By Bilal Elsakka
Why is it easy for us to wake up extra early for work, but hard for us to wake up extra early for prayer in the masjid (mosque)?
Why is it so easy to watch a movie for two hours, but so hard to pray two rak`at (units of Islamic prayer) before Fajr (pre-dawn prayer)?
Why is it that we get excited when going to a friend’s house, but feel lethargic when encouraged to go to Allah’s subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) house when He created that friend we love so much?
Bismillah (In the name of God)
Dear brothers, sisters, and respected elders,
I post this with pure intentions and an optimistic attitude regarding our attendance (of our youth especially) in the masjid at Fajr time. A few sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace and blessings be upon him) are listed below regarding the importance of praying `Isha (late evening prayer) and, in particular, Fajr in the masjid (mosque). This is a beneficial reminder for myself a dozen times before it is for a single other person. That being said, I humbly request you, the reader, to invest a few short minutes to read a few potentially life-changing sentences.
`Uthman ibn `Affan radi allahu `anhu (may God be pleased with him) reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: ‘One who performs `Isha’ prayer in congregation is as if he has performed prayer for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation is as if he has performed prayer the whole night.’” [Muslim]
`Uthman ibn `Affan (ra) narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: “He who attends `Isha’ in congregation is as if he has performed prayer for half of the night; and he who attends the `Isha’ and Fajr prayers in congregation is as if he has performed prayer for the whole night.” [Tirmidhi]
“If they knew the merits of prayer after nightfall (`Isha’) and the morning (Fajr) prayer, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“No prayer is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr prayer and the `Isha’ prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Any businessman would tell us that this is a good investment—a good deal. Let us think about it: praying `Isha’ and Fajr in congregation in the masjid, which takes comparatively little time, earns the reward of having prayed the entire night—the entire night! Could we ask for a better deal?! Fortunately for all of us, this sale is offered every night and every morning. May Allah (swt) guide us all to take full advantage of it.
May Allah (swt) guide us to pray Fajr and `Isha’ in the masjid at least once a week. May Allah (swt) guide us to consistently encourage others to pray Fajr and `Isha’ in the masjid. May Allah (swt) give us the best relationships with each of our parents. May Allah (swt) bless us with a good understanding of Islam. May Allah (swt) give us the best character, like that of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ a mercy sent to all of mankind. And last, but definitely not least, may Allah (swt) gather us together in firdaus-al-a`la’ (the highest rank in paradise).