You wake up only to realise with great horror you have 30 mins left for school/uni/work, and you haven’t even prayed fajr yet! What happened though? It felt like you literally just closed your eyes two minutes ago and now you’re brushing your teeth with Clearasil face wash, walking around in the house in just underwear rushing here and there, that’s how stressed you are!
But let’s break it down, why is it that we tend to miss fajr more and more these days? I mean if we think back a few months ago when we started practising, we used to wake up an hour before fajr and get our Qiyaam al-layl in, yet today here we are washing our mouth with face wash, late for work, and still haven’t prayed fajr, what went wrong?
#6 Late nights
This is a major problem in today’s world, full of all sorts of on-demand entertainment, where as before in the good old days we would wake up with the sun and go to sleep as soon as the sun went down (there was not much to do other than stare out into the dark and be scared) but today we have the Internet, TV, mobile phones, so many distractions we should be glad we actually DO go to sleep.
The sad truth is that most of us stay up way past midnight, going to sleep at 2am something, and if we manage to sleep at midnight we are proud of ourselves and call it an ‘early’ night. But if you study the life of pious people you will notice that they have a habit of sleeping very early, some go to sleep straight after isha in order to pray Qiyaam later on during the night, and even the hadiths of the Prophet teaches us that he sallallaahu alyhi wasallam would dislike speech after isha. In short if you want to wake up fresh for Fajr, put the iPhone away and have a warm glass of milk.
#5 Forgetting to set the Alarm
Now some people might argue and say, I don’t need an alarm, I naturally wake up for Fajr by myself, but they fail to realise that sleep is a very seductive mistress and she wont let go of you that easily, she’ll even try to trick you and make it seem like you’re waking up and going to the masjid to pray whilst you’re still clearly in bed, all this to make you stay with her.
This is where the alarm clock comes in, and you have to teach yourself to move on, yes sleep is nice and full of enjoyment, but its just not working out anymore. You have grown apart and don’t see things eye to eye anymore. The alarm clock will help wake you up whether you like it or not (usually you don’t) and the trick here is to set the alarm about ten minutes before the desired time, don’t set it 40 mins before because then you’ll wake up only to convince yourself you have a bit more time left, and thus falling back into the seductive grip of your beloved mistress.
#4 Over eating the night before
Many people don’t know that this might actually effect your sleep and make it more deep. Studies have shown that people with a full stomach usually tend to sleep much better (and also deeper) than those with empty stomachs due to hunger or the lack of it. OK so it’s not really a study, people just told me, OK fine no one told me I just eat a lot at night, leave me alone.
Now I am not saying starve yourselves (please don’t sue me) but I do advise you to be careful not to eat heavily before going to bed, this will help you wake up for Fajr in time and hey, who’s stopping you from eating then?
#3 Waking up for Qiyaam al-Layl early just to go back to sleep and miss Fajr
If this is not a plot from Shaytaan I don’t know what is! How clever of him to make sure he makes you busy with an act that is sunnah in order for you to leave off another act that is waajib. And this often happens with the youth who sometimes are over ambitious, those who want to become Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq over night, but the only thing they end up becoming is a person whom the Shaytaan urinated in his ear and took his nose as a six star hotel (check the hadith yourself).
My advice is, if you do want to pray tahajjud at night, make sure you don’t go back to sleep afterwards, perhaps wake up half an hour before Fajr and stay up, the important thing is STAY UP.
#2 Not truly understanding how big of a sin it is
We often take matters of salah very easy, ‘I’ll pray later’ or ‘I don’t have time now!’ are some of the common excuses we hear, but the strange thing is that if we have a flight at the airport at 3am in the morning we stay up the whole night just to make sure we don’t miss that flight, you won’t hear anyone saying ‘I’ll catch the flight later!’ or any silliness like that.
Funny how we wait at the flight gate 2 hrs in advance yet catch the end of the Salah
So why are we so hypocritical? When it comes to Islaam we make excuses yet when it is about this dunyaa we come up with reasons? This is because, and correct me if I am wrong, we do not truly realise how severe the sin is. Or the reality of it has not sunk in yet. What we need to do is to fix up, and fast. Make sure you boost your Eemaan, by attending lectures, or listening to beneficial talks etc, it is only then you will start working hard for the hereafter.
#1 Committing sins during the day
Hands down this is the number one reason why we don’t wake up for Fajr. How can we expect to be given tawfeeq (ability) to perform good deeds when all we do is keep sinning? The salah is the second pillar of Islaam and without it a persons Islaam is in question. I do not need to quote all the verses and hadiths for you to understand how serious the matter is, and like any other thing in Islaam we know that a good deed begets another good deed, and similarly a bad deed begets other bad deeds.
If we truly want to get closer to Allaah we need try our very best to stop sinning during the day. Don’t get me wrong, no one is an angel, but if Allaah is telling us that Salah keeps you away from sins, and you are struggling with praying these salahs themselves, what does it say about you? In short let us break up with sleep and embrace salah, that way Allaah will rectify all our affairs and we will not have to brush our teeth with the wrong product.