Are you sleeping for the akhirah?

SleepOne of the major issues of productivity that people face is how many hours should they sleep. Those who love their sleep argue that it’s important to sleep at least 6-8 hours each night for a long healthy life, whilst those on the other side believe that sleep is a waste of time and we should sleep the bare minimum to keep us going.

Recently I’ve started thinking about sleep in a different way which helped me resolve this dilemma; the answer seems to be the intention of sleep; if you’re sleeping for dunya (that is to be completely relaxed at work, home, family and to have a long healthy life), then sleeping would be very important to you and you would ensure that you sleep a minimum of 6-8 hours each night. Sleep will become sacred and the overruling factor in most of your decisions, e.g. Should I wake up for tahajjud or sleep? Sleep! Should I wake up early to work on this important piece of work or sleep? Sleep!

However, if you’re sleeping for akhirah, or sleeping for the sake of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), you’ll be sleeping just enough to give your due right to your body whilst not neglecting the fact that you’re here in this world for a temporary period and you’ll soon return to your Lord. You would try to minimize your sleep so that it doesn’t affect your worship – i.e. if you’re asking yourself whether you should sleep or wake up for tahajjud, you would choose to sleep less, you would choose the akhirah, where you would enjoy eternal rest. And this is the description that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) gives about His slaves:

They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope]. (Adh-Dhariyat, Chapter #51, Verse #17)

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. (As-Sajdah, Chapter #32, Verse #16)

Having said that, I would like to emphasize that giving due right to your body is partof the concept of sleeping for akhirah. This is evident in the hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him): (39) Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-’As: Allah’s Apostle said, “O ‘Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #127)

Subhan Allah, how balanced and practical is a true Muslim’s way of life! So you should “listen” to your body; some days you may feel energetic and happy to sleep 3-4 hours, and you’ll be fine. However, some days your body will want you to sleep for 6-8 hours whilst not neglecting your obligatory duties such as salah or tending to your parent’s and family’s needs and that’s fine.

Here are some practical tips regarding sleep:

  1. Always prepare for sleep, check out ProductiveMuslim’s sleep routine.
  2. If you can, have a nap before or after Zhuhr prayer to reduce the amount of sleep you need at night.
  3. Record your sleep time over a course of a week to understand your sleep pattern and how to optimize it.

Hope this helps! Have you been thinking about this issue? How did you resolve? What’s your sleep pattern like? And how can you make your sleep for akhira?

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26 thoughts on “Are you sleeping for the akhirah?

    1. Alhamdulillah yah nice article.  good reminders usually hit u in the heart as if they were meant for you.  As if Allah just sent u a private message to awaken ur heart. 

  1.  This is a major issue among students! Sleeeep, staying awake for certain week days, and have a maximum amount of sleep on weekends! Hence, the body finds it difficult to get used to the routine?! so what should 1 do? we have to keep in mind, that we cannot be contented with today’s success, as the best success lies in the Akhirah! This worldly success has an expiry date! We should make time for tahajjud, dhuha prayers even during exams. Inshallah! May Allah guide our entire ummah to the right path! sometimes, we are even tempted by the satan, to sleeeppp and skip prayers, procrastinate, etc! Hence, should be avoided as best as we can! May Allah guide us, inshallah Ameen.

  2. Good post mashallah, I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few years. We read about praying tahajjud and waking up for fajr, but we also hear about all the scientific studies that show that the average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep a day. Of course, the average person is not necessarily muslim, and does not have the best diet, and does not take power naps. I think this is something that should also be asked in the “Interview with a productive muslim” series. 

  3. Just think before you go to sleep…I just HAVE TO get up, bi iznillah, for Fajr…its helps, alhamdulillah! 

  4.  great job admins!
    Very useful.

    I always want to control my sleep to do my duties to ALLAH like Al-Fajir .. 
    I noticed that when I apply before sleep routine like Azkar and Wudauh and act like Rasoul ALLAH did before sleeping.. i found myself walk-up for El-Fajir and even “qyam el leil”!! :)

    ALlhmd lillah 

    But, When I forget or lazy to do that routine and watching TV for late time :S I sleep alot of time and didn’t walk up for salah and my productivity in work is veryyy low !!!

