How many times have you found yourself ‘snoozing’ your way through the Fajr prayers? How many times have you told yourself “five more minutes” and the next thing you know, the sun is up and the time for Fajr has passed?
Quite a few times, I would imagine, because that is something most of us are all too familiar with.
Waking up for Fajr is indeed a trying task for a believer. In the words of our beloved Prophet (PBUH):
During your sleep, Satan knots three knots at the back of the head of each of you, and he breathes the following words at each knot, ‘The night is, long, so keep on sleeping,’ If that person wakes up and celebrates the praises of Allah, then one knot is undone, and when he performs ablution the second knot is undone, and when he prays, all the knots are undone, and he gets up in the morning lively and in good spirits, otherwise he gets up in low spirits and lethargic. (Al-Bukhari 4:491)
By starting our day with the Fajr prayers, we incur the immense blessings of Allah (SWT) as the prayer of Fajr holds great significance in the realm of Islam.
While the whole world sleeps, Allah (SWT) looks to those of His devoted servants who sacrifice their sleep in order to stand in Salah, with the sole purpose of worshiping Him and exalting Him.
It is a time of utter peace and tranquility when the hustle bustle of the world comes to a standstill and nothing stands between us and our Lord.
According to the Prophet (PBUH), during the last quarter of the night, Allah (SWT) comes down to the lowest of the heavens, nearer to His servants, who are standing in prayer and calling out to Him, with the sole purpose of granting what His believers ask of Him, as stated in the following hadith:
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’ (Al-Bukhari 1145)
However, waking up for Fajr can pose as a difficult task for most of us. Detaching ourselves from the comfort of our bed is a daily struggle. Sometimes, our bodily needs of slumber outweigh our spiritual needs, especially at the time of Fajr – we are human, after all.
However, if you find yourself feeling guilty about missing Fajr, that in itself is a gift from Allah (SWT) which reminds us that He wants us to keep working towards maintaining a connection with Him which is organic in nature: a connection that needs to be nurtured and cared for.
Hence, here are a few steps you can follow to help yourself get out of bed and say your Fajr prayers on time:
1. Remind Yourself: You Are Doing this for Allah (SWT)
Before going to sleep, remind yourself why you should get up for Fajr: it is to please Allah (SWT). If we cannot even sacrifice a few minutes of sleep to stand in front of Him, how can we expect Him to grant us ‘sabr’ and strength in our worldly trials and the Hereafter? How can we expect Him to be there for us when we cannot even give up a few minutes of worldly slumber?
2. Remember the Rewards of Praying Fajr
Every night, recount the blessings and rewards attached to the prayer of Fajr in order to boost your motivation levels of waking up for the blessed task, as highlighted in the following Ahadith:
He who observes Al-Bardan (i.e., Fajr and `Asr prayers) will enter Jannah. (Al-Bukhari 9:57)
He who offers the dawn (Fajr) prayers will come under the Protection of Allah. O son of Adam! Beware, lest Allah should call you to account in any respect from (for withdrawing) His Protection. (Muslim 9:59)
He who performs Salah (prayers) before the rising of the sun and before its setting, will not enter the Hell. (Muslim 9:58)
3. Firm Intention
Knowing the importance of waking up for Fajr, you must be resolute in doing everything in your power to fulfill the obligation of offering Fajr and pleasing Allah (SWT).
Consciously make the Fajr prayer a part of your daily schedule, just as you prioritize your other worldly tasks during the day. If you do not consciously intend to wake up for Fajr, every other effort will be in vain. Sleep with the intention of waking up!
4. Make Sincere Dua
Before you doze off, make sincere dua and ask for Allah’s (SWT) help in waking you up in time for Fajr. If you call upon Him, He does not let you down. You would be surprised as to how much more effective a sincere dua can be than a mere alarm clock.
5. Disable the Dreaded Snooze Button Altogether
Do yourself a favor and disable the dreadful feature of the snooze button from your alarm clock, be it on your phone, tablet, watch etc.
If you know, subconsciously, that there will be no snooze options, you can either get up once the alarm rings or just turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.
This way, you might just find yourself more aware of your alarms and be more proactive about it, as opposed to repeatedly hitting the snooze button for over an hour and lounging around in bed.
6. Make it a Point to Sleep Early
This is pretty much a no-brainier: if you sleep early, it is natural that you shall wake up early too, which essentially fulfills your purpose of waking up for prayers and starting the day on a fresh note! If you sleep late, you will feel tired, lethargic and devoid of energy throughout your day.
Do not try to cram in multiple activities right before your bedtime because that way, you will end up staying awake half the night. Prioritize and keep your day-end tasks to a minimum so you can sleep early with a clear head.
Think of it this way, if we have a plane to catch in the morning or if we have an interview for our dream job, we tend to toss and turn all night in anticipation of waking up in the morning. So why don’t we feel the same way about waking up for Fajr?
Perhaps it is because we tend to get attached to worldly things (which are all temporary) and forget about our ultimate purpose of existence and the Hereafter (which is eternal).
Hence, we must continually ask ourselves, ‘are our worldly desires more important than our duty to Allah (SWT)?’, because only then can we keep ourselves in check and prioritize Allah (SWT) above all else.
Source: Islamic Finder.