How Can I Protect Myself From Bad Dreams?

Answered by Ustadha Noura Shamma

Question: For the past month I have been having bad dreams once in a while, and this is something that would very rarely happen before. I recite ayat ul kursi, surah Ikhlaas, surah Falaq and Surah Naas every night before sleeping. What other steps can I take to protect myself?

Answer: Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,

I pray insh’Allah all is well with you and your family.

Alhamdulillah for the guidance and sunnah of our beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, through whom Allah taught us all we need to know to have the best of this life and the next. The sunnah of the Prophet alihi salam covers every part of our lives alhamdulillah.

These are some of the key sunnahs we should perform in preparing for sleep and what to do if awakened during the night.

Getting ready for sleep:

Make a complete wudu, even if in as state of menses or otherwise, with the intention of following the sunnah and drawing close to Allah.

Shake out your bedding, and use a portion of your clothing to “dust” the bed, in case anything has crawled under the covers.

Cup your hands and blow into them gently three times, then recite the last three surahs of the Qur’an (surahs 112, 113, 114) into your hands, then wipe your face, head and as much of your body as possible. Do this three times.

Recite ayat al-Kursi (2:255) and the last two verses of surah al-Baqarah.

Lay on your right side, with right hand under check and face the qibla. Don’t lay on your stomach.

Ya’ish bin Tikhfah Al-Ghifari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
My father said: I was lying down on my belly in the mosque when someone shook me with his foot and said, “Lying down this way is disapproved by Allah.” I looked up and saw that it was Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). [Abu Dawud].

Recite the following duas.

بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّي وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي، وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ، فَإِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا، وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا، بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ”

In Your name my Lord, I lie down and in Your name I rise, so if You should take my soul then have mercy upon it, and if You should return my soul then protect it in the manner You do so with Your righteous servants. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Make an intention to wake up for tahajud and ask Allah for help in doing so.

Ask for forgiveness and continue making thikr as you fall asleep.

If you wake up during the night and get out of bed, wipe the bed again with a part of your clothes.

1. If you have a pleasant dream, thank Allah Most High. Such dreams can be shared.

2. If one experiences an unpleasant dream then one should spittle (a form of spitting comprising mainly of air with little spit) three times on the left side and then recite three times: “I seek refuge with Allah from the evil of shaythan”. Also change one’s position to the other side and sleep. [Muslim]

It is important that we teach each other and our children these sunnahs from early age and make it part of bedtime routine. May Allah bless you all with restful and easy sleep.

And Allah Alone Knows.

Hadith references:

Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) directed me thus: “Whenever you go to bed, perform Wudu’ as you do for Salat then (before sleeping) recite: ‘O Allah! I have submitted myself to You, I have turned myself to You, committed my affairs to You and sought Your refuge for protection out of desire for You and fear of You (expecting Your reward and fearing Your punishment). There is no refuge and no place of safety from You but with You. I believe in the Book You have revealed and in the Prophet (peace be upon him) You have sent.”‘ Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) added: “If anyone recites these words and dies during the night, he will die on the true Deen, and if he remains alive till the morning, he will obtain good. And make this supplication your last words (before sleeping).”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) lay down for sleep at night, he would place his (right) hand under his (right) cheek and supplicate: “Allahumma bismika amutu wa ahya [O Allah, with Your Name will I die and live (wake up)].” And when he woke up, he would supplicate: “Al-hamdu lillahil-ladhi ahyana ba’da ma amatana, wa ilaihin-nushur (All praise is due to Allah, Who has brought us back to life after He has caused us to die, and to Him is the return).”


Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘When one of you goes to bed then with the edge of your lower garment (or the edge of the sheet) clean the bed, for you don’t know what is in the bed.’

Our Mother Aisha (may Allah be well-pleased with her) narrated that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them  Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe his hands over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. [Bukhari]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By reciting it (Ayat- ul-Kursi), there will be a guardian appointed over you from Allah who will protect you during the night, and Satan will not be able to come near you until morning” [Al-Bukhari]

Recite the last two verses of Surat Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 – The Cow)
Abu Mas’ud Al-Badri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “He who recites the two Ayat at the end of Surat Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him.” [Al- Bukhari and Muslim]

Hudhayfa said, “When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went to bed at night, he placed his hand under his cheek and then said, ‘O Allah, in Your name I die and live.’ When he woke up, he said, ‘Praise be to Allah who has brought me to life after He made me die and to Him is the gathering.'” [al-Bukhari]

“بِاسْمِكَ اللَّهُمَّ أَمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا”

Abu Hurraira (RA) reports that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was asked, “What prayer is most virtuous, after the obligatory prayers?” He said, “Prayer in the depths of the night.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nisaa’i, Ibn Majah]

And Allah knows best.

Noura Shamma

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani