By Musa Bukhari
Allah has clearly defined the purpose of our creation:
“I created jinn and mankind only to worship Me.” (51:56)
We are fortunate enough to have the beautiful example of the Messenger (PBUH) as a legacy of perfect worship to follow.
Aisha (RA) was asked about what the Prophet (PBUH) would do at home. She replied:
“He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)
Some narrations also state that when the call for prayer was made, the Prophet would enter a different state. His focus would immediately shift. His priority was always on worshipping and obeying Allah, regardless of what he was doing then the call to prayer rang out. Yes, he was present with his family, his companions and generally participating in his community, but as soon as it was time to worship God, he put all else aside. It is a reminder to us all to put Allah at the forefront of our minds, since that is how we fulfil our true purpose in life.
It’s also a reminder to us to be mindful of Allah’s other commands. If you haven’t performed your Zakat this year yet, now is the time to calculate it, and to purify your wealth through our Zakat-applicable projects. Check the Gift Aid box at checkout, and your charity will be 100% admin-fee free.
It’s normal for the way we offer our ibadah to be affected as we adapt to life in lockdown. While we can’t attend the mosque, it’s an opportunity to perfect our prayers. Particularly the dawn prayer of Fajr, which is the prayer that people struggle most to offer on time.
Here are a few ideas to help you pray Fajr on time:
- Intention is vital. Be actively mindful of your intention, and you will find yourself grounded when the waves of this world seem overwhelming. Ask yourself, why are you praying? Who is it benefiting? Are you making it a priority?
“Actions are judged by intentions (niyyah) and each person will have what he has intended.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Make sincere dua before you sleep to ask Allah to assist you in waking up for Fajr so you can worship and please Him.
“[Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.” (2:186)
- Have a power nap during the day if you’re able to. Now that we are all self-isolating, this might be easier for some of us. What’s more, napping is a Sunnah.
- Sleep on time. Getting an adequate amount of sleep means you will not be fatigued, rather you will be energised when standing in front of Allah.
- Avoid fried foods, excessive dairy and caffeinated drinks, which add the struggle of waking up.
- Avoid using your phone before bed. Its blue light overstimulates your mind and confuses your body clock, making it that much harder to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest.
- Make Tawbah. If we’re struggling to pray on time, it may be that our sins are holding us back. Sins can become barriers to piety, so destroy those barriers by repenting and seeking His forgiveness. A heart that is in a constant state of purification is the closest to Allah.
“O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Sleep on the right side. It is the healthiest position to sleep on and has been advised to us by the Prophet (PBUH).
- Sleep whilst being in a state of wudhu. Not only will you feel refreshed before bed, it will mentally and spiritually prepare you for waking up for fajr. Don’t forget to make that intention.
“Whenever you go to bed, perform ablution like that for the prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Start a gratitude journal. Before you go to bed, list all the moments in your day you are grateful for, small or big. With this pandemic, we must appreciate the moments we once took for granted.
Remember that He promised, ‘If you are thankful, I will give you more…’” (14:7)
May He make it easier for us to wake up for Fajr on time and perform all of our prayers with ikhlas (sincerity) and ihsan (excellence). May He make Fajr the sweetest prayer for us all and allow the prayers to enrich our lives in ways that will benefit us in this life and the hereafter.