In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Or while they slept for their afternoon rest.(7:4)
This was written in connection with Re’fet being curious and asking about the word ‘qa’ilun – slept for their afternoon rest – in the verse, “Or while they slept for their afternoon rest” and to prevent his diamond-like pen becoming idle in prison, and lethargic, as a result of sleeping after the morning prayer like the others.
Sleep is of three sorts:
The First is Ghaylula. This is from pre-dawn to forty minutes or so after the sun has risen, the time when prayer is lawful but reprehensible. Sleep at this time is contrary to the Practices of the Prophet (UWBP), since according to Hadiths, it leads to a decrease in livelihood and its being unfruitful. The most appropriate time for preparing to earn one’s living is when it is cool. One is overcome by lethargy when this has passed. It has been established by many experiences that this is both detrimental to the day’s labour and indirectly to one’s livelihood, and is the cause of unfruitfulness.
The Second is Faylula. This is from the afternoon prayer till sunset. Sleep at this time leads to a diminution of life, that is, it makes life that day shorter and pass in a state of semi-sleep and drowsiness, thus causing a physical deficiency to life. Moreover, immaterially, since most of the day’s results, material and immaterial, become apparent after the afternoon prayer, to pass that time in sleep as though prevents the results being reaped and the day becomes as though unlived.
The Third is Qaylula, which is in accord with the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices.1 It is from mid-morning to just past noon. Such sleep is Sunna since it allows a person to rise at night to pray. So too it is the custom in the Arabian Peninsula to rest from work at noon when it is intensely hot, corroborating this practice of the Prophet (UWBP). This sleep augments both life and sustenance. For half an hour’s Qaylula sleep is the equivalent of two hours’ sleep at night. This means it adds one and a half hours’ to a person’s life every day. It saves one and a half hours from the hand of sleep, the brother of death, and gives it life, increasing the time of working for one’s livelihood.
Ibn Maja, Siyam, 22; al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iv, 531; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, 330; al-Albani, Sahih Jami‘ al-Saghir, No: 4307.