Is there a drawback in terms of health and religion to sleep after the morning prayer and between the afternoon and evening prayer (faylula, ghaylula and qaylula)?

Details of the Question

- Is it sunnah not to sleep after the morning prayer?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is stated in the Quran that sleep is a means of resting in the following verses:

“And He it is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you, and Sleep as Repose, and makes the Day (as it were) a Resurrection.” (al-Furqan, 25/47)

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

It is sunnah and it gains man thawabs to be awake at the times when it is makruh to sleep and to be busy with good things. A person who sleeps at those times is deprived of this thawab and blessing but he is not regarded to have committed a sin.

There are three kinds of sleep other than the night sleep: faylula, ghaylula and qaylula. (see Mushkilul-Athar, Tahawi, 2/13)

Ghaylula is the sleep between fajr and full sunrise (until the time when time of karaha ends). It is contrary to sunnah to sleep at that time.  As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith Bayhaqi reports:

“It prevents sustenance to sleep after the morning prayer.” (Bayhaqi, al-Adab, 1/276; Sharani, Lawaqihul-Anwar, p. 295)

The meaning of it can be as follows: Working hours start early every day. For, man is more robust at that time. It is easier to find a job, to do shopping and find what you seek at early hours. 

There is certain sustenance for every day and that sustenance is predestined. However, one of the conditions of that sustenance is the effort and work of the person. If one does not start to work early, one of the conditions of sustenance is not fulfilled; therefore, the sustenance, which is based on that condition, might not be abundant enough.

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for.” (an-Najm, 53/39)

The verse above indicates the importance of working and making efforts.

As it is known, starting work early in many lines of work causes abundance and blessing in sustenance. The most active time for man to be motivated to work is the time after the morning prayer (dawn). This period of time should not be spent sleeping. For, to sleep at that time means to start work late, which will deactivate several main elements that will increase profit, causing loss of work, labor, time, profit and performance. That is the reason for lack of blessing.

However, if one’s job and workload make it necessary for a person to sleep at the time of karahah, he can sleep then. For instance, a person who works at night can sleep after performing the morning prayer without waiting for the time of karaha to end; it will not be contrary to sunnah. For, he worked for that day at night and performed the morning prayer; there is no religious reason for him to wait for the time of karaha to end. The term "time of karaha" is mentioned only as an expression of time here. It does not mean a time period when it is definitely forbidden to sleep.

The same thing is valid for faylula sleep. The time period after the afternoon prayer to the time when the sun sets is the most efficient time period for many lines of work. To sleep at that time shortens sustenance and life. For, to sleep in this period of time, when a person evaluates the efficiency of the day, makes calculations, makes plans for the next day and finds motivation will generally deprive man of those results. (see Nursi, Lem'alar, p. 269)

The following is narrated from the Prophet (pbuh):

“If a person sleeps after the afternoon prayer and becomes absent-minded, he should blame himself.” (Kashful-Khafa, Ajluni, II, 284; Musnadu Abi Ya’la, VIII, 316)

However, this narration does not exist in the famous hadith books. It is stated in some books of good manners and preaching that it is not a nice thing to sleep after the afternoon prayer. (see Muhammad b. Abu Bakr, Shir’atul-Islam, 502)

The negative view about sleep here has no connection with being at the time of karaha. It is regarded as a drawback in terms of the period of time. However, there are also exceptions to it: For instance, if a person works hard during the day and is to start work again at night, it is religiously permissible for him to sleep for a while at that time if he can.

As it is seen, the sleeps of ghaylula and faylula are usually regarded as undesirable in terms of the period of time, not due to karaha.

It is advised in the Sunnah to sleep for about half an hour after mid-morning and before afternoon when the son is the hottest; it is called qaylula sleep. This advice cannot be prevented by the time of karaha just before noon. That is, qaylula sleep, which is sunnah, is not abandoned because of the time of karaha. For, only prayer is prohibited at the times of karaha. Its reason is explained in the hadith. The reason for the prohibition is the fact that some unbelievers prostrate the sun at those times.  (Muslim, Salatul-Musafirin, p. 294)

In that case, the reason why sleeping is regarded makruh from dawn to the end of karaha time after sunrise and before sunset in the evening, which are times of karaha, is not because they are karaha times. The reason for it is the fact that human nature acts more efficiently at those times and it is necessary to use this potential positively instead of sleeping. In that case, qaylula sleep, which is noon sleep, can take place at the time of karaha just before noon.  

The recommended time for qaylula sleep is the time period between mid-morning and afternoon. This time period can change based on workload and from person to person. It is not appropriate to give a certain period and limit people.  

The wisdom behind the unfruitfulness and failure that has recently increased gradually can be the spending of working times sleeping by the Muslims.  Unfortunately, conditions of life, some habits and tradition confront man as "the enemy of going to bed early" today. It is necessary to overcome this fierce enemy, to go to bed as early as possible, to get up for tahajjud prayer, to get up for the morning prayer in a vigorous way before sunrise and to start work after that without sleeping again. Our grandfathers and grandmothers, whom we saw as vigorous and hardworking people, did like that.

When this nice habit disappeared, health, abundance and peace disappeared too.

We should try to practice the same customs and try to blossom like spring flowers in order to attain material and spiritual peace. The other flowers will open and spring will come inshallah.

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