Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fajr Prayer and a good night's sleep!

Note: This entry is more pointless than pretty much all of my Islam-related entries! And it's probably equal to my off topic fashion type entries, but it feels weird for an Islam-related one to be so pointless. I will publish it nonetheless!

Fajr prayer is EARLY! It seems like a difficult prayer to pray, but it also seems like the most important one, setting the tone for your day. With it being so early, it seems like the most Islamic thing to do is to wake up for Fajr and go to bed with the sunset... I don't feel like most people who pray fajr do it this way. At least not in Egypt, where what I have seen is that they wake up for fajr and then taking a long nap in mid afternoon, only to stay up most of the night (basically sleeping two almost equal periods, but at different times in the day).

But is it my common sense or my upbringing that has lead me to believe that one sleep period of approximately 8 hours (more for some, less for others) is what is ideal for an adult human being?

I feel like sleeping twice in a day is not a good system! I don't mind naps, I take one or two naps of about an hour each week myself... A person needs a boost sometimes! But when a person is sleeping two stretches of 4 hours, for example, it's not a nap, but it's not a night's sleep either. It' something weirdly in the middle.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's unislamic to sleep with this pattern, far from that, it's perfectly fine if you function well that way... But is it ideal? I don't feel like it is... I feel like sleeping one long period is ideal. And Islam has an obligatory prayer very early in the morning... So ideally, a person would have slept their average of 8 hours before that early morning prayer... So they should probably go to bed on average at around 8pm! Ideally!

12 Comentários:

Blue said...

Let's make one thing very clear: Most Arabs don't pray Fajr on time. Why? Don't worry it's nothing theological, they just can't wake up that early when they have work the next day. They do make it up when they wake up however.

I really admire how you are calculating how much time you need to sleep. Most Muslims just find the whole thing uncomfortable and they choose to ignore it, yet they still consider themselves good Muslims. There is no doubt that it is wrong, yet they still do it. I guess this is what you would call a hypocrisy.

Bengali Muslimah said...

I used to wake up at the right time for Fajr but being a high school student, my parents told me it's ok to pray Fajr whenever you wake up in the morning so that's what I usually do. But I think the time of Fajr was set so early for a reason----to overcome one's laziness, forget all the sleep and tiredness, pray to Allah. And if that is so, Muslims should obey that, and like you said go to bed earlier at nights so they can wake up after 8 hours to pray Fajr at the right time.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

It's definitely hard to wake up and pray fajr. I usually sleep at 11/12 and wake up around 9, which makes fajr somewhere inbetween. If I hear the adaan then I get up and pray, but if I sleep through it I just make it up the next morning.

It depends when fajr is too. Right now in Cairo its 4:30 am, but a few months back it was 6 am, which is the normal time a lot of people wake up at, making it the ideal time for prayer. But when it goes back to 3/4 am I guess it's hard to wake up and then get back to sleep.

Solace In Islam said...

I only started getting up on time for fajr quite recently. What makes it easier is that it is now autumn here by us and fajr is not that early. I do have to go to bed earlier than normal though.

BUT I have to say being on time for fajr feels great!

Now if only I could manage to get up for tahajjud!

Asiya Abdullah said...

Hey Candy (hope you don't mind me calling you that, lol!), I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us. I pray that you can get some solid answers to your inquiries inshaa Allaah.

Check this out:

http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2006/10/what_is_a_natural_sleep_patter.php

After reading your post, I sat and wondered how so many billions of muslims around the world were able to function and live normal lives considering many of us don't get a "full" night's sleep in one shot, what with the obligation to pray at dawn. In fact this summer in this part of the world, Isha and Fajr will only be about 5-6 hours apart!

Think about it: Would the One who created us, with all His perfect, infinite knowledge and wisdom, obligate us with something that rendered us incapable of functioning and fulfilling our purpose on this earth? Any brain that has already accepted the reality of a Creator cannot accept that He would mess up on something! Or anything for that matter.

Candice said...

It's funny because I had different experience with Muslims. I mean, I didn't know so many prayed it whenever they woke up. My husband would rather not pray than pray late. I guess I was influenced by that into thinking people either didn't pray it, or they woke up to pray it! In Egypt, the two people I had regular contact with who prayed it would pray it on time, but not sleep full nights. They would sleep in 2 or 3 different periods.

Asiya Abdullah, I don't have anyone calling me Candy, just because it's too cute and strippery a nickname for me! haha.

You're right about the times when isha and fajr are just a few hours apart. Obviously the full night's sleep method falls short a couple hours. The article you sent was very interesting! At least it leaves room to wake up for that hour for fajr when it's in the earlier hours (3-4am) and go back to sleep. Thanks for digging that up.

Asiya Abdullah said...

Oops! So I'll take that as a YES you do mind. I'm sorry Candice. I like to nickname people, it's just one of my ways of being friendly and open with my sisters. But please do except my apology. Hope it didn't offend you.

Candice said...

Oh, no need to apologize Asiya! I love friendliness! :) I didn't mind, I just don't use this nickname. You can call me Can or Cand though! :)

Anisah said...

I dunno..but I feel much closer to God when I pray Fajr on time. Everything is so calm and quiet....it kinda feels like a miracle hehe.
I just wanna add.. its really dangerous to learn Islam from a cultural level. I mean it's the best way for anyone just to stick to Quran and hadith. It is important as Muslim to show the proper way and observing the rules and making a good impression. But let's face it...most do not.
In some ways..it's also the best way to protect your rights. ;)
on a personal level...I really do pray that one day..you can feel that extra closeness to God...and be able to pass it on:)
AND>>>>>>>>>>> just wanna add...it's just plain stupid to stay up so late.lol. go to bed shortly after Isha..and voila... ur great. ;) I'm sure this is a good reason Allah says we should pray on time. There is a reason for it ! ( woops its after midmight..now..doh!! lol)

Asiya said...

Okay, Cand it is!

Anonymous said...

Today, in Canada, Fajr is at 3:50AM. That is just too early, so I do it when I get up. I work all day so I can't break my sleep pattern.

Candice said...

It is difficult these days in Canada! Isha and fajr are not too far one from the other! I have a 2 year old and she's not feeling well these days (these months, has arthritis as far as they know so far) and so I haven't had a full night's sleep since before she was born (it was needing to pee in the middle of the night and a kicking baby back then) and I'm still functionning pretty well... But I get tired after a while and I take a nap once a week on a day I don't work!

I need to start praying more... I can get up for my daughter sometimes multiple times each night, but I have never woken up for fajr (not Mulsim yet though so I will not discourage myself with this sentence). Hopefully I will be able to sometime!

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