Night falls as I head home and the need for sleep overcomes me……


اللَّـهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا ۖ فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَىٰ عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَىٰ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٤٢

[39:42] Asad

It is God [alone that has this power – He] who causes all human beings to die at the time of their [bodily] death, and [causes to be as dead], during their sleep, those that have not yet died: thus, He withholds [from life] those upon whom He has decreed death, and lets the others go free for a term set [by Him]. In [all] this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!


These are His signs:

  1. Allah captures all the souls (tawafi: takes all of it captures it) at the time of death.
  2. And those whose death does not occur, in their sleep he captures their souls. Sleep is like death. During sleep we have no idea or power over our surroundings or our self.
  3. He stops those souls from returning on whom he decides and gives the command of their death
  4. He releases the souls on whom he has not commanded death and they wake up from sleep

Those souls who wake up from sleep are those who have been given time by Allah until their appointed time for death.

Thus four actions are noted in this ayah which are signs of Allah.

  1. Allah captures the souls of people at death.
  2. Allah captures the souls of people when they fall sleep.
  3. For those whose time of death is ordered by Allah those souls are stopped from returning.
  4. Those who have time left in this world their souls are released and they wake up from sleep.

The above are signs of Allah for those who reflect and are aware of the significance of simple things around them, These are the people who are aware of the significance of waking up from sleep and take each day as a new life given to them (and thus do not fritter it away in the disobedience of Allah)

RasoolAllah PBUH used to recite this (click here) dua every night when he lay down on his right side and placed his cheek on his right hand.

My understanding of this ayah from this tafseer:

Allah Subhanawataala is inviting the non believers (and those with weak belief) to observe His power in an everyday occurrence.

He points to signs of his Oneness and Almighty Power to two groups of people:

1. simple people who observe the cycle of sleep and wakefulness every night and day but have taken it for granted without thinking of the significance of what happens to a person in sleep.

2.  The sleep researchers and psychiatrists who specialize in sleep and understand how helpless and hapless a human being is when he or she sleeps and unable to act on anything said and done to him or her.

This ayah to me also demonstrates that the words of Allah are for all times and for all levels of intellect and understanding.

1400 years ago those who reflected on this even without all the sleep research that is currently going on understood the meaning and depth of this ayah.

Now the people who are doing and reviewing sleep research understand this ayah well

In the future we will inshallah learn even more about the mysteries of sleep.

All of this strengthens our emaan and awe of Allah Subhananwataala.

For those who already believe it may humble them to be aware and conscious of their Lord who has power over all things.

For those who do not believer they may go two routes:

  1. If they are genuinely explorative in science. logic and understanding they will bow their heads to the Almighty
  2. Those that have a strong Nafs and are adamant and obstinate stuck in their rut and cannot lift themselves out of the quicksand of self aggrandizement will remain naysayers without allowing the light to shine on them.

SUPPLICATION: I pray that we (you and I) belong to those who look at sleep and remember that it is like death and that we may not awaken tomorrow morning. Thus I pray that it will impel us to do the utmost good at this present moment.

I pray that f we do wake up from sleep that we do our utmost to fulfill the covenant of Allah which is to obey Him and worship Him as outlined, and lived by His Messenger Muhammad ibn Abdullah peace and blessings be upon him.


One thought on “WILL YOU AWAKEN FROM SLEEP? 39:42

  1. Pingback: THE DOOR TO ANOTHER DIMENSION ………………. | Siraat-e-Mustaqeem

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