How does one wake up for fajr with ease? And I don’t mean waking up for fajr for a day or two, but how do you keep waking up for fajr, everyday, without fail? How do you make it come naturally?
When it comes to oversleeping or missing a flight, you might probably not react the same compared to missing the Fajr prayer. When there is a plane to catch the next morning, or a job interview that you are really looking forward to ace, you will make more effort to wake up on time. Why? The reason is because we are more desirous to get on the plane or get that job, so our eyes open with great effort and enthusiasm when the alarm rings. Some might even wake up earlier before the alarm because of their anticipation. Agree?
So why does this not happen as often for Fajr? One could say, we have not attached the same importance to the Hereafter as we have attached to this dunya, our worldly lives. When we are attached to Allah, however, we will see Fajr as more important than the rest of the day’s concerns put together, and we will find it easy to rise to worship our Lord, in submission and gratitude. We will find peace from this, which prompts us to rise again and make it a routine, in a positive cycle.
In Islam, the salah; the five times a day prayer, is an obligation upon every Muslim. It is the prayer that helps a Muslim differentiate him or herself from other beliefs when it comes to worshipping Allah the Almighty. It is one’s connection with Allah, and once you see the importance of prayer, you wouldn’t want to miss it.
“A powerful person is the one who can lift his blanket up for Salat-Al-Fajr and for Tahajjud” – Mufti Ismail Menk
He who performs the Fajr prayer will be under the protection of Allah. So beware, Oh son or daughter of Adam, that Allah does not call you to account for being absent from His protection for any reason. (Muslim)
Our beloved Prophet was also reported saying, “Whoever performs the prayer before the rising of the sun (Fajr) and the prayer before its setting (Asr) will not enter Hell.” (Muslim).
These two hadiths should be an eye-opener for us, and soften our hearts to help us wake up and perform the prayer. Here are some ways that will hopefully guide us all to stop hitting the snooze button and lift up our blankets:
Niyyah, or your intention. Before you go to sleep at night, you should tell yourself that you want to wake up early for Fajr. Once that is instilled in your heart, you will get up naturally. Don’t say “only if I wake up on time, I will pray”. You must have the strong intention and that strong determination. Make a promise to Allah and to yourself that you will do everything to complete this noble task.
Sincerity is key, so be sincere about waking up for Fajr. This can be linked to your intention, as mentioned previously. Have the drive and motivation to wake up for Fajr. Saying “If I can” simply means “I will try, but if I don’t, then it’s no big deal”. Know the blessings and benefits of Fajr and it might motivate you to wake up on time.
3. Have a bedtime ritual
We all have our own routine when going to bed at night. Perform wudu (ablution), brushing our teeth, washing our face in the necessary order, or reading a book. Our brain is wired through the movement patterns that we make, therefore, bedtime routines play a significant role. Before falling asleep, make sure you thank God for the blessings of the day and recite Ayatul Kursi, the 4 Quls (Surah Ikhlas, Surah Falaq, Surah Naas and Surah Kafiroon), the Quran and dhikr.
4. That evil snooze button
The ‘snooze’ button is evil, and I find that the sleep after hitting the snooze button is too good to wake up from. When your alarm is ringing, hit ‘dismiss’ and wake up immediately. You can never bargain with sleep, you’ll end up oversleeping and missing on what’s important. Change your alarm tone every now and then so it will help you wake up.
5. Ask for help
After sincerely asking Allah for help, try talking about it with a friend or two, or someone from your family, about the difficulties that you have in waking up. For those who are lucky to have a pious husband, tell them to do everything it takes to help you wake up, such as turning on the lights in the room, turning off the air-conditioner, pouring some drops of water on your face.. I know the last one worked on me as a child, as my mother used to do it to wake me up for school.
May Allah The Almighty make us each and one of us among those who rise and pray Fajr easily and consistently, out of submission and gratitude.