Nothing kills productivity like waking up at 10am to start your day, or waking up with just enough time to sloppily get dressed and race to work, arriving frantically and foggy-brained. You try to get through your To-Do List but before you know it, it is time for dinner, and then Isha prayer, and you are feeling quite unaccomplished. The problem is that you had a good 2-5 hours during which you could have achieved maximized productivity, but you slept through it!
What time am I talking about? The time right after Fajr prayers. It is a blessed time that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) made dua for, He said: “O Allah, bless my Ummah in its early hours”.
Here are 7 ways to help you stay up after Fajr to become a beneficiary of blessings and success insha’Allah:
1. Go to bed early and rest
After the Isha prayer, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) would not like to engage in unnecessary talk and would take to his house to go to sleep. This is the similar life-style for many communities where electricity has not created a false sense of daylight. Societies that maintain going down with the sun inevitably rise with the sun, making the most of their morning to do ‘ibaadah or secure their livelihood. If you need to fit in more sleep, try taking a nap before or after Zhuhr.
2. Untie your three knots
”During your sleep, Satan knots three knots at the back of the head of each of you, and he breathes the following words at each knot, ‘The night is, long, so keep on sleeping,’ If that person wakes up and celebrates the praises of Allah, then one knot is undone, and when he performs ablution the second knot is undone, and when he prays, all the knots are undone, and he gets up in the morning lively and in a good mood, otherwise he gets up dull and gloomy. ” (Bukhari)
It is not a surprise that Shaitan is trying to prevent us from the worship of Allah and prevent us from a productive morning. However, Alhamdulillah, we were given the prescription to combat his whispering:
a. Celebrate the praises of Allah by saying: Alhamdulillahi allathee ahyaanaa ba’da maa amaatanaa wa ilayhin nushoor. ‘All praise and thanks is for Allaah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.‘
b. Perform ablution
Then after you have prayed, do not allow yourself to get back into bed. Perhaps splashing your face with cold water, having a bite to eat, or drinking some water or fruit juice will help brush off any drowsiness.
3. Perform the prescribed dhikr after Fajr
If you still have the urge to jump back into your warm comfy bed after Fajr, remember that the best extension of the prayer is the dhikr that you perform afterwards.
”The angels keep on asking Allah’s forgiveness for anyone of you, as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and he does not pass wind (Hadath). They say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! be Merciful to him.” (Bukhari)
Plus, the longer you stay up, the less likely you will go back to sleep (and the less likely you will be able to fall asleep).
You can find the dua to say after prayer and in the morning in Fortress of a Muslim, or online at www.makedua.com
4. Aim to pray Duha
Duha prayer is an extra voluntary prayer you can pray approximately 20 minutes after sunrise until 45 minutes before Zhuhr prayer.
In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity (Subhan Allah). Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity (Alhamdulillah), every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity (Laa ilaha ill Allah), every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity (Allahu Akbar), enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding what is distreputable is an act of charity, and two rak’ahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice. [Muslim]
Who wouldn’t want that reward?
By the time it is allowed to pray Salat-ul-Duha, you will be more awake and will have already completed your morning dhikr
5. Recite/reflect/memorize Quran
After Fajr prayer is an amazing time to be alone with the Quran. Before the day’s distractions set you off course, use this time to recite, reflect and memorize The Quran. If you are like me, if I do not read my daily dose of the Quran in the morning, I find it incredibly difficult to sit after work or at the end of the day to try to get some quality time with the Quran. Believe me, you will feel the benefit when you start your day remembering Allah.
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.(17:78)
An early morning walk or stretches will get your blood moving and you will find that you have the energy to stay up and make the most of your day insha’Allah.
7. Have a list of tasks ready
Has this ever happened to you? You are awake, bright and early, feeling particularly productive. You look around…and you begin to ask yourself what to do. If you do not have a plan for your morning, then you will inevitably waste time wandering and half-completing tasks. Use the morning wisely by writing your To-Do List first thing after Salat-ul-Duha, or even better, the night before. Aim to complete 3-5 tasks before you set off to work or school.
You will energized and fantastic having recited Quran, remembered Allah (dhikr), performed an extra prayer, and knocked off items from your To-Do List…all before you go to school or work! And you will still have the whole day ahead of you insha’Allah.
O Allah, help us benefit from the beautiful morning hours. Ameen.