Does an angel pray for a person who goes to bed with wudu by saying, “O Lord! Forgive this slave of Yours!” until the morning?

The Details of the Question

- Is there a hadith meaning, “An angel prays for a person who goes to bed with wudu by saying, ‘O Lord! Forgive this slave of Yours!’”? If there is, what is the wisdom behind it?
- What are other sunnahs to observe while going to bed?  
- Regarding what other issues do angels pray for humans?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“An angel prays for a person who goes to bed with wudu by saying, ‘O Lord! Forgive this slave of Yours!’” The hadith above was reported by Bazzar and Tabarani (al-Kabir).

Some scholars like Abu Hatim and Dhahabi state that one or two persons in the chain of narrators of the hadith are weak. However, Haythami supports the narration of the hadith by stating that there is another narration regarding the issue and saying, “I hope that it is hasan”. (see Majmauz-Zawaid, h. no: 1146)

Another hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

According to what is reported from Ibn Umar, the Prophet (pbuh) said,  

“There is an angel waiting in the consciousness of a person who goes to bed with wudu. When the man wakes up, the angel says, ‘O Allah! Forgive this person because he went to bed with wudu.’ (For this hadith reported by Ibn Hibban, see Iraqi, Takhriju Ahadithil-Ihya, 3/209)

We can pray to Allah on our own and present our wishes to Him; we can also make a beloved slave of Allah pray for us. When we meet a righteous slave and he prays for us, we become very happy and peaceful. Suppose that a person met an angel and asked the angel to pray for him; then, the angel prayed to Allah for him and begged. That person would probably feel very relived and happy. The topic of this writing will be as follows: “How can we make angels pray for us?”

As a necessity of his nature, man works during the day and gets tired; he sleeps at night to rest. Human body needs sleep at night. God Almighty state the following in the Quran:

“And (We) made your sleep for rest.” (an-Naba, 78/9)

The verse above indicates that blessing and the human need.

A person who sleeps at least six hours a day spends at least one-fourth of his life sleeping, which is not a small amount. If a person goes to sleep, which has such an important place in his life, in compliance with the Sunnah, it will be possible for him to transform his sleep, which consists of a normal deed, into worship - inshallah.

The Sunnahs We are Advised to Follow When We Go to Bed

To enter the bed with wudu, to lie on one’s right side, to say “audhu… bismillahi…” and say prayers.

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

“When you go to bed, make wudu like that for the prayer first. Then, lie or your right side and say:

‘Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilayka. Wa wajjahtu wajhi ilayka. Wa fawwadtu amri ilayka. Wa alja’tu zahri ilayka raghbatan wa rahbatan ilayka. La malja’a wa la manja minka illa ilayka. Amantu bikitabikalladhi anzalta wa nabiyyikalladhi arsalta.”

(Meaning: “O Allah! I surrender to You and entrust all my affairs to You and depend upon You for Your Blessings both with hope and fear of You. There is no fleeing from You, and there is no place of protection and safety except with You O Allah! I believe in Your Book, which You have revealed, and in Your Prophet, whom You have sent.”)

If you die on that very night, you will die with faith (or the religion of Islam). Let the aforesaid words be your last utterance (before sleep)” (Bukhari, Wudu, 183)

Hz. Aisha narrates:

“Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) went to bed every night, he would cup his hands together, recite the chapters of ‘Qul huwallahu Ahad’, ‘Qul Audhu Birabbil-Falaq’ and ‘Qul Audhu Birabbin-Nas’ and blow over his hands; then, he would rub his hands over whatever parts of his body he was able to rub, starting with his head, face and front of his body. He would do that three times.” (Bukhari, Fadailul-Quran, 1772)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “He who sleeps with wudu as a clean person is like a person who performs nafilah fasting during the day and worships at night.” (Jamius-Saghir, 2/2607)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“When you go to bed, lie on your right side. Then, say the following prayer: ‘Bismika Rabbi. Wada’tu janbi, Wa bikarfa’uhu. In amsakta nafsi farhamha. Wa in arsaltaha fahfizha bima tahfazu bihi ibadakas-salihin.”

(Meaning: “In Your Name my Lord, I lay my side down, and in Your Name I rise (in the morning). If You take my soul, have mercy upon it, and if You release it, protect it with that which You protect Your righteous servants” (Jamius-Saghir, 1/192)

Hudhayfa narrates: When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went to bed at night, he would put his right hand under his right cheek. Then, he would say the following prayer: “Allahumma bismika amutu wa ahya.” (Meaning: “O Allah! With Your Name will I die and revive.” When he woke up, he would pray as follows: “Alhamdulillahilladhi ahyana ba’dama amatana wa ilayhin-nushur.” (Meaning: “All praise is due to Allah, who has brought us back to life after He has caused us to die, and to Him is the return.”  (Riyadus-Salihin, Nawm, 814)

The Prophet (pbuh) also states the following: “Allah appoints a guard until the morning for a person who reads Ayatul-Kursiyy and makes him secure against dangers; Satan will not be able to approach him.” (Bukhari, Wakalah, 10)

As it is seen, most of the prayers said while going to sleep are related to taking refuge in Allah, death and resurrection because sleep is the younger brother of death, and the breaths we breathe in and out in sleep are involuntary. When we say one or more of those prayers, we take refuge in Allah.