  5. thanks a lot for this amazing article.i have been it important to sleep 8 hours as i live as a student?and finally i’ve found the answer in this article..we should concentrate on our responsibility towards ALLAH s.w.t

  6. Attitude, Attitude, and Attitude, if someone really needs to work for Akhira he should really put himself in the shoes of someone who is really going to be there! if he can’t know how? then he should see and contemplate at those who did, the Likes of our prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the companions رضي الله عنهم, and when he gets lazy, he should just weigh it out logically and determinantly and ponder on the reward – but he should also remember that الله سبحانه وتعالى never burdens a soul more than it can bear only when he is really sleepy -for real- or exhausted.
    I try to live to that too, but i also heard that sins are very heavy on our souls and body, i recall one of the scholars noteable ones, told another who complained about not being able to do قيام he said your sins have burdened you. -citation needed- :)

  7. I’m confused. If we don’t sleep for a long healthy life then  how do we make sure that we are strong enough to work for the Akhirah?

    1. @Black_Stallion The idea of the article is that we shouldn’t keep “dunya” at our forefront, at the expense of akhira. Sometimes we like to be lazy and we give ourselves the excuse that we should “take care of our bodies” when in reality we’re trying to avoid the hard work of waking up early, praying tahajjud and fair and really working hard for Allah. Jannah has a price and we need to show Allah how much we want it by working hard. Hope this helps.

  8. Salaamoe alaikoem everyone, 

    great articles in here, but like we know, we have such kind of data already in koran and sunna. But how come we don’t know this before?

    I do like the easy understanding of these articles, but the heavy part is to implement them, (as the same problem with koran and sunna). 

    I pray my obliged prayers alhamdulilah, but yet I don”t feel like I’m there… . I do have to do more then only praying to feel I’m a muslim, to feel I’m part of a whole… .

    Anyway, it’s difficult to control your sleep: you can have a great quality sleep, wake up early , for days, but if it’s weekend, we fall down very hard and we sleep more hours dan normal… . What do we think wat will happen if we do it like this?? hmmm

    you can have weeks good organized sleepschedule, but it needed only a day or two two break that.

    now alhamdulillah I have a good ritm, but I’m only buzzy with fighting to have a good job so Allah can provide me with food and drink, paying rent…   in this economic system, we are even obliged to work with two, (where does all our time and money goes??), 

    When will it change? wil one man make the difference, (Did the prophet make a difference by himself or together with his followers?)?

    May Allah grant us peace, sincererity, and  strength.

  9. Jazakallah. I love the title. Really puts things in perspective. I recently moved my waking time from 8-9am (used to go back to sleep after fajr) to not going to sleep after fajr, by waking up 15 minutes earlier every 2-3 days. It took almost a month, with some “crazily groggy days” in between while my body adjusted, but it worked out in the end. I used to play games on my mobile phone for 10minutes after waking up; the bright screen chased the sleep from my eyes and activated my brain. On extra drowsy days I did it for 30-40minutes, even. (Using the computer after fajr works even better). I find it easier not to sleep after fajr on weekdays. On weekends there’s no “have to get somewhere” incentive, so I usually schedule something to do.

    That said, when I got the flu I slept till 8am because my body needed it. So, you’re right about giving your body its rights.

  10. I have terrible sleeping habits. I have to/can survive on one hour / 48 hours during final exams :-/ Thats quite a feat…Only if I set my intentions right too, it will become doubly useful. inshaAllah

  11. wondrful article.. while reading i felt as though it was written for me only since my biggest weakness is sleep . Forget 6 hrs I sleep minimum 10 hrs and im trying hard to battle this . Inshallah this article will help me a lot

  12. I am a student and I always thought that minimum 8 hrs sleep is necessary for college students. However, I just realized that we don’t study so that we can earn money; We study so that we can gain ilm and InshAllah play our tiny part in serving the Muslim Ummah. After reading this article, I just realized that in Surah Al Muzammil, Allah says those who want to serve Allah’s deen should wake up at night and do Qiyam. Now I understand that waking up at night and sacrificing my sleep has to be my first priority, even if it compromises my studies by a little bit.

  13. Salam aleykum
    I work in a restaurant.Usually I work 12PM-11PM 2 times a week.the other days I work eg.:2-11 at night.By the time I get home it is about 12:30 AM.
    I pray Isha (if I could not at work).And also,I live in Ireland so Fajr is at 4:00 ish.
    I get up at 9:40 in the morning usually ,then I go to work.
    Would you have any Ideas how could I sleep less?
    I have tried before that I only slept 4 hours a night ,to stay up after Fajr.After 5 days I was extremely exhausted.
    Anybody,any ideas?
    Thank You

  14. JazakAllaaahu Khayr soo much! Alhamdulilaah for this Article. Before I got here I was googling for Muslims who slept for only four hour and wanted to know if it was Ok to sleep for four hours. :)

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