Of Sleep and Death!
Do you know that Allah takes our souls in our sleep?
And it is His mercy and decree that He returns our souls to our bodies after having taken it during our sleep!
He tells us this spiritual-cum-scientific fact in Surah Az-Zumar of the glorious Qur’an:
Before proceeding, please listen to the Audio Recitation of this beautiful ayah.
“Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” Surah Az-Zumar 39:42
Allah also says:
“And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do.” Surah An-aam 6:60 Audio here
The glorious Messenger (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) used to say while retiring to bed:
“With Your Name, my Lord, I place my side (upon the bed) and with Your Grace I will raise it up. If You withhold my soul (cause me to die), have mercy on it but if You let it go (let me live), guard it against which You guarded Your pious slaves.”Details here
You might have read in newspapers etc. about someone dying in his sleep. That he went to sleep and slept forever!
Everyone knows that death is certain. This ayah reminds us every night that death can come even in our sleep!!
Recall the wordings of this bedtime du’aa:
“Allahumma Bismika Amuutu wa Ahya”, “In Your name, O Allah, I die and live.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t use the words ‘I sleep and wake up’. He said, “I die and live”.
The focus is on living and dying for Allah. Subhanallah!
It is prudent, therefore, to invest for our future as per this advice of the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam.
O Allah! Bless our soul to be Nafs Mutma’inna, well-pleased and pleasing to You.
O Allah! whoever of us lives, let him/her live with faith and whoever of us dies, let him in the state of Imaan
Sal-lal-laahu Ala Muhammad, Sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-Sallam.
Owing to its relevance, I am re-posting this from IslamQA:
Praise be to Allah.
There is clear evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah which indicates that the soul is taken when one falls asleep, and that sleep is a kind of death. This evidence includes the following:
1. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply”. [az-Zumar 39:42].
2. And He, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day”. [al-An‘aam 6:60].
3. It was narrated from Abu Qataadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that when they slept and missed the prayer, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah took your souls when He willed, and He returned them when He willed.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7474
4. It was narrated that Abu Juhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was on a journey during which they slept until the sun rose. He said: “Verily you were dead and Allah returned your souls to you; whoever sleeps and misses a prayer, let him offer it when he wakes up, and whoever forgets a prayer, let him offer it when he remembers.” Narrated by Abu Ya‘la in al-Musnad, 2/192; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1/293
5. It was narrated from Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) woke up, he would say: “Al-hamdu Lillahi alladhi ahyaana ba‘da ma amaatanaa wa ilayhi an-nushoor (Praise be to Allah Who has given us life after He caused us to die, and to Him will be the resurrection).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6312. It was also narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 2711, from al-Bara’ (may Allah be pleased with him).
This evidence was quoted by al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him), who then said:
The verse indicates that sleep is a death, and the hadeeth indicates when a person sleeps his soul is taken. They both indicate that the soul that is taken in death is the soul that is taken during sleep. End quote from Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab, 3/325
But the taking of the soul in sleep does not necessarily mean that it is completely separated from the body, as happens in death; rather the fact that the life remains in the body during sleep indicates that the soul is still connected to the body during sleep, but the connection is less than the connection when it is awake. Not every departure of the soul from the body implies death; rather what happens to the body differs according to the type of separation.
Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The taking of the soul from the body does not necessarily mean that it has departed from the body altogether; rather it may be taken whilst some kind of connection is still present, as in the case of one who is sleeping.
End quote from Fath al-Baari, by Ibn Rajab, 3/326
For other scholarly opinions on this issue, please see al-Jaami‘ li Ahkaam al-Qur’an, by al-Qurtubi, 15/261; Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar, 11/114
However what appears to us to be the case is that what you mentioned in your question does not have anything to do with this issue at all; the departure of the soul during sleep only happens when one is actually sleeping, and it does not happen before sleeping as you mention.
Perhaps what is happening to you is a psychological matter or excessive preoccupation with death and the like.
We ask Allah to keep you safe and sound and to put your affairs straight.
And Allah knows best. IslamQA