The last ten nights are upon us and the bodies are tiring out, but the best part of Ramadan is at its end. People are planning to make most of the nights, but making most of Ramadan does not have to make us zombies sleeping through the day. So, how do we stand at night and stay productive during the days too? Simple. Avoid sleeping after Fajr (I call it the post-fajr nap), as much as you can. Here is why;
Post-fajr nap is the sweetest, nay there is something more peaceful and productive than it. It is the nap recommended by the noblest of mankind (ﷺ). Yes, you guessed right — qaylulah, the mid-day nap.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Sleeping early in the day betrays ignorance, in the middle of the day is right, and at the end of the day is stupid”. [Fath al-Bari, p.73].
Resist and ditch the post-fajr nap, replace it with the mid-day rest (qaylulah) and taste the sweetness of productivity. There are indeed blessings in the early hours of the day for those who have enough self- restraint to resist PFN. You would be amazed as to how much work you are able to finish, without feeling rushed. It gives ample time for everything and that brings about a good mood.
Observing the qaylulah, on the other hand, helps in waking up for qiyamul layl. It refreshes the body and strengthen it for night worship and rejuvenates the mind. Moreover, the Prophet (ﷺ) said; “Take a nap at midday, for the shaytaan does not take a nap at midday”. [At-Tabaraani; Al-Awsat, 28].
So, avoid PFN like a plague for the rest of Ramadan and beyond. You can try the following tips to make it work:
- Prepare most of your sahur meal the previous evening during iftar meal preparation.
- Sleep immediately after Isha/Taraweeh. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would not sleep before Isha and he would not stay up after it [Sunan Ibn Majah: 702]. Moreover, the 10pm-1am that you keep unnecessary unproductive vigil is equivalent to the 6am-10am you achieve most preliminary works that disrupt you from getting to the creative and project works.
- Wake up a couple of hours before Fajr for qiyaam, du’a, meal prep and sahur.
- After Fajr prayers, get active. No matter what you do, don’t lie down. Look forward to the day’s activities, picture it as an exciting, can’t-wait-to-do work.
- Observe qaylulah for about twenty to thirty minutes. The trick is, it is a short light nap that should not get long into a deep sleep so it doesn’t become difficult to get up. And if you are not able to fall asleep, it is okay to just relax and lie still for those moments as well.
I’ll leave you with this narration from the Prophet (ﷺ):
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (ﷺ), ascended the pulpit and he said, “Aameen, aameen, aameen.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the pulpit and said aameen, aameen, aameen.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Gabriel came to me and he said: Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and he is not forgiven, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say aameen. I said aameen. Whoever sees his parents in their old age, one or both of them, and he does not honor them and he dies, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say aameen. I said aameen. Whoever has your name mentioned in his presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say aameen. I said aameen.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 915]
So, if it has been awesome since day one, don’t relent now that the proof of Ramadan’s pudding is here. And if your performance in the first twenty days has been low, do not let it discourage you from utilising the last ten days optimally. You can attain forgiveness today. Enter these last ten days with a renewed energy, a positive outlook and sincere intention, and stay productive with the Sunnah nap. May Allah count us among those who will witness the night of Qadr. Aameen.