At the peak of my busy period last semester, I would often be found juggling a mountain of assignments and tests, along with my 1,001 writing activities for my newsletter, website, journal, and other publications (on top of producing my live radio show, Tracklist for the Dean’s List).
Despite that, I constantly found myself having enough free time for some me-time, like going for dinner with friends, reading book after book, attending extra classes both online and offline, or even watching the ever-exciting The Mentalist series.
What’s my secret?
I have a morning routine. And I try my best to stick to it every single day without fail.
Why Morning Routines Are Important
Some people argue that they are not morning-persons, but I feel that the fitrah of man is such that we are all meant to wake up and be productive in the mornings. The Prophet SAW had several ahadith that mentioned the importance of being an early riser, and since he is the best of creation who holds the keys to knowledge about ourselves that we might not know, perhaps we should stop listening to ourselves and strive to emulate him instead :)
1. Mornings are blessed
“O Allah! Make the rising in the morning of my Ummah auspicious (blessed).” – Hadith, narrated by Abu Dawud
The Prophet SAW made du’a that the mornings will be a blessed time for the people of his Ummah – that’s us. Because of this, we have to firmly believe that inshaAllah, any positive activity we embark on in the mornings will be one that is amplified and magnified due to the blessing given by Allah SWT during that time.
Whether it is writing, studying, or memorizing, things that we strive to do in the wee hours of the morning will be made easier for us on the account of the du’a, biidhnillah. So let us make full use of that time!
2. Sleeping in the mornings is a source of poverty
If having the opportunity to reap a blessed time is not a strong enough motivation for you, then note that conversely, the Prophet SAW too warned against sleeping during a certain time in the morning.
Ibn Majah narrated that the Prophet SAW prohibited sleeping just after fajr prayers before sunrise and has called it a source of poverty. Once, upon seeing Fatimah RA sleeping just after fajr, the Prophet SAW even woke her up and told her never to sleep at that time.
When an action holds neither benefit nor harm, the Prophet SAW would usually keep silent about it; his silence being taken to mean his tacit agreement. However, when an action brings harm, the Prophet SAW would go out of his way to prohibit a person from doing it, just like in the case of Fatimah RA’s sleeping after fajr.
So why do we still willingly push ourselves into harm?
3. Mornings are becoming your only quiet time
For those of us living in the fast-paced life of the city, nothing should be more precious to us than the wee hours of the morning.
By 8am, all of us are expected to put on the first of the variety of hats designated to us — that of a student, worker, mother, daughter, or friend etc. Throughout the day, we are constantly rushing around, switching hats, until we finally head to bed at night. Additionally, we are always submerged under a ton of messages and noise, both from our environment and our inner dialogue. The result of this? We rarely ever get to be ourselves, and we find that we are beginning to live on a day-to-day basis, instead of being able to see the bigger picture of our lives.
Waking up earlier in the morning means that the world is quiet and still, and time moves slowly. It is the best time for us to take account of ourselves by keeping a journal, tracking progress of our goals, or reflecting on our growth.
Best of all, we get to have an undisturbed date with our Creator :)
4. You get to do what’s important to you
Writing is important to me, but writing is often not urgent to do as compared to the things I need to get done on a daily basis like my assignments and studying for school.
Often when we start putting on our first hat at 8am — be it the student, worker, or even mother hat — we will start doing all the urgent things required from us from that hat. Like it or not, this need to do urgent things will continue throughout the day until we finally head to bed in exhaustion.
And at this point, what’s important to us will start being pushed back or delayed, until one day we start to question whether it’s important at all.
So let’s do ourselves a favour, and rise a little earlier to spend time on what’s important and meaningful to us as a person.
5. Mornings set the tone for the rest of your day
Almost everyone I have spoken to agree that if they wake up late and start their day in a rush, the rest of the day will take on the same tone as well. On the other hand, if they wake up early or on time, their day will feel better and organised.
Now imagine beginning your day with your Creator, having a conversation with yourself, and spending time doing the things that are important and meaningful to you? Imagine a day where by 8am, you’ve done all the above and are feeling peaceful, happy, and content. Imagine what kind of a day the rest of the day will be? ;)
Next article: Ways to Wake Up Earlier
Now that we understand the reason we need to wake up earlier, the next step is to actually inculcate the habit in us. If you’re someone who are used to waking up just in time for the morning prayer, you might balk at the thought of having to crawl out of bed an hour or two earlier.
“Impossible!” You might say, “I’ll be like a zombie the rest of the day!”
But the truth is that I was just like you. But now, Alhamdulillah by His permission, I almost always automatically get up by 4am, get productive, and spend the rest of the day engaged in full-blown activities just like anyone else.
In the next article, I’ll share what you can do to make waking up early a breeze, biidhnillah :)