His Eyes Sleep, But His Heart Does Not (Hadith No. 140)
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet slept till he snored and then prayed (or probably lay till his breath sounds were heard and then got up and prayed).” Ibn ‘Abbas added: “I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt, Maimuna, the Prophet slept for a part of the night, and late in the night, he got up and performed ablution from a hanging water skin, a light (perfect) ablution and stood up for the prayer. I, too, performed a similar ablution, then I went and stood on his left. He drew me to his right and prayed as much as Allah wished, and again lay and slept till his breath sounds were heard. Later on the Mua’dhdhin (callmaker for the prayer) came to him and informed him that it was time for Prayer. The Prophet went with him for the prayer without performing a new ablution.” (Sufyan said to ‘Amr that some people said, “The eyes of Allah’s Apostle sleep but his heart does not sleep.” ‘Amr replied, “I heard ‘Ubaid bin ‘Umar saying that the dreams of Prophets were Divine Inspiration, and then he recited the verse: ‘I (Abraham) see in a dream, (O my son) that I offer you in sacrifice (to Allah).” (37.102)
And it’s true. His heart was always awake. The dreams he used to get were divine inspirations due to the same reason. And his not renewing his wudu after sleeping was also because of this.
So I imagine, what would it feel like to have your heart awake all the time.. When we sleep, we want our whole body to rest so we’ll be fresh and ready to work when we wake up. But what about that heart that didn’t get rest at all?
And I come to the conclusion: heart’s sleep here does not mean that the heart stops its function. Rather, the eyes and ears of the heart go to sleep. And since Prophet (SAW)’s heart never slept, his eyes and ears of the heart were always awake. Meaning, even though his physical body was resting, he was still in his senses. Amazing right? :D
Wouldn’t we all love to try that? :)