There’s one thing I learned from my Hajj experience – the power of collective worship of Allah. When you see people all around you being pious and striving their utmost to be near to Allah, then your own remembrances become way easier.
But when you’re alone in trying to worship Allah, and everyone around you thinks you’re wasting your time, then it’s hard to hold on by yourself, against the flow.
How do you strive for inner peace when everyone around you is partying out loud? It’s always hard to go against the flow.
But there’s a way.
Go with the Universal Flow
It’s hard to go against the flow. But, think about this, in actively remembering Allah, are we going against the flow?
Yes, most human beings don’t remember Allah. But human beings aren’t the only creation of Allah.
If you pray Fajr regularly, you will know that no matter where you are in the world, you can hear birds making up an orchestra of chirping their different melodies at Fajr time, especially nearer sunrise. Why do the birds universally participate in this phenomenon?
Do you not see that Allah is exalted by whomever is within the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and exalting [Him], and Allah is Knowing of what they do. (Quran 24:41)
Every day at Fajr time, without exception, the birds wake up and prepare to start their day. Every day at Fajr time, the sun comes up from the east and brightens your world.
Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates – for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. (22:18)
The sunrise is a universal manifestation of Allah’s worship. All creations of Allah, except humans and jinns, obey Allah without exception. So when you remember Allah, you are going with the universal flow. And one of the best times to realize this is at Fajr.
The sunrise is also a manifestation of Allah’s incredible power of change. Try this if you have an east-facing window or balcony. After your next Fajr prayer, turn the lights off and, facing the eastern sky, do your morning dhikr, or just sit quietly, savoring your comradeship with the rest of Allah’s creation.
Listen to the birds at their universal orchestra. Notice how, very, very slowly, the sun’s rays dispel the overwhelming darkness of night. Can any light bulb do this? Can a hundred light bulbs be as effective in dispelling the night? Imagine what would happen if the sun missed Fajr just once.
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. (Quran 3:190)
The Recitation of Fajr is Witnessed
The virtues of praying the Fajr prayer and reciting the Quran at Fajr time are highlighted in the Quran and sunnah:
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. (17:78)
The recitation of Quran at Fajr is witnessed by two groups of angels.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
(A group of) angels stay with you at night and (another group of) angels by daytime, and both groups gather at the time of the ‘Asr and Fajr prayers. Then those angels who have stayed with you overnight, ascend (to Heaven) and Allah asks them (about you) —- and He knows everything about you. “In what state did you leave My slaves?’ The angels reply, ‘When we left them, they were praying, and when we reached them they were praying.’ (Bukhari 7429)
So it’s not just the birds and the sun, the angels too are there around you when you remember Allah at Fajr. Try to be aware of this presence. These creatures of light are your comrades too.
Prophet Dawud’s Remembrance at Fajr
Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was a king. He had to take care of the country’s affairs every day. How did he start his day? He would sing the Psalms at Fajr.
You probably know that Prophet Dawud was gifted with an incredibly beautiful voice. When he remembered Allah, the mountains and the birds would join in.
… And We subjected the mountains to exalt [Us], along with David and [also] the birds. And We were doing [that]. (21:79)
Imagine this wonderful orchestra where the most melodious human voice sings the praises of Allah, and the chirping birds and the imposing mountains sing along with him.
Now imagine if we can achieve something even close to it. We are given the opportunity every morning. Just try it once, and see how it gives you a spiritual boost and peacefulness of mind for the rest of your day.
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