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Chapter 7: On the Adab of sleeping and the bedside

1. In al-Makarim: The bedding of the Holy Prophet (S) was a cloak and his pillow was made of skin stuffed with palm fiber. One night his cloak was folded in two and when he woke up, he said: “The bedding has prevented me from reciting my (night) prayer.” So he ordered that a single layer be placed for him. He had a cushion made from skin and stuffed with palm fiber, and he had a cloak that would be folded in two and used by him as bedding when he was out of his home.1

2. Also: He (S) used to sleep on a mat with nothing else underneath it.2

3. Also: From Abi Ja’far (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) never woke up from his sleep but that he would immediately fall in prostration to Allah.3

Addendum to this Chapter

1. In al-Khisal: From Abi al-Qasim ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Amir al-Ta’i, from his father, from al-Rid’a, from his fathers from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) who said: The prophets (as) sleep lying on their backs.4

Note: The longer version of this hadith is narrated in al-’Uyun and al-Faqih.5

2. In Majmu’at Warram: It is said that the Noble Prophet (S) had nine wives and between them, they shared a single bedspread that was dyed either with ‘wurs’6 or with saffron. When it was the night of one wife, they would send this bedspread to her and some water would be sprinkled on it so that it would emit a fragrance.7

3. In al-Khisal: From Muhammad ibn Muslim, from Abi ‘Abdillah, from Abi Ja’far, from his fathers from ‘Ali (as) who said: “Staying awake in the (last part of the) night is healthy for the body, pleasing to the Lord Almighty, a means of Divine Mercy and adherence to the akhlaq of the prophets (as).8

Note: This has also been narrated by Ibn Shu’bah in Tuhf al-’Uqul and al-Barqi in al-Mahasin from Abi Basir from Abi ‘Abdillah (as).9

4. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Ibn al-Qaddah from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: When the Holy Prophet (S) went to bed he would say:

أَللٌّهُمَّ بِسْمِكَ أَحْـيَا وَ بِسْمِكَ أَمُوتُ.

“O Allah! By Your name do I live and by Your name do I die.”

and when he awoke he would say:

أَلْحَمْدُ لِلٌّهِ الَّذِي أَحْـيَانِي بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَـنِي وَ إِلَيْهِ النُّشُورِ.

“All praise be to Allah who gave me life after causing me to die, and to Him is the return.”10

Note: This is also narrated by al-Saduq in al-Faqih and al-Tabarsi in al-Makarim.11

5. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Muhammad ibn Marwan who said: Abu ‘Abdillah (as) said: “Should I not tell you what the Holy Prophet (S) used to say when retiring to bed?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “He (S) would recite Ayat al-Kursi12 and then he would say:

بِسْمِ اللٌّهِ. آمَنْتُ بِاللٌّهِ وَ كَفَرْتُ بِاطَّاغُوتِ. أَللٌّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي فِي مَنَامِي وَ فِي يَقْظَتِي.

“In the name of Allah, I believe in Allah and disbelieve in the false gods. O Allah protect me in my sleep and when I am awake.13

6. In al-Makarim: He (S) would frequently rest on a cushion made of skin stuffed with palm fiber and would also sit leaning on it.14

7. Also: If the Noble Prophet (S) saw something scary in his sleep he would (remember Allah and) say:

هُوَ اللٌّهُ الَّذِي لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ.

“He is Allah – the one who has no partner”.

And when he stood for prayer he would say:

أَلْحَمْدُ لِلٌّهِ نُورُ السَّمٌوَاتِ وَ الأَرْضِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلٌّهِ قَـيُّومُ السَّمٌوَاتِ وَ الأَرْضِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلٌّهِ رَبُّ السَّمٌوَاتِ وَ الأَرْضِ وَ مَنْ فِيهِنَّ. أَنْتَ الْحَقُّ وَ قَوْلُكَ الْحَقُّ وَلِقَائُكَ الْحَقُّ وَ الْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ وَ النَّارُ حَقٌّ وَ السَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ. أَللٌّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَ عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَ إِلَيْكَ أُنِيبُ وَ بِكَ خَاصَمْتُ وَ إِلَيْكَ حَاكَمْتُ. فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَ مَا أَخَّرْتُ وَ مَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَ مَا أَعْلَنْتُ. أَنْتَ إِلٌهِي لاَ إِلٌهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ.

“All praise is due to Allah, the Light of the heavens and the earth and the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all therein. You are the Truth and Your words are true, the return to You is true, Paradise is true, Hell is true and the Appointed Time is true. O Allah! To You have I submitted and in You do I believe. In You do I put my trust and to You do I turn. With Your strength do I fight my enemies and from You do I seek justice. Please forgive my sins, of past and present, those I have done in hiding and those done openly. You are my God - there is no god but You - then he would brush his teeth before performing ablution.”15

Note: There are some other narrations that will come in the section on supplications if Allah wills.

8. In Falah al-Sa’il: From al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-’Alawi, from ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Musa al-Rid’a (as) who said: We, the Ahlul Bayt, have ten qualities when we sleep: Purification (by ablution), laying on the right side, reciting “Subhanallah” thirty-three times, reciting “Alhamdulillah” thirty-three times, reciting “Allahu Akbar” thirty-four times, facing the Qiblah, reciting Fatihat al-Kitab (Surah al-Hamd) and Ayat al-Kursi and bearing witness to Allah that there is no god but He and the one who performs these actions has taken his share of benefit from the night.16

9. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Muhammad ibn Marwan who said: Abu ‘Abdillah (as) said: “Should I not tell you what the Holy Prophet (S) used to say when retiring to bed?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “He (S) would recite Ayat al-Kursi17 and then he would say:

بِسْمِ اللٌّهِ. آمَنْتُ بِاللٌّهِ وَ كَفَرْتُ بِاطَّاغُوتِ. أَللٌّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي فِي مَنَامِي وَ فِي يَقْظَتِي.

“In the name of Allah, I believe in Allah and disbelieve in the false gods. O Allah protect me in my sleep and when I am awake.”18

10. In al-Tahdhib: Abu ‘Abdillah (as) said: Keep up the night prayer for verily it is from the sunnah of your Prophet (S).19

  • 1. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 38, Amali al-Saduq: 377, Bihar al-Anwar 16:217
  • 2. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 38, Ihya Ulum al-Din 2:376
  • 3. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 39, Muhasibat al-Nafs: 36
  • 4. al-Khisal: 263
  • 5. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rid’a: 246, al-Faqih 4:365
  • 6. A yellow plant (resembling sesame) that blooms just after the winter and is used as a dye. (Tr.)
  • 7. Majmu’at Warram: 266
  • 8. al-Khisal: 121, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 2:121
  • 9. Tuhf al-’Uqul: 101, al-Mahasin: 53
  • 10. al-Kafi 2:539
  • 11. al-Faqih 1:480, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 39
  • 12. Surat al-Baqarah (2): 255-257
  • 13. al-Kafi 2:536
  • 14. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 38
  • 15. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 292
  • 16. Falah al-Sa`il: 280
  • 17. Surat al-Baqarah (2): 255-257
  • 18. al-Kafi 2:536
  • 19. Tahdhib al-Ahkam 2:120, Da`wat al-Rawandi: 272

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