The loud ringing of the alarm brought me out of a deep slumber. Throwing an arm out I slammed it shut then spent the next few minutes forcing my eyes not to close again and my legs to heave my body up. Finally succeeding I stumbled to my feet, glanced blearily at the lighted numbers on the digital clock…four-fifteen, they proclaimed…and stumbled to the bathroom to make wudhu.
Tahajjud. It had become my favourite time of the day. A time when the world was asleep, oblivious to the great rewards being proclaimed by their Rabb. A time when it could just be me and my Rabb, without interruptions, without distractions, without other worries pressing on my mind. A golden opportunity for conversing with my Rabb, when duas made at this time were like arrows that never missed their target. The rewards for praying salah and making dua at tahajjud were innumerable.
Allah’s Nabi S.A.W said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”
And to wake up with your spouse was also commendable according to the ahadeeth;
“May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face.” [Ahmad]
“If a man wakes his wife and prays during the night or they pray two raka’ats together, they will be recorded among those men and women who constantly remember Allah.” [Abu Dawud]
“Wake up, babe,” I said, shaking Ahmed lightly. It didn’t work. It never did. Ahmed slept like a log. I always joked that the house could burn down and he still wouldn’t wake up. Shaking my head I went to the bathroom and brought back a handful of water. I sprinkled it on his face, laughing when he scrunched up his face, swatted away the offending invader and turned on the other side to sink into oblivion again. I sprinkled the last of the water on his face, shook his shoulder and, leaning closer to him, said loudly and clearly in his ear, “tahajjud!”
Alhamdulillah for having a husband who didn’t stir if I screamed, “fire!” in his ear but opened his eyes when I said, “tahajjud!” in it. Ahmed had as much fikr for tahajjud as I did Alhamdulillah and told me to wake him up everyday since he couldn’t hear the alarm in the time it took me to wake up and switch it off. We often prayed four rakahs in jamaa’ah since we couldn’t do that at any other time of the day and I loved listening to him recite, and also for the rewards mentioned in the Hadith. He recited half juz of Qur’an every day in the four rakahs, making us do a khatam every two months. It was a beautiful way of making another khatam, apart from our individual recitation. Our duas were done individually though, since we didn’t have the same things to ask from our Rabb. He didn’t have inlaw issues, lucky him. But everything that happened in our lives was khair, I reminded myself. Some people reached high stages of jannah by their good deeds alone. Others didn’t reach the high stages Allah wanted them to reach so Allah put tests in their lives so by means of them going through hardships and difficulties, making sabr and turning to Allah in the process they could attain those high stages in jannah. Our Rabb was so merciful. Nothing in the life of a mu’min was bad. If he got blessings and happiness from Allah he could make shukr and thereby increase his blessings and gain thawaab by those means; and if he got tests and trials from Allah he could make sabr and thereby attain immense rewards. Subhanallah! How, then, could I complain, when my Rabb knew best why He had put me in such a situation? How could I be ungrateful when I had no idea of the rewards I was attaining? How could I bemoan my fate and compare my pitiful life to others seemingly blissful ones, when I neither knew the state of my akhirah nor theirs??? But that was us insaan. So quick to complain, to be ungrateful. So quick to point out the flaws in our existence while overlooking all the bounties heaped on us on a daily basis. And so, so hasty. We wanted everything to be perfect immediately, without waiting in the least. But did we not see that the moon takes time to become full? We saw the darkest of nights but if we only exercised a little bit of patience we would soon see that as the nights pass the darkness is eclipsed by the brilliance of the moon. And did we not see that the rose takes time to fully bloom? If we got pricked by the thorn of a budding rose and crushed it in pain and anger how would we ever get to see the rose in its full beauty? Ibn Qayyim’s beautiful saying came to mind then;
“Had Allah lifted the veil for his slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how Allah is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice by way of duaa. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know; that verily Allah does not forget it.”
And that is exactly what I did. As my forehead touched the ground in complete submission the tears flowed out of my eyes as I poured my heart out in dua. I was so thankful for this weapon that Allah had given us because without this outlet I surely would have gone mad. Because it wasn’t easy. It was difficult, so difficult that some days all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and never get out of bed. But making dua at tahajjud cleared my mind, prepared me mentally for the day ahead. I could not explain the way I felt after pouring my heart out in dua; so light, so free. Everytime I got up from the musalla I felt like I had shed the heavy load I carried in my mind everyday, that the tears I’d cried had cleansed me in and out. I felt like I had been reborn in that instant. It was a treasure I kept close to my heart and tried to never miss. Those thirty minutes I spent in dua were the highlight of my day and no wonder; I had offloaded all my heavy burdens in the Hands of the only One who had the solution to them…and what could be better than that?
Jumuah Mubarak to all my beloved readers. I was gonna add on to this post but then I decided to leave it at this to allow the lessons to be fully absorbed. And I think this is the perfect jumuah gift for all of you❤
Do remember this sinful slave in your duas xxx