Is Sleeping On Your Stomach Permissible In Islam?
When it comes to sleep hygiene, we've heard the basics over and over again: no blue light before bed, consuming a hot drink or taking a warm bath and blacking out windows. But a topic rarely discussed amongst Muslims is what position you should be sleeping in. And more specifically, is it permissible to sleep on your stomach?
Firstly, it's important to understand that the Quran, the source of truth for all Muslims, doesn't explicitly mention the position you need to be in to sleep.
So to dig deeper, we need to look towards the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to see whether there was any mention of sleep sides in any hadith.
In a specific hadith we have found, it was narrated by Qais bin Tihfah Al-Ghifari that his father said:
"The Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) found me sleeping in the masjid on my stomach. He nudged me with his foot and said: 'Why are you sleeping like this? This is a kind of sleep that Allah dislikes,' or 'that Allah hates.'" [Sunan Ibn Majah 3723]
This hadith has been graded Sahih or authentic, and so we can see that the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned Allah's displeasure at sleeping on the stomach. However, there is no mention of this way of sleeping being haram or prohibited.
What does the science say? 🔬
Interestingly, some scholars also cite health reasons behind the Prophet's (pbuh) discouragement of this sleeping posture. Modern science tells us that sleeping on the stomach can lead to spinal and neck problems, and potentially difficulty in breathing as it misaligns the natural curvature of the spine. In fact, it is a known fact that SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is linked to infants sleeping on their stomachs. On the other hand, sleeping on the stomach does appear to lower sleep apnea and snoring.
Of course, Islam places a great emphasis on health maintenance and preservation, so it makes sense that in Allah's wisdom, he dislikes that which leads to harm.
As the Quran states, "And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good." (Quran 2:195)
The final verdict 🛏
While the Quran does not explicitly state the permissibility or impermissibility of sleeping on the stomach, narrations from the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAWS) indicates that it's not a preferred posture. This advice may be linked to the impact stomach sleeping has on one's physical health.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Your body has a right over you" (Sahih Bukhari 5199, Sahih Muslim 2550)
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