We find in this day and age that we are often in go, go, go gear chasing after a new dream, a new goal, something worldly, we are often purely dunya focussed.
In focussing on matters concerning this dunya, we often neglect our obligatory prayers, the rights that Allah SWT has over us. As such, I would at this point like to simply focus on advising on one prayer, I would like to focus on Fajr prayer and offer some advice on maintaining it.
Prior to this, we should acknowledge that we need Allah’s aid in everything, particular waking for Fajr, and as such it would be prudent to make a sincere intention (spiritual element) to wake up and put in place the practical elements that aid in this.
Admittedly the internet, Islamic magazines, and our social circles are full of suggestions and advice on waking up for Fajr constantly, everyone has a ‘tip’ a ‘secret’ a ‘formula’ that works for them… this is not a problem on the days that you are ‘super imaan person’ and nothing can stop you from waking up; you have prayed Isha, you have done witr, you have read Quran, you have pondered on the Seerah…….the upcoming Fajr prayer? Not an issue, you got this!
But this article is for those other days, those days where Shaitan says to you ‘just 5 more minutes’, those days where those eye lids and just a little heavier than usual, those days where the gym goer has trouble removing the weight of a blanket as opposed to the multiple pounds he or she lifts, the ‘anti -super imaan person’ days.
Below are some suggestions that cover the spiritual and practical elements that aid in waking for this important prayer…essentially, the suggestions below aid in becoming ‘super imaan person’ consistently…We make our prayer, and we tie our camel.
Firstly, one must build up a spiritual arsenal, Intention: you must have a pure intention to wake up and worship Allah. This intention must not be compromised by the notions of showing of to others. Also, one must be determined and actively put in place a support structure that aids in this endeavour.
- Fajr, a fort for you: In preparing for this prayer it is important to acknowledge that it is in fact a protection for the believer. It defends against the hypocrite, often a clandestine enemy against your Imaan, and being under Allah’s protection throughout the day is a great incentive.
- Fajr, a foundation of light: A believer should ponder on the very word ‘Fajr’ Note that it is derived from the Arabic word ‘Infijar’ which can mean to burst forth, to explode, this as it refers to the nature of sunlight when it sets forth, striking through darkness, illuminating all that it encompasses. As it is the first obligatory prayer of the day, consider Fajr as your foundational prayer, a foundation built on the light of worship.
- The words of Allah SWT/actions of the Prophet SAW: Reading the words of Allah and being inspired by our Rasool SAW automatically puts emphasis on worship and waking up for Fajr, ending the day on something spiritually boosting can automatically set a person to want to begin the day with the same. The benefits of that period of the day are underpinned further by our holy prophet when he, SAW, stated that even ‘the Sunnah cycles of prayer proceeding Fajr prayer are better than this word and all that it contains’ (Ahmed, Muslim, Tirmidi) use that as an incentive.
- Be thankful: Being thankful to Allah prior to your slumber can also set the scene for your Fajr prayer the next day. Thanking Allah for everything you have, for even reaching that period of the day can increase one’s impetus to rise before the sun for Fajr. Taking that into consideration one should read and reflect on Surah Ar-Rahman and the verse, which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that you deny?’
Get your siblings, spouse, parents, and or friends to wake you up: If they are not in the same location, ask them to call you. You not only get to pray your prayer, but, you get to share in its reward.
- Set your alarm, a loud one: Place it in a hard to reach place (on top of a cupboard, somewhere under the bed that is difficult to reach, outside your bedroom door… having to actually get up and go to the effort of stopping said alarm may be the incentive of actually getting to your feet…. It beats simply pressing the snooze button on your alarm or phone that is right next to you……should you miss Fajr, you snooze you lose.
- Download Islamic apps with a prayer reminder function: These apps often set to your location and are designed to remind someone of the upcoming prayer.
- Early to bed, early to rise: Plan to sleep at sensible times, do not procrastinate on irrelevant things, there exist many sayings in relation to this, sayings such as ‘the early bird catches the worm’…sleep early, rise early. Just basic logic.
- Put yourself in a dependable situation: this one is quite risky but my brother in law arranged a deal with the imam of the local Masjid, he would always drive him to the Masjid for the Fajr prayer… had my Brother in law overslept he would have had to deal with a bemused if not irate congregation…. risky I know…. besides that, stick to waking your siblings.
At this point in time those suggestions are the best I can come up with, well the more extreme versions involve an elaborate contraption and a bucket of ice water, but we’ll hold off for now. May Allah aid us all in attaining this foundational prayer of the day. Amin.
Hussein A Shirwa
CEO and Founder of FajrUp Ltd