Is It Permissible to Sleep in the Front Row of the Masjid?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: I heard some people saying that jinns kick people out for for sleeping in the front row of the mosque. Is this true?

Answer: Assalāmu ʿAlaykum,

I pray that you are well.

It is permissible to sleep in the masjid (mosque) without it being disliked.

Imam al-Nawawi argues for this in his Majmuʿ; this was the position of a number of early scholars, including ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ata, Hasan, and al-Shafi’i. It was also a point of agreement among early Shafi’i scholars.

Al-Nawawi argues that their position is supported by a number of pieces of evidence, including:

– The hadith in Bukhari and Muslim related by Ibn ‘Umar (may God be pleased with both of them) who said, “I used to sleep in the masjid while I was a young bachelor.” The same two collections also report a number of specific companions who slept in the masjid, including ‘Ali, Safwan b. Umayya, and a female companion (may God be pleased with them).

-It is also well established that the Companions of the Suffa, as well as the ‘Uraniyyun, would sleep in the masjid.

-Imam al-Shafi’i argues that Thumama b. Uthal would sleep the night in the masjid before becoming a Muslim, and it should a fortiori be permissible for Muslims to do so.

-All of this occurred during the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him), but passed without any known rebuke.

I have not found in any discussion on sleeping in the masjid the idea that doing so in the front row is impermissible, or that jinns kick people out for doing so. It is possible that this is baseless.

God knows best.

Shuaib Ally

Photo: Arian Zwegers