Guarding the prayer

Remember the importance of prayer – particularly the guarding of the Fajr prayer

Imam Malik relates that he heard from Nafi’ who heard from Ibn ‘Umar that ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (r) wrote to all of his governors saying, “The most important of your affairs in my view is the prayer. Whoever protects it and observes it carefully is protecting his religion, while whoever is negligent about it will be even more negligent about other things.”

 

Make sure you have learnt the form of prayer – learning from one who is licensed to teach Fiqh

Acquiring knowledge of the aspects of the prayer is highly important, “sacred knowledge is the essence of religion” said Ibn Sirin. So “learn! for learning is an adornment for the one who possesses it, a virtue and a prelude to every praiseworthy action…the knowledge of Fiqh (jurisprudence) is the best guide to piety and the fear of God, and it is the straightest path to the ultimate goal.” (Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani).

 

Learn the importance of purity and be vigilant of it

Always be vigilant of Wudu’ and Ghusl and avoid impurities. This is also part and parcel of studying the Fiqh of prayer. Try to remain in a state of Wudu’ as much as possible. Make Wudu’ when you wake up and when you go to sleep.

 

Always be humble – learn the path of Tasawwuf or Ihsan (the path of excellence)

Imam Malik relates, “Whoever keeps tasawwuf without fiqh will be corrupted and who keeps fiqh without tasawwuf will transgress and whoever keeps fiqh and tasawwuf will reach (the Truth) reality.”

When the Beloved Prophet (s) was asked about Ihsan by the Arcangel Jibril (s), he said it is “That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you.”  So the concern here is to work on yourself, work on your heart, and work on your priorities. Alawys be humble, as the great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Akhdari (r) says:

The prayer contains a vast spiritual light that radiates in the hearts of those who truly pray, but it is only obtainable by one who has humbly submitted himself. Thus, should you come to prayer, empty your heart of the ephemeral world and what it contains, and occupy yourself with vigilant awareness of your Master for whose sake you are praying.

Learn to guard your tongue, eyes, ears, stomach, private parts and your feet. Work on your bad traits. All of this is the path of Ihsan. Tread well, and you will find reading prayer a lot easier.

 

Waking up for Fajr

Allow for a 40 day plan

It is known to be true that to create a habit you should do that thing for 30-40 days continually. Make a plan that for 40 days you will pray Fajr (do not exclude all the other prayers). If you fail, start again – e.g. if you miss a prayer or if you do not pray on time. This will take time but it’s a struggle that will reap many rewards.

You could even give yourself a penalty, each time you miss one, spend in charity or fast for example.

 

If the 40 day plan cannot work out – take small consistent steps

“The most beloved of deeds to Allah are the most consistent of them, even if they are few” | The Beloved Prophet (s)

Try to read Fajr once a week at first, once you’ve done that, increase it to 2, then increase likewise increasing by one until you reach the point where you’re reading every day.

 

Change old habits – food and sleep

There are habitual things that can be changed much more easily as compared to others they are – eating and sleeping. Both of these are related. Do not over sleep, sleep up to 7-8 hours. Do not over-eat, do not eat before going to sleep and watch your diet! eat healthily. Go to sleep as early as possible and try to stick to a set routine.

 

Create a Fajr Buddy

This can either be someone from the family, someone amongst your friends or even someone far closer to you – your alarm clock!! With alarms, keep them away at a distance, get up saying Subhan’Allah, make Wudu’ and read.

 

Don’t ask ‘How can I get up for Fajr?’ but ask ‘Why don’t I get up?’

Try it. If you think about why you don’t get up, you will find a solution in most cases of how to get up. People tend to forget they know why they don’t get up – just address that issue and see what happens.

 

The best advice – ask God to help you

Really! If you’re in any difficulty, be it getting up for Fajr or continually sinning. There is no better way to remove the problem. Ask Allah to help you as there is no greater helper and power then He, the Most High.

For other excellent tips see –

How to Wake Up For Fajr

Tips to Wake Up For Fajr

10 Tips to Wake up for Fajr