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I have heard that there’s a hadith from the Prophet PBUH that restrict sleeping on your stomach. What is the scholars’ opinion regarding this issue?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

There is a hadith from the Prophet PBUH that restricts sleeping on the stomach. This is as narrated by Ya’ish from his father, Tikhfah bin Qaysi al-Ghifari RA, he said: “One day while I was sleeping in a mosque on my stomach, a man began to shake me with his foot and then said:

إِنَّ هَذِهِ ضِجْعَةٌ يُبْغِضُهَا اللَّهُ. قَالَ فَنَظَرْتُ فَإِذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم

“This is a method of lying which Allah hates. I looked and saw that he was the Messenger of Allah PBUH.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (1187) and Sunan Abu Daud (5040)

In another hadith, "The Prophet(ﷺ) passed by a man who was sleeping in the masjid, lying on his face. He struck him with his foot and said:

قُمْ وَاقْعُدْ فَإِنَّهَا نَوْمَةٌ جَهَنَّمِيَّةٌ

“Get up or; Sit up, for this is a hellish kind of sleep.”

Sunan Ibn Majah (3725)

The Permissibility of Waking Someone using Your Foot

According to the above hadith, it is permissible to wake someone using your foot. This act by the Prophet PBUH is an evidence to its permissibility and this act is not considered as an act of takabbur (arrogance or conceited - to act as if one is better than others), for the Prophet PBUH is the humblest and most tawadhu’ (humility) people of all.

If when waking up someone, there is arrogance (takabbur) in his mind, then the ruling changes. However, if you use your foot or pat someone just to wake him up, then it is permissible and not considered as arrogance.

However, if the person you try to wake up may feel like he is being ridiculed or humiliated if you use your foot, then this act should be avoided. [1]

The Ruling of Sleeping on Your Stomach

There is a clear restriction towards sleeping on your stomach. According to fiqh books of mazhab al-Syafie, intentionally sleeping in this position is makruh (undesirable). This is stated by al-Imam al-Nawawi in his book al-Majmu’:

وَيُكْرَهُ الِاضْطِجَاعُ عَلَى بَطْنِهِ

“It is makruh to sleep on your stomach.” [2]

Al-Khatib al-Syarbini Rahimahullah also states that it is sunnah to wake someone that is sleeping on their stomach. [3]


The restriction of sleeping on your stomach from the above hadith is ruled as makruh in mazhab al-Syafie. It is best to avoid sleeping in this position.

To end this discussion, we would like to share the sunnah that should be practised by Muslims when they want to sleep. They are as the following:

  1. Sleeping in wudhu’ (ablution)

The Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا أَتَيْتَ مَضْجَعَكَ فَتَوَضَّأْ وُضُوءَكَ لِلصَّلاَةِ

"Whenever you go to bed, perform Wudu' as you do for Salat,”

Sahih al-Bukhari (247), Sahih Muslim (2710) and Sunan Ahmad (5046)

  1. Sleep on your right side


This is in accordance to a hadith from the Prophet PBUH:

ثُمَّ اضْطَجِعْ عَلَى شِقِّكَ الأَيْمَنِ

“….then lie or your right side,”

Sahih al-Bukhari (247) and Sahih Muslim (2710)

  1. Recite Ayat al-Kursi

Reciting ayat al-Kursi would protect us from disturbances of the shaytan until sunrise. This is stated in a long hadith by al-Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih [4]. We include the reference in the end notes for the readers.

  1. Recite the 3 Qul


This is based from a hadith from the Prophet PBUH, from ‘Aisyah RA:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ إِذَا أَوَى إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ جَمَعَ كَفَّيْهِ ثُمَّ نَفَثَ فِيهِمَا فَقَرَأَ فِيهِمَا ‏{‏قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ‏}‏ وَ‏{‏قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ‏}‏ وَ‏{‏قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ‏}‏ ثُمَّ يَمْسَحُ بِهِمَا مَا اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ يَبْدَأُ بِهِمَا عَلَى رَأْسِهِ وَوَجْهِهِ وَمَا أَقْبَلَ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ

“Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) went to bed every night, he used to cup his hands together and blow over it after reciting Surat Al-Ikhlas, Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas, and then 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 used to do that three times.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (5017)

  1. Clean your sleeping place


The Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا أَوَى أَحَدُكُمْ إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ فَلْيَأْخُذْ دَاخِلَةَ إِزَارِهِ فَلْيَنْفُضْ بِهَا فِرَاشَهُ

“When any one of you goes to bed, he should take hold of the hem of his lower garment and then should clean (his bed) with the help of that,”

Sahih Muslim (2714)

  1. Recite doa (supplication)

Among the doa that can be recited before sleep are:

بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّ وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي، وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ، إِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا، وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“With Your Name, my Rubb, I place my side (upon the bed) and with Your Grace I will raise it up. If You withhold my soul (cause me to die), have mercy on it but if You let it go (let me live), guard it against which You guarded Your pious slaves.” [5]


اللَّهُمَّ أَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِي إِلَيْكَ، وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ، وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ، لاَ مَلْجَأَ وَلاَ مَنْجَا مِنْكَ إِلاَّ إِلَيْكَ، آمَنْتُ كِتَابِكَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلْتَ، وَبِنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ

“O Allah! I have surrendered myself over to you and have turned my face towards You, and leave all my affairs to You and depend on You and put my trust in You expecting Your reward and fearing Your punishment. There is neither fleeing from You nor refuge but with You. I believe in the Book (Qur'an) which You have revealed and in Your Prophet (Muhammad) whom You have sent.” [6]

اللَّهُمَّ بِاسْمِكَ أَحْيَا وَأَمُوتُ

“O Allah, it is with Thine Name that I live and it is with Thine Name that I die.” [7]


  1. Remove jealousy and forgive others


  1. Recite doa when waking up from sleep

This is in accordance to a hadith from Huzaifah RA:

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا أَوَى إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ قَالَ " اللَّهُمَّ بِاسْمِكَ أَحْيَا وَأَمُوتُ "‏‏. وَإِذَا أَصْبَحَ قَالَ " الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ

When the Prophet (ﷺ) went to bed, he used to say, "Allahumma bismika ahya wa amut." And when he woke up in the mornings he used to say, "Al-hamdu li l-lahi al-ladhi ahyana ba'da ma amatana wa ilaihi-nnushur."

Sahih al-Bukhari (7364)

There are also researches that show the disadvantages of sleeping on your stomach, most of it related to back pains and problems. May Allah SWT give us guidance to practice the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH in every aspect of our lives. Wallahua’lam.

End Notes:

[1] See Syarh Riyadh al-Soliheen by Ibn `Uthaymeen. Dar al-Watan li al-Nasyar, (4/343)

[2] See Al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhazzab. Dar al-Fikr, (4/474)

[3] See Mughni al-Muhtaj. Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, (1/309)

[4] By al-Imam al-Bukhari. In the book al-Wakalah. Chapter Iza Wakkala Rajulan Fataraka al-Wakil Syai’an fa Ajazahu al-Muwakkil fa Huwa Jai’zun wa In Aqradhahu ila Ajalin Musamma Jaaz. Hadis number: (2311).

[5] Sahih Muslim (2714)

[6] Sahih al-Bukhari (7488)

[7] Sahih al-Bukhari (7394)