Etiquettes of Waking… (episode-3)

The experience of waking up in the morning is an amazing miracle when you consider the fact that the same person who was oblivious to the whole world and was even unaware of his own existence suddenly becomes aware of himself and his surroundings… the most amazing thing about sleep is that the person who is asleep is even unaware of his own state of being unaware… the dreams which he is watching becomes his reality… until he wakes up from it…

That is why some people are not so eager to acquire true knowledge and guidance; because they don’t even realize that they are unaware of the purpose of their existence.

Therefore the first thing we need to have is the awareness that our knowledge can never be complete and so we must keep learning to keep our hearts alive and awake to the reality of our life and its goal.

Every time I learn something new I feel like waking up to a new world filled with light… but we should also remember that the real light of knowledge enters the heart only when we act upon it… so let’s find out a few more things from the beautiful Sunnah of our beloved Prophet to enrich our waking experience every day inshaAllah…

1- Dua for enlightenment…

When the Prophet used to wake up he said the following words:

“اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُوراً، وَفِي بَصَرِي نُوراً، وَفِي سَمْعِي نُوراً وَعَنْ يَمِينِي نُوراً وعن یساری نُوراً وفوقی نُوراً وتحتی نُوراً وأَمَامِي نُوراً، وَخَلْفِِي نُوراً، واجْعَلْ لِي نُوراً

O Allah place light in my heart, and light in my sight, and light in my hearing, and light to my right and light to my left and light above me and beneath me, and light in front of me and light behind me… and grant light for me.

This dua is a great reminder that to protect ourselves from getting lost in the darkness of evil and sins, we need to have the light of Allah’s guidance in our hearts, eyes and ears. So we have to keep checking all the time what are we collecting through our eyes and ears? Are the things I am watching and hearing making my heart submissive to Allah? Are the thoughts of my heart making me love and fear Allah, or are they causing me to be forgetful of Him? So you have to keep an eye on your activities all the time.

Similarly to pray for light to surround us on all sides means to have a good environment… and good environment means good friends (or if you cannot find good people then surround yourself with good books and cds etc)… who make you remember Allah… who remind you to be obedient to Allah… who support you in the way of Allah. Also good environment means to be free of all things which might lead you towards Allah’s disobedience.

We can only make an effort but the real power to give us this environment is with Allah. And He will give this light to those who seek it in duas and who make all their efforts to stay away from all things that are against the true faith.

2- To read the two “protecting surahs”…

It has been narrated by Uqbah Bin Amir (RA) that the Prophet said to him:

“Should I not teach you two such surahs which are better than all the surahs which people read?”

So the Prophet taught him Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Naas. Then it was time for Prayer and the Prophet read these same surahs in the prayer. Afterwards when the Prophet walked past Uqbah Bin Amir, he said to him:

“O Uqbah! What did you understand? Read these two surahs while sleeping and also when you wake up.”

While it is our tendency to feel scared and helpless when we think of the dangers surrounding us; the fact is that Allah did not leave us unprotected… The last two surahs of the Quran have been given to us to ensure our protection but the problem is that we don’t understand their awesome power… and that’s because we have just memorized these words without understanding and we read them without contemplating on their meaning. So in order to understand their true worth and to really feel the shield of their protection we must put in a little effort to understand these two surahs by reading some tafseer or better by listening to some audio explanation. Become a strong person by reciting them morning and night and after all prayers too… inshaAllah.

3- Wash up your hands…

It has been narrated by Abu Huraira (RA) that the Prophet said:

“When any one of you wakes up then he should wash his hand before he puts it into the water for wudhu because no one knows where his hand was during the night.”

This Hadith of the Prophet makes us realize that purity is so important in our religion. We cannot just assume our hands to be clean after getting up from sleep because we don’t know what they might have touched while we were not conscious… so the best thing to do it to wash our hands before touching anything else… specially where running water is not available and you have to use water from a bucket then do wash your hand before putting it in the rest of the water.

4- Clean your mouth…

The first thing which the Prophet did after getting up was to use Miswak… a tooth-stick… which not only cleans the teeth but also wipes away the germs from the whole mouth.

I love this Sunnah of the Prophet so much because it not only makes me fresh and active, but also multiplies the rewards of my salah many times!! The bonus is that you are saved from unnecessary visits to the dentistJ

5- Blow your nose…

It seems like an understood thing that since we will be doing wudhu so we will naturally be cleaning our nose too… so why mention it as a separate Sunnah? The reason is that if the Prophet hadn’t specifically told us the following Hadith we might have taken it for granted and not given it its due care…

“The Prophet said: when anyone of you wakes up from his sleep, then he should blow/rinse his nose three times because surely the shaitan spends the night in it.”

Now imagine if someone told you that a cockroach or lizard was sitting on your nose during the night… how extra conscious you would be to wash away the filth? It will not be like an ordinary, semi-conscious washing, isn’t it?

So if the Prophet told us that such an “un-clean” enemy was residing in our nose then surely we will clean it extra consciously.

Another point which comes to my mind is that by following this Hadith we also become aware of the importance of cleaning this passage which takes air into our lungs and out again… something which we hardly ever think of…

Therefore the acts of sunnah are not just for our spiritual benefit but also take care of the physical aspect of our lives. So live by them and gain the rewards of both the worlds… inshaAllah

(to be continued…inshaAllah)

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