Wake Up to Success with Fajr Sunnah Prayer

Monday morning. 

It’s still dark outside, and your phone’s alarm has gone off.

You reach, with your eyes closed, and turn it off. Grab the blanket, curl up, and turn over. Just 5 minutes, you tell yourself.

Just 5 minutes.

Thirty minutes later, your eyes hit the bright sun rays streaming through the window. Oh no! You missed Fajr…again. 

Even with your best intentions, you have slept through Fajr, and you were hoping to make the Fajr Sunnah Prayer on top of it!

It’s ok. You’ll try again tomorrow, but this time you need a plan. A much better plan.

Waking up for Fajr can be a struggle! 

It becomes more challenging in the summer because of a late Isha prayer and an early Fajr. This short period between the two prayers does not give much time to sleep, and with the added pressure of trying to fall asleep as soon as Isha is complete. 

Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to wake up easier. 

However, with commitment, it becomes a habit. Your mind, body, and soul will work as one, and you will not struggle as much. 

Here are six ways to help you wake up and even make Fajr Sunnah Prayer:

1. Set Yourself Apart from Hypocrisy

Abu Hurairah reported:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the ‘Isha’ prayer and the Fajr prayer. If only they knew what (reward) there is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.'” Sunan Ibn Majah 797

The two prayers that set us apart from hypocrites are the Fajr and Isha prayers. Hypocrites struggle to wake up for Fajr and Fajr Sunnah Prayer. 

Remind yourself of this when you are turning off that alarm. If we do not want to be labeled a hypocrite, it will help us fight off sleep, though we are tired. Our mindset will be programmed to resist anything that resembles hypocrisy. 

2. Intent Through Action

Setting specific goals increase our success rate. 

A goal starts with intention. We must fully and wholeheartedly intend to wake up for Fajr. And not quietly hope our alarm doesn’t go off. 

There are two kinds of hope. We can hope to wake up on time after setting the alarm, making dua for Allah to help us, and sleeping early. That hope has a far better chance than only hoping with no action. 

And if our best intention and effort still don’t get us up, by Allah’s Mercy, we will be forgiven for missing it and rewarded for our intention. 

We are obligated to strive our best, and in doing so, we must deeply intend it. To intend to do something means it needs to be followed up with our actions.  

3. Make Dua

Asking Allah is not only when we’re in trouble. Dua is also for blessing us with the ability to wake up for Fajr. Waking up for Fajr is not just an act. It’s a gift because, in doing so, our day is filled with blessings.

It was narrated from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah, bless my nation early in the morning.’ ” Sunan Ibn Majah 2238

Raise your hands and ask Allah with your heart and soul to help you wake up. After all, it is only through Him that we are given the ability and achieve success. 

Aishah narrated that: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The two Rak’ah of Fajr are better than the world and what is in it.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi 416

4. Give Your Phone a Bedtime

It’s hard to sleep early when we have our phones keeping us awake!

Picking up your phone before bed or in bed results in a late night and trouble falling asleep. Imagine what one extra hour of sleep can do for your sleep cycle. Give your phone a bedtime, at least one hour before you intend to sleep, and do not check it until morning. 

Without the phone’s distraction, you’re able to give your mind a chance to decompress and have a more satisfying sleep before your Fajr prayer alarm. 

Getting a solid few hours of sleep before Fajr dramatically increases your chances of waking up for Fajr salat and Fajr sunnah prayer. 

So do yourself a favor and put your phone to sleep! 

5. Multiple Alarms

A tactic that can be used for waking up for Fajr prayer, especially Fajr sunnah prayer, is to set two alarms on your phone (or alarm clock). 

If one doesn’t work. Try, try again! 

Set one alarm at the earliest start of Fajr prayer and the other for when you’d typically wake up. 

Shaytan tries to stop us from waking by saying, “The night is long.” We hit the ‘snooze’ button, and before we know it, the sun has already risen. Two alarms will help us to overcome this. 

So if you hit the snooze button or swipe “dismiss,” your second alarm will startle you awake again. 

The fact that your sleep was disturbed earlier, 30 minutes ago, makes it easier to wake up as you haven’t reached a deep state of slumber. 

Sometimes we turn off our alarm without realizing it, so this second alarm gives us another chance. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Satan ties three knots on the back of your head while you are asleep. On every knot, he puts the saying: The night is long. Stay asleep. When you wake up and remember Allah, one knot is undone. After you perform ablution, the second knot is undone. When you pray, the third knot is undone, and you will wake up energetic with a good heart; otherwise, you will wake up lazy with a mischievous heart.”

Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari 1091

6. Support Each Other

Get the whole family involved!

We are more successful together. 

Another effective way to ensure you get up for Fajr prayer is for everyone in the home to have an alarm set at different times. This way, if one person misses their alarm, the other might hear theirs. 

Then whoever wakes up can wake everyone else. 

If you live alone, then consider having a buddy system. One sister tells us how she would wake up her husband when he was away. “I’d be up earlier than my husband, and I am a lighter sleeper than he is. So, I’d find out when his alarm was set and call him 15 minutes later. This way, if he overslept, I would be his wake-up call. If he didn’t, he’d just let me know he was up.” 

Of course, each person is responsible for their salat. But it helps to support one another, especially if someone is struggling. Ask a family member or friend to call. 

What an incredible way to support a believer in trying to fulfill an obligatory act they are struggling with!

Fajr Sunnah Prayer 

Now that you have six strategies for waking up, reap the extra reward and perform the Fajr Sunnah Prayer.

The first two Rakat of the morning prayer, or Fajr sunnah prayer, is essential for us to aim for. It’s only two Rakat that we often forget their importance. Of course, we can’t pray Fajr sunnah if we’re rushing to pray the Fardh before the sun rises. 

Therefore, waking up with enough time is crucial as it allows us time to pray the Fajr sunnah prayer.  

Here are hadith that remind us of just how special the sunnah in Fajr prayer is:

Narrated `Aisha: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was never more regular and particular in offering any Nawafil than the two Rakat (Sunnah) of the Fajr prayerSahih al-Bukhari 1163

The Sunnahs of Fajr Prayer

Here are three sunnah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would do for Fajr salat:

  • Two brief Rakat (sunnah) between adhan and iqamah

Aishah narrates that: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed two brief rak’ahs between the Adhan and Iqamah for Fajr prayer. Sunan an-Nasa’i 1780

  • 60-100 verses during fajr salat 

Abu Barzah narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) recited between sixty and one hundred (Verses) in Fajr prayer. Sunan Ibn Majah 818

  • “Say: He is Allah, (the) One” in the two rak’ahs of Fajr

Abu Hurairah narrates that: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) recited: “Say: O you disbelievers” and “Say: He is Allah, (the) One” in the two rak’ahs of Fajr.

Sunan an-Nasa’i 945

Give it a try!

Even implementing one of the strategies will get you closer to your goal of waking up regularly and on time to make both the Fard Fajr and the Fajr Sunnah Prayer.

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