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FAJR


The fajr (dawn) Salah (prayers in general) is amongst the most important acts of worship, being one of the five obligatory prayers. Salah is the second and most important pillar of Islam. It is a practical sign of obedience to the commands of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. It is the practical proof of our faith in Allah سبحانه و تعالىand Islam. Salah is the only distinction between a Mo’min and a non-Mo’min. Salah builds a strong defence against evils which exist around us. Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid in the Qur’an that, surely, Salah keeps you away from indecency and evil. This is why the prayer is described as “remembrance” to Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Salah is the first thing that a person is judged by on the Day of Judgement. [1]

 

Table of Contents

 

Linguistic meaning

Fajr means dawn."Fajr also means the light of the morning; because it is the cleaving of darkness from before the light: i.e. the redness of the sun in the darkness of the night; the fajr in the end of the night is like the shafaq in the beginning. It is two fold: the first is called al-fajr al-kadhib (the false dawn);  that which rises without extending laterally, which appears black, presenting itself like an obstacle (on the horizon); the second is called al-fajr al-sadiq (the true dawn); which is the rising and spreading (dawn) which appears to rise and fills the horizon with its whiteness, and this is what is called 'amud as-ssubh; rising after the former has disappeared, and by its rising the day commences, and everything by which fasting would be broken becomes unlawful to the faster.."

 

Islamic meaning

Fajr is one of the five obligatory prayers in Islam.  Salat of Fajr is the obligatory (fardh) salah (prayer) to be offered before sunrise.

 

Whoever Prays Fajr is under the Protection Of Allah سبحانه و تعالى

Narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allah رضي الله عنهsaid: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, for anyone who does that, Allahسبحانه و تعالىwill seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.” Sahih Al-Muslim H:657

 

Al-Teebi رحمت اللهsaid: The reason why Fajr prayer is singled out for mention here is because of the hardship that it entails, and performing it is a sign of a man’s sincerity and faith, and whoever is a sincere believer is under the protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh H:2/184 by al-Teebi رحمت الله.

 

There are two scholarly views on the meaning of the hadeeth

1 – The hadeeth indicates that it is forbidden to harm any Muslim who prays Fajr, for the one who prays Fajr is under the care and protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, and it is not permissible for anyone to harm the one whom Allah سبحانه و تعالىhas protected. If anyone harms him, he has transgressed and violated the protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, so he deserves the punishment of Allah سبحانه و تعالىfor having transgressed His protection and for harming the one who is under His protection. Fayd al-Qadeer (6/164) by al-Manaawi رحمت الله

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen رحمت اللهsaid in Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen H:1/591:  This indicates that it is obligatory to respect the Muslims who affirm their Islam by praying Fajr, because no one offers Fajr prayer but a believer. And it is not permissible for anyone to transgress against them, narrated by al-Tabaraani رحمت اللهin al-Mu’jam al-Awsat (4/5) with his isnaad. Al-Albaani رحمت اللهsaid in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1/110): it is saheeh because of corroborating reports. [2]

 

Qur’an

The word Fajr is mentioned in the Qur’an: O you who have believed, let those whom your right hands possess and those who have not [yet] reached puberty among you ask permission of you [before entering] at three times: before the dawn prayer and when you put aside your clothing [for rest] at noon and after the night prayer. [These are] three times of privacy for you. Qur’an. Surah An-Noor 24:58.

 

Hadith

Narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allah رحمت اللهsaid: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, for anyone who does that, Allah سبحانه و تعالىwill seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.” Sahih Al-Muslim H:657, Saheeh al-Jaami H:6344

 

Narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنهProphet Muhammad said: “If they knew what there is (of reward) in ‘Isha’ and Fajr prayer, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” Sahih Al-Bukhari H:615 and Sahih Muslim H:437

 

Narrated by Aisha رضي الله عنه: Muhammad never missed four Rakat before the Zuhr prayer and two Rakat before the Fajr prayer. Sahih al-Bukhari H:2: 276 (NE H:1182).

 

Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه: Muhammad said, "If anyone of you can get one Rak'a of the 'Asr prayer before sunset, he should complete his prayer. If any of you can get one Rak'a of the Fajr prayer before sunrise, he should complete his prayer." Sahih Al-Bukhari H:1:531 (NE H:556).

 

Narrated 'Umar رضي الله عنه: "The Prophet forbade praying after the Fajr prayer till the sun rises and after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets." Sahih al-Bukhari V:1:555 (NE V:581)

 

Abu Hurairahرضي الله عنهstated that Muhammad had 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 Rabb (Lord), 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.' " Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Al-Muslim. Sahih al-Bukhari H:1:530 (NE H:555)

 

Aishah رضي الله عنهrelates that Muhammad said about the two rakahs before Fajr, "They are dearer to me than the whole world." This is related by Sahih Al-Muslim H:725b (NE H:1574), Ahmad and Tirmidhi.

 

Aishah رضي الله عنهsaid, The Prophet was never more regular and particular in offering any Nawafil than the two rak`at (Sunna) of the Fajr prayer. Sahih al-Bukhari H:2:260 (NE H:1163) "

 

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنهreported: Muhammad said, "No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha' (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.  Sahih al-Bukhari H:1 : 626(657 H:NE) Sahih Al-Muslim H:651b (NE H:1370) and Sunan Ibn Majah H:797.

 

“Whoever prays al-Bardayn will enter Paradise Sahih Al-Bukhari H:2/52. Al-Bardayn are fajr and ‘asr.

