Sometimes we have moments, or even months or years, in which we feel we’ve lost a part of ourselves. We used to be so motivated to do good deeds, remembering Him when we would go to sleep and wake up, but now we feel far away from our Lord. We wonder to ourselves: how can I get that zeal and energy back?
At the Top of Your List
One thing we have to know: we can always return. In fact, Allah ar-Rahmaan loves us to turn back to Him. To see where you’re standing in your relationship with Him, there are a few things you can judge yourself on. This week you’ll look into one of these “mirrors” of your emaan and find out why it should be on the top of your list if you want to be productive!
It’s the first thing you’ll be asked about on the Day of Judgment, it can protect you from the fire of Hell, and it can be a reason to admit you into the Gardens of Allah ‘azza wajal. Starting your day with it blesses the hours that follow and greatly increases your productivity.
What is it? It’s your Fajr prayer. So now the main question is: how is your Fajr prayer?
Allah the Most High says: So establish the Prayer after the declining of the sun [for Dhuhr and then Asr] to the dusk of night [Maghrib and then ‘Isha] and the [Quranic] recitation of Fajr [prayer]. Indeed, the recitation of Fajr is witnessed. [Quran, 17:78]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala originally commanded the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam during Israa wal Miraaj that the ummah should pray fifty prayers a day!
Then it was decreased to five. You can learn from this process which place salah should truly hold in your life. Imagine praying fifty times a day! You’d be in prayer constantly, salah would be your life and you wouldn’t have much time for anything else.
This is a reminder of your true purpose in life. Now look at how things have flipped around in your daily life; most of us fit our prayer around our daily activities instead of our daily activities around our prayers, thinking we are being productive.
Then we complain that we feel down, low, out of energy. We feed our bodies— if we didn’t we’d die— but we let our souls starve. Not praying means our souls are dead. Which lives forever, your body or your soul?
The Reality of Fajr
Look at your life. Is the first thing you do when your alarm goes off washing your face, eating, and going to work or school? Or do you get up to pray first before you start your day? What is really akbar (greater) in your life? Saying Allaahu akbar means we put Allaah and our duties to Him first. Choosing to start your day by praying Fajr is a crucial choice between success and loss. Are you a winner or a loser?
Imagine you had a plane to catch the next morning or a job interview. You’d make sure you woke up, right? You sometimes even wake up before your alarm goes off. So why don’t you get up as easily for the Fajr prayer?
It’s all in the mind. It’s very simple; we attach more value to our worldly lives then to our hereafter. Our sense of duty to our Most Merciful Lord might be weaker than our desire for the things around us.
If you’re attached to Allah, you see Fajr as more important than the rest of the day’s affairs all put together! You find peace in praying it and it motivates you to rise again, creating a positive cycle. Being productive as a Muslim is all about breaking bad cycles and starting good ones!
The Angels at Fajr
Remember the ayah above? Indeed, the recitation of Fajr is witnessed. This means that both the angels of the night and the angels of the morning listen to the Fajr prayer being recited because of its great status and virtue. [al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn]
Al-Bukhaari reported: Angels come to you in shifts by night and by day. They meet at salaat al-fajr and salaat al-‘asr, then those who had stayed with you at night ascend, and are asked by the One Who knows better than they: ‘How did you find My servants?’ They say, ‘We left them when they were praying, and we came to them when they were praying.’”
With what report do you send the angels off to Allah ‘azza wajal each morning? And if the rewards don’t convince you, motivate yourself with this warning from the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam: The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are ‘Isha and Fajr but if they only knew what they contain, they would come even if they had to crawl.” [Ahmad]
Practical Steps to Help You Wake Up For Fajr!
Does your heart want to wake up, yet your body keeps sleeping and you feel regret later in the morning? This is still a gift from Allah ‘azza wajal in the sense that your still desire to worship Him and you regret when you fail. However this connection with Allah doesn’t come without any effort on your part!
I wanted to share with you a few practical steps in terms of trying to ensure you wake up for Fajr, which I found really useful and which are a bit different from many I came across. They are of three types: physical, mental, and spiritual. And they are our homework!
1. Simplify your bedding
2. Drink ample water so you are forced to wake up to use the bathroom
3. Set multiple alarms (especially the alarm phone app which asks you to solve a sum in order to switch off!)
4. Really set priorities by not finishing off certain works at night
1. Before bed, visualize yourself rising, washing, and praying
2. Tell your mind with determination before sleeping that there’s an important appointment at Fajr which you must attend (with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala)
3. Warn your mind beforehand that your body will be tempted to close its eyes when the alarm rings (for “just a few more minutes”) and not to give in to it.
4. Never give up and feel hopeless; if you didn’t wake up today, you will tomorrow insha’Allah!
1. Fill your heart with love for your Creator and the desire to please Him for all He has given to you– fill your heart with the importance and love for praying Fajr and the fear of missing it.
2. Beg Allah the Almighty before bed for the ability to wake up the following morning.
3. Feel really regretful and sad if you miss it (but never despair!) and make it up immediately.
4. Strive to avoid other major sins in your daily life and repent from them to try to gain divine assistance (tawfiq).
Don’t give up. You are created for a reason! You can be something special to Allah ‘azza wajal if you take the steps towards Him. If you haven’t woken up for your Fajr prayer for years, set ten alarms today. Make sincere dua before you sleep— plead with Him to let you pray. You won’t be disappointed.
May Allah ‘azza wajal make us among those who rise and pray Fajr easily and consistently, out of submission and gratitude, ameen.
I pray you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yayha, United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL, Qur’an & Productivity is a global project with the exciting goal to inspire every Muslim worldwide to open the Qur’an every day, pick one ayah, and apply it to your own life by making acting on the ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Qur’an to our daily life! Check www.ayahjournal.com and follow us on www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for vibrant Qur’an & Productivity tips.