When I started writing about the miracle of sleep and how to maximize its benefit in our lives, I had thought that it will be done in a couple of sittings; but then I decided to write in detail, so that we can learn it better and act on it… and progress towards Allah’s pleasure one step at a time…
So here I am with episode-4 and in this I will try and cover some more etiquettes of sleeping which can make it into a most productive experience in-sha-Allah. (I suggest you scroll down to the previous three episodes before reading further)
Etiquette-8… Prepare Water for wudhu and miswak
Make sure you have enough water for doing wudhu in the morning (or the last part of the night) and prepare your miswak so that you are ready for worship as soon as you wake up. It will save your time and also get you in the right mood if you’ve got everything ready.
Each and every Sunnah of our Prophet (SAW) is full of lessons if we contemplate on it and specially when we implement it and make it a part of our life then we find even more goodness in it than we had thought.
I have remained confused for a long time that why is acting on certain things so difficult for me when I have the true desire to do it? Like memorizing the Quran or doing some online courses which I would love to do but still I am not able to? Why? What is stopping me? I used to think that my intention is so sincere to work full time in the way of Allah… and still my dreams remain a dream… why?
This one “small” etiquette of preparing for worship before sleeping has taught me that when we have a desire to do something, then it should be followed with some preparation even if we are not going to do that thing immediately. And if we take no action towards it then it means our intention was just a wishful thought…
Therefore our effort and sacrifice is the difference between “wish” and “intention”. Islam is such a great religion that it connects your mind towards action even while sleeping!! That is how each and every thing we do with Allah consciousness becomes an act of worship…
Etiquette-9… Sleep with Wudhu.
Our Prophet (SAW) said: “when you go to bed then do wudhu like your wudhu for salah.”
Now this is one Sunnah which appears to be so difficult for “not-so-active” people like me but believe me this is a perfect cure for laziness! And it makes you feel so good when you imagine all the negative experiences and feelings being washed away from you… making you cool and clean inside out. It is such a blessing to be able to act on this Sunnah because it has an amazing bonus which will make your laziness run away in a second… listen to this:
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Who sleeps at night in wudhu, an angel spends all night in his bed, and whenever he wakes up during the night, the angel says: “O Allah forgive this slave of yours for he went to sleep in purity.”
Apart from all the physical and spiritual benefits of going to sleep in a state of cleanliness, the awareness that an angel is being appointed “specially-for-you” to ask forgiveness for you, is such a treat is for those who make a little effort for the sake of Allah and not listen to their lazy nafs…!!!
Etiquette-10… Wash your hands:
Half of our religion is cleanliness so those who are ill or have some other problem due to which they cannot do wudhu, they should at least wash their hands before sleeping. The wisdom in this becomes clear in the following Hadith:
The Prophet (SAW) said: “the one who sleeps while there remained some grease on his hands and he didn’t wash it, then if something happens to him, he should not blame anyone except himself.”
This is especially beneficial for those who sleep in an environment where there are lot of insects etc which may get attracted by the smell of the greasy hand and bite on it.
Also you will see that if you regularly act on this as a Sunnah then there will come a time when you will be inclined to do the whole wudhu because water has an amazing spiritual impact and drives away laziness…
Etiquette-11… Put on “surma”
“Surma” cleans and brightens the eyes so if you can acquire pure surma specially the type known as “ismid” then you should put it three times in each eye… according to this Hadith:
The Prophet (SAW) said: “You must use “ismid” at the time of sleeping because surely it brightens the eyesight and grows the hair”
So in one action you can take care of two very important things: your eyesight and your hair…
What a pity it is that we don’t know these teachings of our Prophet (SAW) and so we think that to be a good muslim is just to perform certain rituals… while the fact is that the more you study the Quran and Hadith, the more you will realize how important it is for us to develop a personality which is full of good health, cleanliness, and strong character, full of hope and optimism… bright and energetic… active and intelligent… not to appear superior but only for the sake of Allah… to be the best representatives of His religion who not only act on it but also spread it…
Etiquette-12… dust your bed
Before you lie down on your bed, dust it with a cloth… or with the edge of your clothing… and say “Bismillah”… why? Because even if it appears clean, we never know what might have settled in it… like an insect or maybe some small animal like mice or lizards!
The Prophet (SAW) said: “when anyone of you goes to his bed then he should take the corner of his dress and blow it on his bed and take the name of Allah because surely he doesn’t know what came after him in his bed”
Again this Sunnah is so easy and takes only a few moments of your time but it can save you from a lot of trouble. Plus the other benefit of doing so is that it increases our connection with our Prophet (SAW) and fills our hearts with true love for the one who taught us all of these precautions which maybe even our parents did not teach us… because our knowledge about our religion is not complete and even if we read these things, we take it as information and do not make it a part of our lifestyle. And then it doesn’t get transferred to our next generation too… because we can pass on only what we establish in our own lives…
Etiquette-13… Put off the lamps
You might have read the latest research thats being done on the importance of complete darkness for a healthy sleep… but isn’t it amazing that our Prophet (SAW) had this knowledge hundreds of years ago… and said: “put off the lamps at night when you go to sleep”
I myself used to have a great fear of darkness so I never went to sleep without having some light on in my room… but I had never thought that one reason for my poor sleep was the same light which I had thought would save me from unknown dangers!
So do read up on this topic to increase your knowledge but act on it with the intention of following the advice of your Prophet (SAW) and you will feel the comfort of doing the best thing which came to you from the best individual who ever walked on the face of this earth… The light of your heart which will result from this feeling will be enough to dispel any fear or discomfort which might bother you in the darkness!!
(more to follow soon in-sha-Allah)