 

Sahaba

In al-Saheeh, it is reported that Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنهsaid: “If we did not see a person at fajr and ‘isha’ prayers, we would think badly of him.” Al-Tabaraani رضي الله عنهin al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer  H:12/271.

 

Other prayers may be easier to do because they are more convenient to a person’s circumstances and fit in with his work and his sleep, but only those who are determined and sincere, people whom one hopes are good people, will be able to pray fajr and ‘isha’ regularly in congregation. [3]

 

Translation of the Surah

There is complete surah in the Qur’an by the name FAJR, Surah No.89. Its translation is given below.  

 

89:1 - By the dawn

 

89:2 - And [by] ten nights

 

89:3 - And [by] the even [number] and the odd

 

89:4 - And [by] the night when it passes,

 

89:5 - Is there [not] in [all] that an oath [sufficient] for one of perception?

 

89:6 - Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with 'Aad -

 

89:7 - [With] Iram - who had lofty pillars,

 

89:8 - The likes of whom had never been created in the land?

 

89:9 - And [with] Thamud, who carved out the rocks in the valley?

 

89:10 - And [with] Pharaoh, owner of the stakes? -

 

89:11 - [All of] whom oppressed within the lands

 

89:12 - And increased therein the corruption.

 

89:13 - So your Lord poured upon them a scourge of punishment.

 

89:14 - Indeed, your Lord is in observation.

 

89:15 - And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has honored me."

 

89:16 - But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, "My Lord has humiliated me."

 

89:17 - No! But you do not honor the orphan

 

89:18 - And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor.

 

89:19 - And you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether,

 

89:20 - And you love wealth with immense love.

 

89:21 - No! When the earth has been leveled - pounded and crushed -

 

89:22 - And your Lord has come and the angels, rank upon rank,

 

89:23 - And brought [within view], that Day, is Hell - that Day, man will remember, but what good to him will be the remembrance?

 

89:24 - He will say, "Oh, I wish I had sent ahead [some good] for my life."

 

89:25 - So on that Day, none will punish [as severely] as His punishment,

 

89:26 - And none will bind [as severely] as His binding [of the evildoers].

 

89:27 - [To the righteous it will be said], "O reassured soul,

 

89:28 - Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],

 

89:29 - And enter among My [righteous] servants

 

89:30 - And enter My Paradise."  [4]

 

The Importance of the Fajr Prayer

In the Qur’anAllah سبحانه و تعالى Most High says: “So establish the Prayer after the declining of the sun [from its zenith, for Dhuhr and then Asr] to the dusk of night [Maghrib and then ‘Isha] and the [Quranic] recitation of Fajr [prayer].  Indeed, the [Quranic] recitation of Fajr is witnessed.” Qur’an.Surah Al-Isra 17:78.

 

The meaning of witnessed here means that both the angels of [previous] night and the angels of the [new] morning intently listen to the Fajr prayer being recited aloud because of its great status and virtue. By al-Suyuti رحمت الله, Tafsir al-Jalalayn.

 

The Messenger of Allah has said: “Whoever performs the Prayer before the rising of the sun [Fajr] and before its setting [‘Asr], will not enter the Hell.” Sahih Al-Muslim H:634b (NE H:1325).

 

 “Whoever prays the two cooler prayer times (i.e., Fajr and `Asr) will enter Paradise.” Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Al-Muslim.

 

Some Warnings About Missing the Fajr Prayer

There are also warnings mentioned regarding missing the Fajr prayer.  The Prophet said:

 

“The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are ‘Isha and Fajr [AM: because they prefer the comfort of sleep to prayer], but if they only knew what they contain, they would come even if they had to crawl.” Musnad Ahmad.

 

 “Whoever prays the dawn prayer [Fajr], then He is under Allah’s سبحانه و تعالى protection.  So beware, O son of Adam, that Allah سبحانه و تعالىdoesn’t call you to account for being absent from His protection for any reason.” Sahih Al-Muslim

 

Some Practical Steps to Waking Up

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.

 

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. [5]

 

Scholars view

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمت اللهsays of Ibn Taymiyyah's رحمت اللهrememberance of his Lord "I heard Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمت الله, may Allah سبحانه و تعالى sanctify his soul, say, 'Remember to the heart is like water to fish. What will be the state of the fish if it becomes separated from water?... I once attended fajr prayer with Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمت الله he then sat and remembered Allah سبحانه و تعالىuntil it was nearly midday. He then turned round to me and said 'This is my early morning meal, if I do not take this breakfast, my strength will drop'."Al-Waabil as-Sayyib pg 60, Daar al-Bayyan.


Ibn al-Qayyim رحمت اللهalso says: "He used to say frequently in prostration when imprisoned, 'O Allah  assist me to remember you, to be grateful to you and to worship you properly.' and said to me once, 'The one who is (truly) imprisoned is the one who's heart is imprisoned from Allah سبحانه و تعالىand they captivated one is the one who's desires have enslaved him.'"Al-Waabil as-Sayyib pg 61, Daar al-Bayyan.[6]

 

References

[1] http://en.islamway.net/article/8163

[2] http://islamqa.info/en/ref/72559/fajr

[3] http://islamqa.info/en/ref/books/19

[4] http://quran.com/89

[5] http://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/2011/04/07/the-importance-of-fajr-prayer-and-how-to-pray-it-on-time/

[6] Extracted from Ibn Taymiyyah's Essay on Servitude [al-Hiddaayah Publishing, pg 25  

 

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