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  • Raya Shokatfard


Updated: Jun 26, 2020

By: Raya Shokatfard

I would like to remind you about the importance of Fajr prayer, the dawn prayer.

This is the time that a person gets closer to the Creator.

Praying in this time is a blessed time; and after praying reading the Quran and pondering upon the Book of Allah (SWT).

This blessed time is so important, not only we have to read the Quran, but also we have to understand it. To understand it, we have to seek knowledge from other books, the books of Tafsir or concordances that explain to us what the Quran is all about.

If we do not make the effort to learn, no one will do it for us. So, at Fajr prayer we have to remember that we have to schedule this time in our daily lives, and our activities should be as such that we could allow this time to be alert and awake and spend time with Allah, not only in the worship but to understand His religion. To understand His religion we have to understand His Book; to understand His Book, we have to study it.

Watch Sister Raya’s talk on Fajr:

The whole world is more beautiful at Fajr, even in big cities, everywhere, everything is calm. There are maybe some noises, but the mind can think, they can process, they can communion with Allah (SWT) and talk with Him. Allah (SWT) says:

{Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Quran of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.} (Al-Isra’ 17: 78)

It is witnessed by whom?

I believe that if you realize the importance of Fajr prayer, the process would be much easier

It is reported that the Fajr prayer is witnessed by the angels, it is recorded by the angels. So, we have time, we have maybe one hour, one and half hours each time, but, by the way, you can look at the sky. Yes, it’s beautiful, this is a little island in Malaysia, and I like to film the island, the beauty of it, but I’m fortunate to be able to demonstrate something that I want to tell you while I’m shooting the beautiful sunrise. When you see the sky looking this color, that means the sun is about to rise. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has told us:

“Do not pray at the time when the sun is coming up or at the time between Asr and Maghrib”

InShAllah, Allah would bless you with knowledge and give you resolve and determination so you could be a great practicing Muslim.

I would like to make more comments to make this process easier for you. I believe that if you realize the importance of Fajr prayer, the process would be much easier for us. As you remember, I mentioned that Allah (SWT) says that Fajr prayer is witnessed by angels (17: 78), we also have narrations of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said:

“Whoever prays the two prayers, Fajr prayer and Asr prayer (before the sunrise and before the sunset) will not enter Hellfire.” (Al-Bukhari)

In other narration, he said:

”Whoever prays Fajr and Asr, will enter Paradise.”

These Fajr and Asr prayers are the most difficult times for people to pray. Why?

Because in Fajr prayer people want to sleep, they don’t want to wake up. In Asr (afternoon) prayer, people are busy, they are at work, at school, they are busy at home; it’s a very easy prayer to miss or forget and be headless about it. So there is a lot of importance given to these prayers. Other prayers may be easier to perform.

Winning Allah’s Protection

Allah (SWT) gives us protection for praying Fajr prayer and Asr prayer on their times. So who would not want to have Allah’s protection? Especially on the Day of Judgment, when we need His protection, just imagine, we would be willing to do anything to save ourselves. We want Allah’s protection. He gives us protection in the Day of Judgment for all good deeds we have done, and this is among the most important actions that we could do that would gain Allah’s protection.

Easy Steps to Wake up for Fajr

I’m covering physical, mental and spiritual aspects that would help us wake up for Fajr and have inner and outer motivation.

On a physical level, at night before we go to sleep, we set the alarm. We set the alarm away from ourselves, not too close. But before we set the alarm, when should we go to sleep?

Should we go to sleep twelve o’clock at night? Eleven o’clock at night? One o’clock at night? Sit around, talk with friends and chat, go here and there and have meetings and dinner late?

No, the body doesn’t work like that. We have to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He slept after he prayed Isha. He didn’t have meetings, he didn’t invite people. He was a statesman, he was the most important man in the Ummah (nation) but his time after Isha was his time, he slept sufficient, he prayed most of the night. We are not expected to be like him, he was a Prophet and we are not.

