What is the decree about the legs facing the qiblah while sleeping? Should we sleep in a way that our heads face the qiblah? What are the manners of sleeping?

Details of the Question

Should we sleep by turning our bed toward the qiblah? What happens if our head does not face the qiblah but another direction or the direction opposite the qiblah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“And We made your sleep for rest.”1

Allah Almighty states in the verse above that sleep is a boon. Sleep is a boon because it is a means of resting, it helps the machine of the body that gets tired during the day rest and enables it to start the next day in a fit and lively way.

However, it is necessary to use this boon appropriately. For, if we sleep more than we need, it can deprive us of many boons of the world and the hereafter. Therefore, to arrange the time of sleep, which is a moment of heedlessness, and to make use of it as little as we need is something that we should not forget.

Describing sleep as the younger brother of death in a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) indicates that sleep and death do not exist in Paradise because of this. 2

Before falling into sleep, which is the younger brother of death, it will be useful to make preparations so that we will spend that moment worshipping. We try to get ready for death through supplications, worshipping, dhikr and charity before death; similarly, we should make preparations before sleep. 

We will face a reality that we do not generally think about: we will close our eyes in this world and open in the hereafter. Besides, a believer needs to think the purpose of his creation and why he was sent to this this world all the time.

We learn from the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) about what to do before sleeping and how to make preparations.

Before going to bed, the Prophet (pbuh) would make wudu, read some supplications, turn his body toward the qiblah, place his right palm under his right cheek and sleep in meditation and dhikr. He would get up early, at dawn and turn toward his Lord in peace and awe.

The sleep of the Prophet (pbuh) was not like ours. Even if his eyes slept, his heart would not sleep; he would not be in heedlessness.

The direction of the qiblah has a blessed meaning that is different from other directions. It is a direction that all Muslims turn toward five times a day for prayer. It is necessary for all believers to show respect to the qiblah, which he turn toward for worshipping.

Therefore, it is makruh and contrary to Islamic manners to extend one’s legs against the qiblah both when one is awake and asleep. It is necessary not to extend one’s legs against the qiblah while sleeping. However, if it is not possible to place the bed in any other direction and if the feet face the qiblah, it becomes permissible.

Footnotes:

1. An-Naba, 9.
2. Kashful-Khafa, 2: 329.

(Mehmed Paksu, Aileye Özel Fetvalar)

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