Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
What surahs should we recite when we sleep?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has encouraged us to recite the Quran in order to attain Allah’s nearness and reward. He (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Whoever recites a harf of the Book of Allah will have one hasanah for it, and each hasanah brings a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lām-Mīm is a harf; rather Alif is a harf, laam is a harf and meem is a harf.” (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawūd)
The Prophet used to recite various verses and Suras at different times and occasions.
With regards to your question about what to recite before sleep, the following are a list of Suras:
Surah al-Sajdah and Mulk:
Jābir Ibn Abdullah said:
“The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would not go to sleep until he had recited “Alif, Lām, Mīm. [This is] the revelation of the Book” [Surah as-Sajdah] and “Tabārakalladhi bi yadihi’l-mulk (Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion”(Tirmidhi)
Imām Abdurrahman Al-Mubārakpūri states that the meaning of the above Hadith is that it was not his (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) habit to sleep without reciting these Suras. (1)
Surah al-Isrā and Surah al-Zumar:
Our mother Ā’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) narrates that:
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would not sleep in his bed until he has recited Surat Bani Isra’il and Al-Zumar” (Tirmidhi)
Surah Ikhlas, Falaq and an-Nās:
Ā’isha also narrates:
“That when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) went to his bed every night, he would put his cupped hands together, then blow into them, then recite into them QulHuwaAllahuahad, Qula’udhu bi Rabb il-Falaq and Qula’oodhu bi Rabb il-Nās, then he would wipe his hands over as much of his body as he could, starting with his head and face, and the front part of his body. He would do that three times”
There also narrations that he would recite the Musabbihāt i.e Surah Al-Hadid, Al-Hashr, Al-Saff, and Al-Jumu’ah.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) put me in charge of guarding the collected zakaah of Ramadan. Someone came and started to rummage in the food. I took hold of him and said, I will surely take you to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).… He [the one who came and rummaged in the food] said, When you go to your bed, recite Aayat al-Kursiy and you will be protected by Allah, and no devil will come near you until morning. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “He told you the truth even though he is a liar. That was a devil.”
Along with the verses and Suras there a number of prophetic supplications that can be recited before sleep. To know more, you can read the chapter of supplications in Jāmi al-Tirmdhi. Also, the Book of Supplication of Imām an-Nawawi is an excellent book in this matter.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
- Tuhfah al-Ahwadhi bi Sharh Jami al-Tirmidhi, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Vol. 9 p.248, Beirut