of all these creatures, so that none maydescend upon me, nor attack me. One whom You protect is mighty. Your praise is exalted, there is no deity but You, the only deity is You.”68
- When lying down, recite Suras Falaq and Nas. According to a narration from Aisha, the Prophet would read these as well as Sura Ikhlas when he came to bed, and then wipe his face and body with his hands three times. He told her to read these suras to him when he was unwell.69
We should also pay attention to the following things when we get up in the morning:
- Try to go to bed early and wake up early.
- Mention God when you wake up.
- Wear something appropriate to your situation.
- Take your ablutions and do your morning prayer immedi- ately after getting up.
- Eat from the permissible bounties God provides.
- Have complete trust in God.
- Thank God for all the blessings He has given you.
- Earn your living in an upright way (not by cheating others, etc.).
Finally, there is a beautiful prayer that it is recommended to read in the morning. Make your intention for the day (for example, “I am going to work in an upright, honest way for my own and my family’s sustenance, not to depend on another’s generosity nor get into debt, to worship God and please Him, and to serve peo- ple.”) Then, as you leave the house, say, “In God’s Name (I leave my home), and I depend on and trust God. Only God Almighty can grant power and strength (in every way.)”70
Gulcu, Dr. Musa Kazim. “Good Character” Tughra Books Press. February 2009.
- November 13, 2013
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