Tranquil mornings

Published May 28, 2021
The writer is a freelance contributor.
The writer is a freelance contributor.

LET us be very honest with ourselves: when it comes to timekeeping, we as a nation have a reputation for lateness. When the wedding card states that the proceedings are due to start at 9pm, to us it means a very unapologetic 11pm, which is when we turn up. It is futile to expect the markets to open in Karachi at 9am. They will never do so under ordinary circumstances and, in fact, one is lucky if the shutters are up by 10.30am.

The holy month of fasting came and went. There were many lessons to gain from the month of Ramazan, but were we really in learning mode? Timekeeping is one of the main features of Ramazan. The entire month is supposed to train us to develop a routine around our working hours and the time meant for rest. Essential is the habit of waking up early in the morning, before sunrise, as this a mandatory feature of fasting. The morning routine, which fasting in the holy month instils in us, must be regarded as extremely important.

If you ask successful people who have achieved their objectives in life, and if you explore their lifestyle you will discover that all of them are early risers and are up at the crack of dawn. In other words, they begin their day with a set routine. Ask successful businesspersons, successful entrepreneurs, leaders, sports performers and people from other walks of life who are high achievers in their field at what time they wake up; they will all tell you that they are awake by dawn or even before.

In short, in any field of life, those who look for success are not late in their habits and routines; they are all early risers for they realise the importance and value of time.

Timekeeping is one of Ramazan’s main features.

It is unfortunate then, that while we have positive examples before us, we often waste time oversleeping. Mornings which are a very important period, and in which one can get a lot of things done are wasted. We waste that time because we are not in the habit of waking up early. We have a very short lifespan and time is running out fast. It is only if we value our time that we will be able to do something useful with it.

Islam teaches us that we are here in this world to transform ourselves to become better human beings and to prepare ourselves for the afterlife. Life does not end with death; there is also the afterlife that the soul has to go through. This is essentially the gist of the teachings of the Islamic faith. Ramazan teaches us a lot about time management. It trains us to wake up early in the morning and to have a set routine for the rest of the day. The Holy Quran gives believers this set routine:

“Establish regular prayers — at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony” (17:78).

So a believer’s morning routine starts by waking up before Fajr and involves the performance of the morning prayer and the recitation of the Holy Quran. Man is a creature of habit. Once you form some habits then they become a part of you and they shape your personality. You want to look at what sort of a person the other individual is? Then look closely at his habits. It is habits that are being moulded in the month-long routine of Ramazan fasting.

The Holy Quran also reminds us that we have a very short lifespan: “He will say: ‘What number of years did ye stay on earth?’ They will say: ‘We stayed a day or part of a day: But ask those who keep account.’ He will say: ‘Ye stayed not but a little if ye had only known!’” (23:112-114)

The lesson of the verses that have been mentioned here is that life is short. So we need to value our time and we do this by developing and implementing the habit of waking up early, a routine that we followed unfailingly during Ramazan. We need to continue this practise for the rest of the year as well. We must go to bed early and correspondingly wake up early. Ramazan has taught us time management, which we shouldn’t ignore.

The habit of waking up early and having a morning routine is absolutely crucial for our spiritual and personal well-being. Mornings are the most beautiful time of the day. You wake up and breathe in the fresh air; you hear the birds singing in the background. It is a calming, soothing and tranquil moment. We should not miss out on so wonderful an experience by sleeping through it all.

We should restrain ourselves and keep away from the unhealthy and unproductive habit of being awake late at night and continuing to sleep well after sunrise. The time after Isha prayers is meant for us to retire for the day and the time to wake up is before Fajr prayers. Those unaccustomed to this routine will find it hard to follow initially. But persevere for a few days and you will discover that your body will fine-tune itself to the routine.

The writer is a freelance contributor.

Twitter: @KashifShahzada

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

Opinion

A state of chaos

A state of chaos

The establishment’s increasingly intrusive role has further diminished the credibility of the political dispensation.

Editorial

Bulldozed bill
Updated 22 May, 2024

Bulldozed bill

Where once the party was championing the people and their voices, it is now devising new means to silence them.
Out of the abyss
22 May, 2024

Out of the abyss

ENFORCED disappearances remain a persistent blight on fundamental human rights in the country. Recent exchanges...
Holding Israel accountable
22 May, 2024

Holding Israel accountable

ALTHOUGH the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor wants arrest warrants to be issued for Israel’s prime...
Iranian tragedy
Updated 21 May, 2024

Iranian tragedy

Due to Iran’s regional and geopolitical influence, the world will be watching the power transition carefully.
Circular debt woes
21 May, 2024

Circular debt woes

THE alleged corruption and ineptitude of the country’s power bureaucracy is proving very costly. New official data...
Reproductive health
21 May, 2024

Reproductive health

IT is naïve to imagine that reproductive healthcare counts in Pakistan, where women from low-income groups and ...