‘O’ Allah, I submit my soul to You, and I entrust my affair to You, and I turn my face towards You, and I totally rely on You, in hope and fear of You.’
Allah, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and day are signs for those of understanding-who remember Allah while standing, sitting and [lying] on their sides” (Qur’an, 3:190-191).
The moments right before you fall sleep are beautifully serene. Everything is still and quiet (hopefully), and all you have amidst the darkness is the radiance of your thoughts and reflections. You might even find the best ideas coming to mind in that relaxed, peaceful state. If you get into bed when you’re exhausted, though, your brain shuts down before you know it, and you don’t remember thinking of anything-even of Allah. The same would apply if you fall asleep while you’re doing something, like watching TV or reading a book.
Think about how you fall asleep every night. What occupies your time right before you fall asleep? If you consider the amount of dhikr (remembrance of Allah ) that the Prophet did before going to sleep, you’d find that it’s much easier to implement when you consciously choose to go to bed before you feel super tired. More importantly, you’d sleep in a state of dhikr while feeling the meanings in your heart and reflecting upon them, rather than mumbling them mindlessly as you pass out.
Do you know what adhkar (singular of dhikr) to say before going to sleep? I included some for you below, along with their related etiquettes or benefit. Try to keep a reference of these by your bedside, and learn one a week, or even one a day if you can. Start with the easier and shorter ones, and then move on to the longer ones. Practice saying them on a nightly basis, and soon enough, you will know (and feel) them by heart insha’Allah.
From the Qur’an:Ayat al-Kursi (Qur’an, 2:255).
اللّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
“Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).”
Benefit: “Whoever reads Ayat al-Kursi when (s)he lies down to sleep will have protection from Allah, and Satan will not come near him/(her) until morning.” [Bukhari]
The Last Two Ayas of Surat al-Baqarah (Qur’an, 2:285-286).
“The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His apostles. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.”
On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.”
Benefit: “These two ayat will be sufficient for anyone who recites them before sleeping.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
The Last Three Chapters of the Qur’an (112, 113, and 114).
SAY: “He is the One God
“God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being.
“He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
“and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَق
SAY: “I seek refuge with the Sustainer of the rising dawn,
“from the evil of aught that He has created,
“and from the evil of the black darkness whenever it descends,
“and from the evil of all human beings bent on occult endeavors,
“and from the evil of the envious when he envies.”
SAY: “I seek refuge with the Sustainer of men,
“the Sovereign of men,
“the God of men,
“from the evil of the whispering, elusive tempter
“who whispers in the hearts of men
“from all [temptation to evil by] invisible forces as well as men,”
Etiquette: “When going to bed every night, the Prophet ﷺwould cup his hands together, blown into them, and recite the last three chapters of the Qur’an. Then, he would wipe over his entire body (as much as possible) with his hands, beginning with his head and face, and then the rest of his body. He would do this three times.”[Bukhari & Muslim]
Other Adhkār and Supplications:
- “Bismik-Allahumma amutu wa ahya.”
“With Your Name, O Allah, I expire and return to life.”[Bukhari]
- “Allahumma qini hadhabak yawma tabhathu hibadak” (three times).
“O Allah, protect me from Your punishment on the day You resurrect Your servants.”[Tirmidhi]
- SubhānAllah (33 times), Alhamdu lillah (33 times), and Allāhu Akbar (34 times).
“Exalted is Allah, All Praise is to Allah, and Allah is the Greatest.”[Bukhari & Muslim]
- “Alhamdu lillahi’l-lathi athamana wa saqana wa kafana wa aawana fakam mimman la kafiya lahu wa la mu’wi.”
All praise is to Allah, Who fed us and gave us to drink, and Who is sufficient for us and has sheltered us – for how many have none to suffice them or shelter them. [Muslim]
- “Bismika rabbi wadahtu jambi wabika arfahuh fa’in amsakta nafsi farhamha wa’in arsaltaha fahfadh-ha bima tahfadhu bihi hibadaka’l-salihin.”
“In Your name my Lord, I lie down and in Your name I rise, so if You take my soul then have mercy upon it, and if You return my soul then protect it in the way You (protect) Your righteous servants.”[Bukhari & Muslim]
- “Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilayk, wafawwadtu amri ilayk, wawajjahtu wajhi ilayk, wa’alja’tu dhahri ilayk, raghbatan warahbatan ilayk, la malja’a wala manja minka illa ilayk, amantu bikitabika’l-lathi anzalta wabinabiyyika’l-lathi arsalt.”
‘O Allah, I submit my soul to You, and I entrust my affair to You, and I turn my face towards You, and I totally rely on You, in hope and fear of You. Verily, there is no refuge nor safe haven from You except with You. I believe in Your Book that You revealed, and in Your Prophet whom You sent.’
Etiquette & Benefit: The Holy Prophet ﷺsaid: ‘If you take to your bed, then perform ablution as you would for prayer, lie down on your right side, and then say [the supplication above]. Then, if you die, you will die upon the fitrah (natural disposition)-and make these (words) the last of what you say (before sleeping).'[Bukhari & Muslim]