Shaykh Abu Abdir Rahmaan Yahyaa Bin Alee Al-Hajooree was asked:
What is the ruling on sleeping on the stomach? And what is the ruling of the narration of Abu Huraira that the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
Indeed Allah doesn’t love this way of lying down [on the stomach].
The narration is from Qays Ibn Takhfah and it said Tahfah as Ibn Abdul Barr mentioned in Al Istia’aab. It is a narration which is defective for the son of Qays the narrator of the narration from Qays is unknown.
There has been many discrepancies with regards to this narration. Ibn Abdul Barr and other than him clarified its Idtiraab [different opposing routes which one cannot reconcile] that it has come from the narration of Abu Huraira, but that which is correct is that it is the narration of Qays Ibn Tahfah and not of Abu Huraira.
Ibn Abu Thi’ab reported it from his maternal uncle from Abu Salamah Ibn Abdurrahman with this chain from Ibn Qays Ibn Tahfah from Qays. Those who reported it [this way] are the trustworthy, whilst some of them reported it and opposed the trustworthy in regards to this chain and made it from the narration of Abu Huraira.
That Ibn Abu Haatim relayed from his father that the narration is of Qays and not Abu Huraira. Al-Bukhari said similar, May Allah have mercy on him, thus Al-Bukhari and Abu Haatim deemed correct that the narration of Abu Huraira is not authentic but rather a mistake and that it is the narration of Qays Ibn Abu Takhfah.
And that is what is preserved. Yet, you have been made aware that it is defective due to the son of Qays being unknown and the Idtiraab in it.
Building upon this, some of the people of knowledge said that sleeping on the stomach is prohibited based upon what is apparent of the narration, yet you see that the narration is not authentic. If the matter is as such, we advise with leaving off lying down like this [on the stomach].
Because it has been preserved from the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم that he used to lie down on his right side placing his hand under his cheek while reading the Athkaar and [then] sleep.
As for sleeping on the stomach, then this has not been affirmed from him nor do we have any knowledge of the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them, that the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, his companions, and other than them would be sprawled out on their stomachs, so thus that is not necessary.
Majid Jawed Al-Afghanee