A Forgotten Sunnah- Wiping Sleep from the Face

عَنْ كُرَيْبٍ مَوْلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ بَاتَ لَيْلَةً عِنْدَ مَيْمُونَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ – وَهِىَ خَالَتُهُ – قَالَ فَاضْطَجَعْتُ فِى عَرْضِ الْوِسَادَةِ وَاضْطَجَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- وَأَهْلُهُ فِى طُولِهَا فَنَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- حَتَّى انْتَصَفَ اللَّيْلُ أَوْ قَبْلَهُ بِقَلِيلٍ أَوْ بَعْدَهُ بِقَلِيلٍ اسْتَيْقَظَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فَجَعَلَ يَمْسَحُ النَّوْمَ عَنْ وَجْهِهِ بِيَدِهِ..

Ibn Abbass (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that he spent the night at his aunt’s [Maymounah] house (may Allah be pleased with her). He said, “I lied across the pillow while my aunt and Allah’s messenger both lied on the pillow. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) slept until a little before or after the middle of the night. He (peace and blessings be upon him) woke up and began to wipe the sleep from his face with both his hands…”

Collected by Bukhari (183) and Muslim (763)

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) commented on this hadeeth saying,

  • This hadeeth shows it’s permissible to spend the night in a house with a man and his wife under two conditions:

1.      Permission is granted from both spouses.

2.      No hardship results from this action.



  • The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to wake up early at night, before the middle part. He would stay awake until about a sixth of its part remained, then go back to sleep until the call for Fajr. This is what he did most of the time, and sometimes he remained awake from the middle of the night until Fajr.
  • It is a legislated (recommend) act to wipe the sleep from the face when waking up. By doing so you’ll find energy. “ Sharh  Saheeh Bukhari By Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen Hadeeth # 183

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah Ibn Dwight Battle (may Allah forgive him)


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