Although it might have taken a lot of time to go through all the etiquettes for sleeping which I have written in the last five episodes… but believe me it doesn’t take much time when you actually act on them! Because Islam is simple and close to our nature and so it is natural and easy to act upon. The important thing about learning these etiquettes is to acquire the right perspective and that acts like a compass which keeps us moving in the right direction towards the pleasure and mercy of Allah.
Today in-sha-Allah I will write about a very important etiquette… and that is to have the best intention before sleeping…
Etiquette-17… Make intention for Tahajjud
Imagine if we could see and hear Allah when He calls to us in the later part of the night…
“Is there anyone who asks me so I should give him? Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so I should forgive him?”
If we could really see and hear Him… would we still remain asleep? Would we not compete with each other to send our requests to Allah? But we remain asleep because our faith in the “unseen” is not that strong… and so the warmth of the bed (which we can physically feel) becomes more dear to us than the warmth of Allah’s love; and the sweetness of the deep sleep becomes so tempting to us that we don’t even try to visualize the sweetness of feeling closeness with Allah…
The Prophet (SAW) never missed Tahajjud, because it was his special time to be with Allah and express his love and gratitude to Him. And so he advised his followers to do the same if they wanted to attain a strong connection with Allah and brighten up their lives with real and true faith.
But this cannot be achieved unless we make a firm and sincere intention for it…every day… every night…
It is narrated in a beautiful Hadith by Ayesha (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “whoever comes to his bed with the intention that he will get up to pray during the night, then is overcome by sleep and wakes up when it is morning (fajr time) then he will be rewarded for his intention and his sleep was a sadaqah on him from his Rabb…”
Does that mean that we just have to think about it and desire for it and be rewarded whether we wake up or not? Of course not…
To intend for something is that we really mean it… and that we have decided to do it… like when we have to go on a journey and intend to wake up at a specific time to catch a bus, train or airplane… do we just think and desire and then feel ok even when we miss that flight? Oh no! That is unthinkable isn’t it? So when you make intention for Tahajjud and hope to be rewarded then just analyze your heart and see whether you really mean it or is just a wish?
And if you are not quite sure whether your intention is true or not then just monitor your actions and see if you are really making any effort or not… because when you have to take that flight you don’t just go to bed thinking about it? There are preparations which we do well in time… So what preparation do we need to wake up for Tahajjud?
1- To make a true intention for something, you must have a clear idea on why you want to do that thing? Therefore power up your intention for Tahajjud by reading about its benefits… or listen to lectures on this topic.
2- Make your time after Isha into a calm and peaceful zone which makes you easier to go to sleep early.
3- Follow the sunnahs/etiquettes of going to bed with the intention of getting up fresh for Tahajjud.
4- Prepare your place of worship where you can pray in peace and keep your Quran copy and books of duas handy.
5- on a daily basis take some time to memorize Quran which you can read in Tahajjud. The more you can recite the better!
6- On a daily basis invest some time and effort into learning Tajweed… which is the beautiful way of reciting Quran. The more you recite well, the better for your heart!
7- Keep making dua to Allah to bless you with this opportunity because it is the best time to focus on Allah and energize your heart and soul with His remembrance.
8- Protect yourself from sins… like hurting others or backbiting etc; because they reduce your chances of doing good deeds.
9- Last but not the least… learn the duas to be read before going to bed… (More on this in the next episode in sha Allah)