Some Practical Steps to Waking Up For Fajr
There are many different techniques to try to wake up for Fajr. They vary from person to person, depending on what prevents a person from waking up.
There are various physical preparations:
1) winding down before bed and sleeping early,
2) setting multiple alarms out of one’s immediate reach,
3) simplifying one’s bedding,
4) drinking ample water so one is forced to the washroom, or
5)having a family member or friend wake you up when they rise.
These are some of the main suggestions, of which sleeping early is perhaps the most common remedy.
Then, there are mental preparations:
1) before bed, visualizing oneself rising, washing and praying,
2) telling the mind with firm resolve before bed that there is an important appointment at Fajr that one must attend [with Allah], or
3) warning the mind beforehand that the body will indeed be tempted to close its eyes “for just a few more minutes” when the alarm rings- and not to give in to it.
Finally, there are the spiritual preparations:
1) filling the heart with the importance and love for praying Fajr and the fear of missing it,
2) begging Allah Most High before bed for the ability to wake up the following morning,
3) a feeling deep-seated regret and sadness if one misses it and immediately making it up, and
4) trying to avoid other major sins in one’s life and repenting from them to try to gain divine assistance [tawfiq].
If one accidentally misses Fajr however, while they should feel regretful, they should never feel despair and hopelessness such that they feel dissuaded from trying to wake up the next morning, since it is a sign that they were relying on themselves, and not on Allah Most High as they should be.
The Reality of Fajr
Few people find it hard to wake up if there is a plane to catch the next morning, or a lucrative job interview. This is because we are so desirous to take that trip or get that job, so our eyes open with vigor when the alarm rings. Some people might awaken even before the alarm, due to their anticipation.
The only reason this does not happen as often for Fajr is because we haven’t attached the same importance to the Hereafter as we have attached to our worldly lives. Our awe and sense of duty to Allah Most High might be weaker than our desire for the ephemeral things around us.
Those who are attached to Allah, however, see Fajr as more important than the rest of the day’s affairs put together, and so they find it easy to rise to worship their Lord, in submission and gratitude. They then find peace from this, which spurs them to rise again, in a positive cycle. Thus, its about breaking bad cycles and establishing good ones.
May Allah Most High make us all among those who rise and pray Fajr easily and consistently, out of submission and gratitude.
- Abdullah Anik Misra