The fajr (dawn) prayer is amongst the most important acts of worship, being one of the five obligatory prayers. Unfortunately many of us have become so used to missing it at its prescribed time - which ends at sunrise - that we have forgotten its position in our religion, and barely feel anything is wrong when we wake up in the morning for work or school without having performed the fajr prayer. On the other hand, if one of us was to miss a job interview or a flight, we all know how disappointed he or she would feel. Therefore I thought I'd prepare this article as a reminder to myself first, then to all my brothers and sisters.
Muslims should know the great status of fajr in the sight of
Allah. Allah (SWT) says (interpretation of the meaning) "Establish regular prayers at the sun's
decline till the darkness of the night, and the recital of the
Qur'an in the fajr prayer, for the recital of the fajr is
witnessed" (Al-Israa 17:78) In addition, the Prophet (PBUH)
said: " " [Muslim & Tirmidhi]. Now, to show the seriousness
of missing this prayer, we present the Hadeeth of the Prophet
(PBUH) " "
The practical aspect of dealing with the problem includes a number of steps which we can take in order to get used to praying fajr regularly in congregation:
- Having a sincere intention and being determined, when going to
sleep, that you will get up for fajr
- Remembering Allaah as soon as you wake up. Allah's Apostle
(PBUH) said, "
- Sleeping early. According to an authentic Hadeeth, the Prophet
(PBUH) used to dislike sleeping before ishaa and talking after it.
The kind of talk that is discouraged in this case, as the
commentators explain, is that in which there is no clear benefit.
However, if it is for good reason, such as studying, speaking to a
guest, or spending time with one's family, then there is nothing
wrong with it. This has no connection with the reasons for which
many people stay up late nowadays, to do wrong and commit
- Family members should encourage one another, and likewise
roommates sharing the same apartment.
- If you know a friend who normally wakes up on time, ask him or
her to give you a call at prayer time. I have been using this
technique on and off for quite some time now, and have found it to
be extremely effective.
- If you find that you switch off the alarm clock then go back to
sleep, you might want to place it a few feet from your bed. This
way you will actually have to get up and walk to the clock in order
to turn it off.
- Try using an alarm clock with the snooze feature.
- Avoid eating too much before going to bed. Overeating makes you
fall into a deep, heavy sleep.
- Finally, true devotion to Allah is the best thing to motivate a person to get up for prayer, because Allah alone controls all means of help. I ask Allah Almighty to facilitate this prayer for us, and to guide us to what pleases Him.
Reference: Parts of this article are from Problems and
Solutions by Sh. Muhammad Al-Munajjid. The book in its entirety, in
both Arabic and English, can be found at www.islam-qa.com.