It’s a Saturday morning, I hadn’t enough sleep yet, since I went to bed at about 2 am. It’s 6 am now and my phone is killing me with its loud bell, but why do I have to wake up this early on a saturday morning? It’s Fajr time regardless of being saturday or wednesday. While trying to neglect the sound of the phone and being in a state of half awake and half asleep, there is this voice in my head, telling me that the dream was about to get fun, you can sleep some more minutes, shut off your alarm and go back to bed, it’s ok… Or at least snooze it. But I know deep in my heart, if you snooze, you lose!
Missing the fajr prayer leaves you with a bad feeling the whole day long, it’s like you missed something, and indeed you did miss something… you missed the reward for the two rak’ats sunnah are more worth than the whole world, leave alone the obligatory part.
`A’isha relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The two [sunna] cycles (rak`ats) of the morning prayer are better than the world and what it contains’ [Muslim]
The Fajr Prayer is one of the toughest obligatory prayers to fulfil according to the following hadith which states, that it’s difficulty is due to the three knots Satan puts in the back of the head:
Narrated Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu), Prophet of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:
“Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone,and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”
[Sahih Bukhari – Book 21, Hadith 243]
Now let’s come to the part, how you can wake up for fajr every morning.
- Make sure to make up your mind every night before you go to sleep that you’re going to wake up for fajr prayer. Every action begins with the intention, and know that for this intention Allah already assigned one good deed for you.Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:“He who seriously considered doing a good deed but did not do it, will have one good deed recorded for him.” [Muslim]
- Place your alarm across the room or even in another room, but still loudly hearable (This is how I do it, at least 10 steps to walk until I reach my phone to turn off the alarm) This makes it much easier to stay awake.
- Make sure not to snooze. They say “you snooze, you lose”. Snoozing is a contradictional action. If you don’t like waking up, snoozing is like doing the waking up procedure again and again… Snoozing may cause you to go to deep sleep again, and you’re not supposed to wake up from deep sleep.
- Stay strong fighting against Satan who keeps telling you to go to bed which is still warm and comfortable, show Satan that you are a winner and you’re not giving up.
- Make a proper but quick wudu and hasten to start the prayer, since making it a long procedure may cause you to neglect it soon again.
- Make a checklist and track your process for the daily prayers. This may motivate you to keep going.
- You probably heard about the sleep cycles. So every human completes an entire sleep cycle in 1.5h. That means at the end of the multiple of a sleep cycle (i.e. 1.5h, 3h, 4.5h etc.) you can wake up fresh and rejuvenated and not lazy. Calculate your sleep cycles and set your alarm according to it. In other words, if you sleep at about 11pm and fajr is at 5.30am make sure to set your alarm at 5am, then you have a nice 6h of sleep. If you think you need 30 minutes to fall asleep calculate it and add that time accordingly.
- Studies have shown that when we have something important to do at a certain time, our bodies will wake us up naturally. That’s why you wake up right before your alarm if the task is important enough. Just think of an early flight for instance, it doesn’t matter how long you have slept, even if it has been only 2 hours you’ll wake up, your heart, body and mind will be switched on automatically. So assign importance to prayer and know that the first thing you will be asked for on the day of resurrection is the prayer
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing among their deeds for which the people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be prayer. Our Lord will say to His angels, although He knows best, ‘Look at My slave’s prayer, is it complete or lacking?’ If it is complete, it will be recorded as complete, but if it is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether my slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he had done voluntary prayers, He will say, ‘Complete the obligatory prayers of My slave from his voluntary prayers.’ Then the rest of his deeds will be examined in a similar manner.”
(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 864; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 770)
- Make dua and supplication before going to sleep: read surah al-ikhlas, al-falaq and al-nas and sleep right away.It was narrated from Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into
them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. [Bukhari]