At this time, I’m just talking about Fajr prayer; if we don’t go to sleep on time, and early, I mean, we have to set a routine for ourselves. People that know me they know not to contact me and call me from Maghrib prayer and on. Time between Maghrib and Isha is a very short time, I cannot get involved in conversation. After Isha, praying Isha for me it’s time to go to sleep. And in fact I never set the alarm except for Ramadan. I wake up one to two hours before Fajr. Why? Because my body had enough. Here in Malaysia, Isha is eight thirty; so sleeping by nine o’clock and waking up at four in the morning (Fajr is at 6 am) is sufficient sleep. I have two hours before Fajr. So I have trained my body; this is how it responds and if I sleep at ten, I’m just not feeling well.

So, firstly, we have to train ourselves, we have to set the routine to sleep early and wake up early.

Secondly, we set an alarm, may be more than one alarm away from ourselves.

Thirdly, we ask a family member to help us, to wake us up, if we have that possibility.

Mental Level

At a mental level: First, before we go to sleep, we imagine that we are waking up, going washing off and praying, we imagine ourselves doing this with a smile on our faces because  we are getting ready for an important appointment.

So the second step is to imagine that you have an important appointment. In fact this is not an imagination, you do have an important appointment, this is with your creator. What more can we ask? This is the best time to meet our Lord and to be alone with Him.

And lastly, to realize that our mind is going to play games with us. When the alarm goes off, our mind is going to say, “well just another ten minutes, …another fifteen minutes…just push this button, another …”

In order to pray Fajr and have love for it, you have to cultivate love for Allah in your heart.

Do you know maybe I have not done this except maybe 2 or 3 times in my whole life. I have made a determination a long time ago, if I set the alarm there is a reason why. I’m not going to play a game with the alarm. If I have to get up at five or four or whatever time it is, the alarm goes off, I quickly turn it off and immediately I stand up. I mean not shocking myself, but I stand up and move on to the next step.

So please don’t let your mind play the game with you with the alarm clock and just get up.

Spiritual Level

Now, we are going to talk about the spiritual level.

This is a very important aspect of your Fajr prayer. In order to pray Fajr and have love for it, you have to cultivate love for Allah in your heart. Of course this is not something that happens from day to day, that would be another episode by itself, but as you grow this love for Allah in your heart, then you would love to do anything that Allah loves, then you’re able to cultivate love for praying Fajr; it comes automatic.

But you cannot have love for praying Fajr when you don’t have love for Allah, or it’s not so strong or you only see it as an obligation, you see it as something burden, something that bothers you and interrupts your night sleep because the deeper love isn’t there. So as you grow in faith and as you strengthen yourself in the religion, as you realize that loving Allah means following His commandments because in return He gives us peace of mind, He gives us comfort, He gives us tranquility. So everything goes hand in hand. So when you grow in love with Allah, you grow in love with praying Fajr.

Then the next step is asking Allah to help you. If you are making this connection with your Lord this is not a one way struggle. You’re asking Allah “Ya Allah I had a hard time, please help me ..” I mean, when you ask Him, you know that He answers your prayer, your dua. You ask Him and He will answer; the more you ask Him, the more your mind is conscious that you have asked Him then you have to believe that He will answer you. Ask Him “Ya Allah help me with this problem” and He will help you. So keep this in mind, and really consider this a very important process of your Fajr waking up.

The third is that if, by chance, you missed the Fajr prayer, don’t feel comfortable, you have to feel the regret, to feel the remorse, you have to really realize that you really missed an important appointment, we have to realize that. But don’t get so upset to the point of going into despair and then giving it up altogether and think I’m hopeless, I’m not going to wake up anyhow, so I’ll just wake up whenever, hopefully Allah will forgive… don’t go into that stage because that is danger, this is what is Satan wants us to feel, despair.

No, we don’t despair. If we miss one day, we just wake up and pray as soon as we wake up and we don’t repeat it again. So the important thing is to stay steadfast. This is what is going to bring you success.

And I ask Allah and wish for you and for all of us to give us success in this beautiful part of the day so we can fulfill our obligation because if we fulfill our obligation at the beginning of the day, most likely we will fulfill all obligations to Him all day, not only to Him but to our families, to the society, to all who we are indebted to.

May Allah give you success and make you among the winners. Amen.


Published on: Sunday, 26 May 2013

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