Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Dawn (Al-Fajr)

The time for Fajr prayer lasts from the beginning of the pre-sunrise twilight so long as the sun has not yet started to rise...
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,
"There are angels who take turns in visiting you by night and by day, and they all assemble at the dawn (Fajr) and the afternoon (`Asr) prayers. Those who have spent the night with you, ascend to the heaven and their Rubb, Who knows better about them, asks: `In what condition did you leave My slaves?' They reply: `We left them while they were performing Salat and we went to them while they were performing Salat.'''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[89:1] By the dawn.
[89:2] And the ten nights.
[89:3] By the even and the odd.
[89:4] By the night as it passes.
[89:5] A profound oath, for one who possesses intelligence.
[89:6] Have you noted what your Lord did to `Aad?
[89:7] Erum; the town with tall buildings.
[89:8] There was nothing like it anywhere.
[89:9] Also Thamoud, who carved the rocks in their valley.
[89:10] And Pharaoh who possessed might.
[89:11] They all transgressed in the land.
[89:12] They spread evil throughout.
[89:13] Consequently, your Lord poured upon them a whipping retribution.
[89:14] Your Lord is ever watchful.
[89:15] When the human being is tested by his Lord, through blessings and joy, he says, "My Lord is generous towards me."
[89:16] But if He tests him through reduction in provisions, he says, "My Lord is humiliating me!"
[89:17] Wrong! It is you who brought it on yourselves by not regarding the orphan.
[89:18] And not advocating charity towards the poor.
[89:19] And consuming the inheritance of helpless orphans.
[89:20] And loving the money too much.
[89:21] Indeed, when the earth is crushed, utterly crushed.
[89:22] And your Lord comes, together with the angels in row after row.
[89:23] On that day, Gehenna will be brought forth. On that day, the human being will remember - but what a remembrance - it will be too late.
[89:24] He will say, "Oh, I wish I prepared for my (eternal) life."
[89:25] On that day, no retribution could be worse than His retribution.
[89:26] And no confinement is as effective as His confinement.
[89:27] As for you, O content soul.
[89:28] Return to your Lord, pleased and pleasing.
[89:29] Welcome into My servants.
[89:30] Welcome into My Paradise.


Nabeel said...

well I have always had a problem (not a problem .. but just .. I dunno) .. to wake up during fajr. But after reading your post .. and the hadiths (the first one) .. i dunno .. i just have an urge to wake up and pray fajr .. u know .. then the angels could finally take some good word about me to God ..

thanks for the post

sara said...

Because of the difficulty of waking for this time, praying Fajr in congregation
provides evidence that a person has firm faith and is free from hypocrisy.

How many of us out there refer to 10 am as early morning? Noon as morning? And think it's normal to start your day at 1pm? End your day after praying Fajr? The "crack of dawn" is when you consider shutting off the pc, tv, dvd or when you say good night to your friends on the phone or msn?


For many Muslims, fajr prayer can be the most challenging one. In that vein, there are many hadiths that speak to the great reward and blessing entailed in waking up for fajr prayer.

Abu Zuhayr 'Umara ibn Ruwayba said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'No one who used to pray before the rising of the sun and before its setting will enter the Fire," meaning Fajr and 'Asr." [Muslim]

Jundub ibn Sufyan reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who prays the Subh prayer is in Allah's keeping. O son of Adam, watch out that Allah does not demand from you anything that is in His keeping." [Muslim]

Conversely, deliberately missing prayers is an enormity, an action that is both punishable by a legal penalty in this world, and divine punishment in the Hereafter.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "The agreement that is between us and them is the prayer: whoever leaves it has disbelieved." [Reliance, p4.2]

In another hadith, it is narrated on the authority of Abu Zubair that he heard Jabir b. 'Abdullah saying, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) observing this,' "Between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salat." [Muslim]

Salat is a pillar of our faith, and there is no such thing as doing too much to ensure that this pillar stands.

Remember that actions are rewarded according to intention. It sounds like you intend to make your prayer, but just can't take that final step.

Since your alarm clock is not helping, I suggest you use the "buddy system." If you live with family or friends, have someone knock on your door and make sure you're awake. Even if they have to sprinkle some water on your face, have them do that.

If you live alone, then have a reliable friend or family member call you. Set your phone to its loudest ring and place it outside your bedroom, preferably right by the bathroom door. Leave your door open so you can hear it. If you have a cell phone, make sure that your helper calls both phones. Have this person call back as many times as necessary for you to wake up.

Do not forget that praying in congregation is a communal obligation, fard kifaya, in the Shafi'i School. Non-traveling males should try their utmost to hold group prayer in the masjid. If you develop this habit, it's a great incentive to wake up for fajr. You get the reward of group prayer, being with the Muslims, and praying fajr in the masjid. Try to go to bed early, so you can make it to the masjid in the morning.

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "And if they only knew what was in the prayers of 'Isha' and Subh [fajr], they would come to them even if they had to crawl." [Agreed upon]

Last, but certainly not least, you should figure out how many fajr's you've missed and make a timetable for making them up. It is obligatory to make up missed prayers, because they remain a debt owed to Allah Most High.

And Allah knows best.