As-salamu `alaykum. I have problems regarding Fajr Prayer. Sometimes, I cannot get up to pray Fajr on time. Can you help me in this regard
Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Brother in Islam, thanks a lot for your question. It’s really a sign of your good heart and deep-rooted faith. May Allah keep us all firm in the straight path!
Brother, as you know, Prayer has a certain time at which a Muslim should offer it. Allah says, “Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.” (An-Nisa’ 4:103)
Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) warned against ignoring offering Prayers at their due times.
As for performing Fajr on time, try to sleep early so that you don’t wake up tired and fall back to sleep. If you have work that you have to do late at night, try to do it in the morning after your Fajr Prayer. Your mind will be much clearer.
Also, ask someone in your house to wake you up to pray with you. If you live by yourself, one of the very effective ways is to agree with a friend of yours to wake each other over the phone to pray Fajr on time.
You will be helping each other in an important act of worship. Also, put the alarm far from your bed, because the most difficult thing is to actually get up out of the bed. Therefore, by getting up to turn it off, you can simply go to the bathroom, wash, and pray.
Also on this issue, the eminent Muslim scholar, `Abdullah ibn Abdur-Rahman Al-Jibreen, states,
Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is our exemplar who provided the best example in spending long hours of the night in Prayer and waking in time for Fajr Prayer. This record was authentically known of him both in his teachings and his living example as he did not like sleeping before `Isha’ Prayer and discouraged his followers from useless talk after it. In this he was followed by his Companions and all the Muslims up to a time not very far from our own days.
They knew the reasons which cause laziness and lessen motivation to observe Prayers on time and warned people against them so much that some of them are reported to have said: “If you are unable to pray at night, then that is a clear sign that your sins have shackled you and deprived you of good deeds”.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri was once asked: “Why is it that we cannot uphold Prayers at night?” He answered: “You are shackled in your own sins”.
Motivation is presently lacking among Muslims. Otherwise, they would not have given in to sleep even if they had to stay awake in the first part of the night. When one of them is required by his work arrangements or for his own worldly benefit to wake early at dawn, he would no doubt take the necessary precaution not to miss his appointment.
He will forsake his peace of mind and have a restless sleep just for fear that he might be punished or have his salary reduced.
When it comes to Prayer, they have no excuse especially when in our modern times Allah has provided us with alarm clocks which would be set at any time we wish. The problem, therefore, is one of laziness. Such people do not know what they are missing.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said with respect to those who do not observe `Isha’ and Fajr Prayers, “Had one of them known that he would find a wholesome meal or two good targets, he would have come for `Isha’ Prayer.”
All in all, for him who sincerely wants to purify his soul from the attributes of the hypocrites, let him steer clear of laziness, be active, put into practice the action inspiring instructions laid out in our religion, accustom himself to taking the initiative and realizing what he and everybody in his position are missing in terms of the health of the body and great reward from Allah.
Only then will his performance improve, insha’ Allah, and he will make up for what he has missed and follow the lead of the best of generations.
Allah Almighty knows best.