No household chores after sunset – Islamic teaching or old superstition?

Posted on February 9, 2016 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal




In our country, we are taught that you should never sweep your house at night – especially at Sunset. Otherwise misfortune can befall you. They claim that this is an Islamic teaching. We are also told to stay inside at sunset. Is all of this true?


It is not prohibited for believers to do their chores or to be outside at the time of Maghrib. Indeed, it is required for men to go out at that time, since they have to go to the mosques to perform their Maghrib prayers and then go outside again after prayer in order to return to their homes.

We are encouraged, however, to keep our children indoors at this time, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When night falls, keep your children indoors, for the devils are out and about at this time. When an hour of the night goes by, you can let them go.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3280, 5623) and Sahîh Muslim (2012)]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Cover your dishes, close your containers, shut your doors, and keep your children indoors at nightfall, for the Jinn are out and about and stalking.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3316)]

The meaning of “hour” in the above two hadîth is explained by another hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Do not send out your cattle or your children when the sun sets until the blackness of the night descends, for indeed the Satans are sent forth when the Sun sets until the blackness of the night descends.” [Sahîh Muslim (2013)]

What you say about not sweeping the house at night might simply be the legacy of some traditional folk wisdom. In simple societies of the past, it might have shown bad judgment to sweep the house at night due to the insufficient lighting, since scorpions or other pests might be disturbed by the activity at a time when it will be difficult to see them. Therefore, people might have seen it as a simple matter of good sense to do their cleaning and sweeping in the light of day.

However, it is certainly not an Islamic teaching to avoid sweeping at night. Also, with modern lighting, the possible wisdom behind avoiding chores at night is no longer relevant.

And Allah knows best.

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