sleep and worship (episode-2)

All Praise and gratitude is for Allah the Rabb of all worlds.

Today I am going to share with you the secret of turning your sleeping hours into worship… which means that while you are lying asleep in your bed, your book of deeds will remain open and bundles of rewards will keep on being added to it, despite the fact that you are not even “doing” anything!!! Isn’t that absolutely wonderful…to be paid (rewarded) for sleeping!!

So how can we ensure it happens for us every single night?

It is an unending “treasure” which can be achieved through following the best way… and that is the way of our beloved Prophet (SAW) whose whole life was worship whether he was doing any ritual or whether he was fulfilling his “worldly” requirements like sleeping or eating… because he did everything for the pleasure of Allah (SWT).

Therefore the first thing to keep in mind, before approaching anything in life, is that it can be done in two ways:

1- Either we do it with the intention of pleasing Allah.

2- Or we do it just for the sake of “getting it done”.

If we do it for Allah then we get two benefits:

1- Allah is pleased and he puts pleasure and tranquillity in our hearts making it easy for us to do that particular thing.

2- We get rewarded in the hereafter for that task even if it was to fulfil some worldly requirement.

On the contrary, if we do it just to “get it done” then we suffer two things:

1- We feel alone and heavy-hearted… and the task becomes a burden.

2- There is no reward in the hereafter because we didn’t do it for Allah.

Therefore it is quite clear that if we go to sleep to please Allah, then it will become a form of worship.

But the question is how to focus on Allah when we are going to sleep?

Step-1- Knowledge and appreciation

First of all we must know that to be able to sleep is a blessing from Allah for which we should thank Him every night. If you think about it, you will realize that sleep is in fact a miracle of Allah that He lets you be alive even though you have no realization of being alive…

We are asleep and He is fully awake… taking care of us when no one else can… because no matter how much anyone might love us or care for us they cannot stay awake to ensure our well being and safety… Only Allah looks at each and every one of us… and cares for us…

But have we ever thanked and appreciated Allah for being free of the need to sleep? We do say these words in the ayat-ul-kursi which most people recite but we mostly don’t know what we are saying… and even those who know the meaning are so engrossed in other thoughts that they hardly feel the miracle of these words…

Anyway the thing is that we should appreciate and feel the miracle of sleeping and then waking up back to life!

A good exercise to make you conscious of this miracle would be to search the Ayaat (verses) of the Quran in which Allah has mentioned the night and day… and the act of sleeping. Also we should make ourselves aware of the biological advantages of a moderate sleep routine. Search and read good articles on this topic. Increase in knowledge leads to better management of our time and life.

Step-2- the right thing at the right time

Night is for sleeping and day is for work… not the other way round. Because when you disturb this cycle then your whole life becomes disturbed (as I discussed in my previous article). Therefore we should maintain a regular routine and go to sleep at approximately the same time every night so that our biological clock inside us gets the message… Generally 6 to 8 hours of sleep are enough for an average person. Plus the power nap in the day which should be between 15 to 30 min. (If you don’t have this much time then even 5 minutes of closing all work and relaxing with closed eyes will make you refreshed in sha Allah)

So what is the right time to go to sleep if we want to wake up at the right time? According to the Prophet (SAW) the right time to go to sleep is after praying Isha:

“Indeed the Prophet (SAW) used to disapprove of sleeping before Isha and (disapproved of) talking unnecessarily after Isha.”

We keep on blaming our circumstances for the disturbance of our lives but we never stop to consider that it is because we have abandoned the path of success… the way of our Prophet (SAW) which was the most balanced and most true to our nature.

A lot of diseases, whether physical or psychological, are a consequence of a disturbed sleep cycle. Look at the majority of our youth… how they spend their nights? What is their waking time? And even if they do wake up for schools and colleges, what is their temperament? And then we blame their bad moods on the pressure of studies or the isolation caused by the generation gap and what and what not…

While the real issue is that they have not tasted the sweetness of good sleep at the right time… nor have they tasted the delight of waking up fresh and bright for Fajr prayer… nor have they experienced the hope and energy which is generated by remembering Allah at the time when the sun is rising. Can their laptops and mobiles and social media compensate for this loss? Certainly not… that is why you see the lost and deprived look on their faces no matter how much they “have”… no matter which age group they belong to…

Obviously we need to re-form our lives and connect to Allah more than we connect to the social media and all that stuff.

So tonight when you go to bed… make it early so you can wake up bright and fresh for Fajr… and while going to sleep just imagine what a miracle it is that Allah is going to take away all the burdens of your heart and make you totally free from all things… and you will sleep while He will be awake! So thank him for this blessing and also the numerous other blessings he has given you… put all your worries aside and make “the day of judgement” the biggest worry of your life… the day when you will be accounted for the blessings you were given and what you did with them. Ask Allah’s forgiveness for all the mistakes you have made and forgive others for their mistakes… and let your heart be free to feel Allah’s mercy as He relieves you of all these burdens… what a merciful Lord… Alhamdulillah

(More to follow… in sha Allah…)

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