A Regime for Sleep

The best time to
go to sleep is after the digestion of food. It is wise to
go to sleep first on the right side, as the Prophet used to do. This was
confirmed by (Ayesha when she said: He first used to go to sleep on the
right side looking towards Mecca.
Sleep by day is bad. It damages the complexion, gives rise to diseases
and renders a man lazy. It is to be avoided except in the mid-day heat
according to the saying of the Prophet: Go ye to sleep, for the devils never
sleep. And again he said: Make easier your rising for prayer during the
night by taking a short sleep during the day. He also said: Sleep in the
morning is a hindrance to the daily bread.
Jabir relates that the Prophet forbade a man to sleep part in the sun and
part in the shade. Among the traditions is that he also forbade a man to sit
part in the sun and part in the sahe. These are the statements of al-Haifiz
abu Nu’aim. Abu Dawuid has said the same thing in his book called
Said ‘Ayesha: Whoever sleeps in the late afternoon, renders himself
mad and has only himself to blame. Said al-Imam: There is one thing that
is denied to a man and that is sleep in the late afternoon for fear of his
Folio 20 wits. Sleep is forbidden, too, after the dawn prayer until the sun has
risen, and before the late evening prayer. The Prophet hated sleep before
these two times as much as he hated talk after them. But if the talk were
about wisdom or made mention of God or husbandry, it was not hateful
to him.
Sleeping with face to the ground is also forbidden, for such sleep is the
sleep of Hell.
Finally, it is better to go to sleep in a state of ceremonial purity, as has
already been said in the Tradition on Purity.
Nature must be softened against what she holds prisoner by such
foods as decoction of carthamus and raisins. Among the excretants which
soften nature against what she holds are dried roses, Syrian cucumber,
senna, and tamarinds. These should be boiled in honey of wild
bees. All the aboven are well tried.
Excretion through Coitus
Jabir relates a traditional saying of the Prophet: Go take as wife a
virgin whom you will caress and who will caress you. Said Jabir: The
Prophet forbade the act of love before caressing.
Marriage is among the traditions of the messengers of God.
It is best to have intercourse
only after digestion is complete and when
the body is in a mid-state and in a normal condition between heat and
cold, repletion and emptiness. But if a man must commit a fault, then inter�course on a full stomach is less harmful than
refraining from it. Bin
‘Umr never had intercourse
except after a meal, it is said.
It is
necessary to avoid intercourse when one is fatigued or sad or
disappointed and also after taking medicine. It should only be indulged
in when there is a
great desire and only when this desire is provoked
neither by effort nor by erotic ideas or sights. It should be the result
Folio 2z of excess of semen.
Intercourse, if it does not exceed the bounds of moderation, revives the
Inborn Heat, rejoices a man, disposes him to eat, dissipates sad thoughts,
melancholy preoccupations and morose thoughts. More than once sexual
abstinence has
produced disease. Intercourse is a safeguard for health.
But immoderate intercourse
engenders tremors and palsies and weakens
the faculties and enfeebles vision.
Said the
Prophet: Whoever among you is in the power of his sex urge,
let him
marry. For marriage lowers the eyes and renders the organs
chaste. This is a sound tradition and is
reported by al-Bukhari
Do not have intercourse with an old
woman, with a very young child
Quran xI.222 or with a woman in her courses. “If
you are asked about menstruation,
say: It is a little harmful; therefore keep aloof from women during their
menstrual discharge and do not go near them, for they are in their flowers”.
For this blood is
corrupt blood. It does harm to the sexual organ of a
man, causing ulceration. And verily, I have seen this myself.
Said the Prophet: Do anything rather than commit adultery. And he
who has intercourse with a menstruating woman, he must pay a fine of
one dinar or half one dinar, though some say he need only ask pardon
of God for his fault. The reason underlying this tradition is that a Jew,
when his wife is menstruating, abstains from all intercourse with her,
sets her
apart in the house, and makes her eat and drink alone. When the
Prophet learnt of this he said: Except as regards intercourse do everything
differently from the Jews. The curse of God and His anger be upon them.
Never have intercourse with a woman who has had no sexual relations
for a long time nor with a sick woman nor with one whose appearance
displeases you. To lie with a Beloved rejoices the heart.
Folio 22 A man once went and complained to the Prophet that he had very few
children. The Prophet bade him eat eggs. According to Abu Harira the
Prophet complained to the archangel Gabriel that he could not perform
the sexual act often enough. “What is that ?” replied the archangel. “Why
you not eat harisa ? There is in this pudding the strength of forty
From Abu Rafi’ comes this saying: I was seated once in the house of
the Prophet. He passed his hand over his head and said: Make use of
henna, the master of all colouring preparations. Henna strengthens the
skin and increases the sexual
powers. Anas, too, said: Dye yourself with
henna. Verily henna rejuvenates, renders a man handsome, and compels
him into sexual intercourse.
Among the traditions is that shaving the pubes stimulates intercourse.
Abu Nu’aim relates this tradition.
Among foods excellent for this purpose are peas, onions, meat, eggs,
cocks and
sparrows. After these a man should drink fresh milk and then
rest and
say his prayers. Similarly, one should eat pine seeds, haricot
beans, turnips, carrots, grapes, asparagus, and pistachio nuts, filberts and
such like. He should abstain from acids and salted foods. To this subject
I will return, God willing, in the section on Simples.
reports the tradition from Abu Sa’id that the Prophet said:
If one of
you has gone into his wife and desires to approach her again, let
him perform his ablution and then have intercourse again. The prophet
also said: If one of
you has gone into his wife and has said: In the name of
Folio 23 God we have
put the Devil to flight: so put the Devil to flight from the
benefits that we confer
upon us; then the child that is predestined between
them, will never feel the Devil.
passes on the tradition that a man should not give himself
to sleep until he has performed the ablution as ordered by the Prophet
according to the tradition of ‘Ayesha and others. The Prophet was meticul�ous in his sexual intercourse and he ordered his example to be followed.
He once said: What I love in
your world are women and scent and the
sparkle of my eye is prayer. Al-Nasa’i has reported the tradition that he
said: Scent is the food of the soul and the soul is the beast of burden for
the faculties of man. Nothing is more helpful than scent after sexual
When he spoke of prayer after the enjoyment of these two prescriptions,
he meant that sexual intercourse disperses the matter of erotic disturbances
and voluptious agitation which destroy the purity of vision and thought
by cutting the path of reflexion and reason and by rendering dim the
sentiments of religion. It is for this reason that physicians have called the
urge a madness. And by God it is the commonest of manias, for it
is the most invincible of all things which dominate man.
Said the Prophet: I have never seen anything more able to weaken a
man’s senses and religion and to destroy his judgement than one of you
women. Verily, a man’s judgement disappears by the violence of his lust
and such-like. Therefore it is incumbent
upon the servant of God to seek
for pious intentions without which no prayer has merit. The discussions
of the canonists together with the many traditions about the spirit and
evil suggestions are well known. And therefore the Prophet laid down a
rule and has been adamant on this point, citing the traditions of other
messengers of God and of others bearing on the duty of prayer, that the
servant of God must at the time of
prayer have a heart free from vain
Folio 24 thoughts and evil inclinations. For only then is prayer perfect.
And afterwards a bath is obligatory.
And God knoweth best.
Physicians have said that to produce a seminal emission by hand causes
distress and weakens the sexual appetite and erections of the penis.
Besides this it is forbidden in Canon Law.



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