The wisdom of lying on one’s right side can be explained as follows at first glance: As it is known, the heart is on man’s left side. When a person lies on his left side or on his stomach, he cannot protect himself from putting pressure on his heart while sleeping. The heart that is squeezed and prevented from working easily will not allow man to sleep comfortably; it will cause man to have nightmares. In the morning, he will wake up tired, instead of having rested. And that tiredness prevents him from work, productivity, activity, success and work enthusiasm all day long.

In addition, we should not forget that the heart, which is prevented from working easily during the time of sleep that man does not spend voluntarily, becomes closer to “failure and stopping”, which threatens man’s health.

Some states in which angels pray and hadiths about them are as follows:

- When we pray for our believing brother in his absence, angels pray for us in the same way for the acceptance of our prayer.

“If a Muslim prays for his believing brother in his absence, an angel prays for him as follows: ‘May the same as what you wish come true for you too.” (Imam Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin Terceme ve Şerhi, Tercüme: İhsan Özkes, Esra Yayınları, Konya, 1996, H. No: 1524)

“The prayer of a Muslim for his believing brother in his absence is accepted. There is an appointed angel next to him. Whenever he prays for the goodness of his believing brother, the angel will say, ‘May your prayer be accepted and may the same as what you wish come true for you too’.” (R. Salihin, 5, p. 214)

- Angels pray for a person who spends his wealth in the way of Allah

“Two angels come down from Heaven every day. One of them says, ‘O Lord! Give to the person who spends in Your way to compensate for what he spends!
The other says, ‘O Lord! Destroy the wealth of every miser.”
 (Bukhari, Zakah, 27; Muslim, Zakah, 57)

- Angels pray for a person who waits in the mosque with wudu for the time of a prayer to come and to perform the prayer:

“The reward for the prayer performed by a person in congregation is twenty-odd times greater than that of the prayer performed in one’s house or shop. When a person makes wudu perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of performing prayers, he is upgraded one degree in reward for every step he takes towards the mosque and one of his sins is eliminated until he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque, he is considered as performing prayers as long as he waits in the mosque for prayer. The angels will keep on supplicating Allah for him as long as he remains in his place of prayer, does not harm anyone and does not break his wudu (or does not speak about worldly affairs) as follows:

“O Allah! Have mercy on him! Forgive him! O Allah! Accept his repentance.” (R. Salihin, H. No: 10)

- Angels pray for a person who waits in the place of prayer without breaking his wudu.

“The angels supplicate in favor of one of you so long as he remains in the place where he has performed prayer in a state of wudu. They say: ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! Have mercy on him.’ (R. Salihin, H. No: 1066)

- Angels pray for a person who stands in the first row in the mosque.

“Do not be out of line; otherwise, your hearts will be in disagreement. Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those in the first row.” (R. Salihin, H. No: 1094)

- Angels pray for a person who stands on the right side of the row

“Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who are on the right side of the rows.” (R.Salihin, H. No: 1098)

- Angels pray for a person who is fasting when others eat and drink near him.

Umm Umara of Madinah narrates:
Once, the Messenger of Allah came to my house. I offered some food to him. He said to me, “You eat too.” Thereupon, I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am fasting.”  Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,
“When those who are not fasting eat in the presence of a fasting person, the angels pray for him until they leave the table or fill their stomachs.” (Tirmidhi, Siyam, 785)

- Angels pray for a person who visits an ill person

“If a Muslim visits a Muslim who is ill in the morning, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him until the evening. If he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him until the morning. And he will have his share of reaped fruits in Paradise.” (R.Salihin, H. No: 903)

“A person visited his brother in another town. Thereupon, Allah appointed an angel to wait for him on his way.  

When he passed by the angel, the angel said to him,
Where do you intend to go? The man said,
I intend to visit a brother in that village. The angel asked,
Do you expect any material interest from him? The man said,
No, I love him only for the sake of Allah. Thereupon, the angel said,
I am a messenger to you from Allah to inform you that Allah loves you as you love that man for Allah’s sake. (Muslim, Birr, 38)

“Allah addresses a person who visits a sick person or a believing brother he loves for Allah’s sake as follows: How fortunate you are! What a nice journey! You have prepared a place in Paradise for you.” (Tirmidhi, Birr, 2099)

- Angels pray for a person who leaves home for prayer and says the supplication related to it

“If a person leaves his house for a prayer and says the following supplication, Allah will appoint seventy thousand angels to pray for his forgiveness and will turn His Face toward him until he finishes the prayer: ‘O Allah! I ask You by the right that those who ask of You have over You, and I ask by virtue of this walking of mine, for I am not going out because of pride or vanity, or to show off or make a reputation, rather I am going out because I fear Your wrath and seek Your pleasure. So, I ask You to protect me from the Fire and to forgive me my sins, for no one can forgive sins except You.’” (Ibn Majah, Masajid, 778)

- Angels pray for a person who reads the last three verses of the chapter of al-Hashr after the morning prayer (fajr) and the evening prayer (maghrib).

“If a person says every morning, ‘I take refuge in Allah, who is the knower of all and hearer of all, from the rejected Satan’ three times and reads the last three verses of the chapter of al-Hashr, Allah will appoint seventy thousand angels to pray for him until the evening. If he dies that day, he dies as a martyr. If he reads it in the evening, he is given the same rewards. (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 5/26)

- Angels pray for a person who reads a chapter from the Quran before sleeping

“If a Muslim goes to his bed and reads a chapter from the Quran before sleeping, Allah will send him an angel who will protect him from anything that can harm him until he wakes up.” (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 4/125)

- Angels witness the prayers of Muslims

“Angels keep watch near you at night in turns. Those angels gather at the time of the afternoon (asr) and morning (fajr) prayers. Then, those angels who stay with you overnight, ascend to Heaven and Allah asks them (about you) - though He knows everything better than them: ‘In what state did you leave My slaves?’ The angels reply, ‘When we left them, they were praying, and when we reached them they were praying.’” (Bukhari, Tawhid, 23; Muslim, Masajid, 632)

- Angels pray for those who attend religious lessons, talks and dhikr assemblies

“Allah has some angels who travel in streets and seek assemblies of dhikr. When they find such assemblies in which Allah is mentioned, they say to one another, ‘Come here! What you seek is here.’ They surround those people with their wings till the space between them and the sky of the world is fully covered. When they ascend to the heaven, Allah asks them - though He knows everything -,

“What do my slaves say?” The angels give the following answer:
They glorify You and utter Your Greatness. They praise You and pay homage to You. Allah says,
“Have they seen me?” The angels give the following answer:
No. By Allah, they have not seen You. Allah says,
“What would they do if they saw me?” The angels give the following answer:
If they saw You, they would worship You, utter Your Greatness and glorify You more.

Allah says to the angels,
“What do my slaves want?” The angels answer as follows:
They want Paradise from You. Allah says to the angels,
“Have they seen Paradise?” The angels answer as follows:
No. By Allah, they have not seen it. Allah says to the angels,
“What would they do if they saw Paradise?” The angels answer as follows:
If they saw Paradise, they would long for it more strongly, want it more insistently and desire it more.  

Allah says to the angels,
“Against what do they seek My protection?” The angels answer as follows:
They seek Your protection against Hell. Allah says,
“Have they seen Hell?” The angels answer as follows:
No. By Allah, they have not seen it. Allah says to the angels,
“What would they do if they saw Hell?” The angels answer as follows:
If they saw Hell, they would escape from it more and fear it more. Thereupon, Allah Almighty says,  

“Bear witness that I have forgiven them.” One of the angels says,
There is such and such a person among them; he is not one of them. He joined them for a personal goal. Allah Almighty says to that angel,
“They are such a group that their friend will not betray them.” (Bukhari, Daawat, 66; Muslim, Dhikr 25)

“Angels surround with their wings a group of people who assemble in order to mention Allah; divine mercy surrounds them and tranquility descends upon them. Allah mentions them in the presence of those near Him” (Muslim, Dhikr, 39)

- Allah orders His angels as follows:

“Allah orders His angels as follows: If My slave intends to do a bad deed, do not write it unless he does it. If he does it, write it as one sin against him.  If he refrains from doing it for My Sake, write it as a good deed for him. If he intends to do a good deed but does not do it, write it as a good deed for him.  If he does it, write it for him as at least ten good deeds up to seven hundred deeds.“ (Bukhari, Tawhid, 35; Muslim, Iman, 203, 205)   

- Allah makes the angels bear witness

“The guardian angels, who record the deeds of a slave during the day or at night, present what they record to Allah. If Allah finds good in the beginning of the scroll and at the end of the scroll, he says to the angels, “‘Bear witness that I have forgiven my servant for what is included in the scroll.” (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 9)

We can state the following in summary: Allah created the whole universe for us and He created us so that we would worship Him. Our Lord has infinite mercy on us. He is our only friend, helper and deputy. Therefore, we, as believers, should always be alert and grateful, being aware of the great blessings of our Lord we enjoy. We should take refuge in Allah from ingratitude, ignorance and heedlessness in return for all those blessings. The Turkish poet Mehmed Akif expresses it in a very nice way:

“Just look! The skies and the earth are awake.
It is foolish to sleep when they are awake.”

For detailed information, see

- Orhan ÇEKER, “Melekleri Kendimize Nasıl Duâ Ettirebiliriz?” İslam Dergisi, November, 1995, pp. 82-83.
- Ömer ÇELİK, “Melekler Bizler İçin İstiğfâr Ediyor.”, Altınoluk Dergisi, July, 1998, Issue: 149, pp. 23-25.

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