Overcoming Fatigue

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Assalamualaikum wr wb. Let me start off this post by telling a story about Fatimah (AS), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Ali, her husband.

Fatimah and Ali were known to be a hardworking couple. In the day, Fatimah kept her house as clean as possible such as sweeping the floor, washing the dishes and doing laundry. She also assisted her husband with his needs, fed the animals they owned and used to grind oats for flour. She also prays throughout the night from dusk to dawn.

One day Fatimah (AS), complained to her husband, Ali, about how tiring the house work has been on her. Her hands were getting very rough and she was physically getting really exhausted. Ali, told her: “Your father has received prisoners of war, so go to him and request one of them in order to provide us with support.”

At that time, it was a known practice that some prisoners of war could be sent to certain homes to serve them.

Upon knowing that, Fatimah went to her father’s house to explain the situation she was in and to notify him of the immense need of having some extra help at home. When Fatimah arrived to her father’s house Aisha, the wife of the prophet (SAW), opened the door and told Fatimah that her father was not home. Fatimah eventually told Aisha about the purpose of her visit and then she returned back home.

Not too long after that, the Prophet (SAW) came home and Aisha told him about Fatimah’s visit. The Prophet (SAW) upon hearing that, being the great father he is, went right away to the house of Fatimah and Ali.

Once he arrived, he sat with Fatimah and Ali and taught them this priceless du’a, found in Sahih Al-Bukhari.

Our Quran Journey – The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW

The Prophet (SAW) said to them: “ألا أدُلُكُمَا على خيرٍ ممَّا سأَلْتُمَا ؟” shall I not guide you and direct you to something better than what you have asked for?

  • “إِذَا أَوَيْتُمَا إِلَى فِرَاشِكُمَا” When you go to bed:
    • “فَسَبِّحَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ”  do tasbih 33 times (i.e. say SubhanAllah)
    • “وَاحْمَدَا ثَلاَثًا وَثَلاَثِينَ” do hamd 33 times (i.e. say Alhamdulillah)
    • “وَكَبِّرَا أَرْبَعًا وَثَلاَثِينَ” do takbir 34 times (i.e. say Allahu Akbar)
  • “فَهْوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمَا مِنْ خَادِمٍ” for that is better for you than having a servant.

Some scholars further explained that you will then have more energy the following day as if you had a servant supporting you or that you wouldn’t be as tired or as exhausted while doing your daily work.

Ali said that he never went to bed afterwards without saying this du’a even during the toughest days of his life.

The Prophet (SAW) also used to make du’a: “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from helplessness, laziness, cowardice and feeble old age; I seek refuge with You from afflictions of life and death and seek refuge with You from the punishment in the grave.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

This brings me to Surah Al-Balad verse 4 whereby Allah SWT says “Indeed, We have created man (to live) in hard struggle”.

We will go through many hardships in the course of our life. Imagine, we were struggling even while coming out of our mother’s womb. Our struggles can be big or small, physically, mentally or both. In the case of Fatimah (AS), she was struggling to do the house work because she was simply exhausted. Similarly some of us may struggle to pray on time because we’re facing a crisis at work, or even just out of pure laziness.

Sometimes after eight hours of sleep, some of us still wake up feeling tired and lazy. But the truth about laziness is that it is mostly in our mind. Laziness is actually an action and we are almost always the culprits in letting that action take control of our minds. If it becomes a habit, or appears to span weeks or months, it may even be a sign of depression.

You’d think that working from home because of COVID-19 we’d be less tired because we don’t have to wake up early to travel to work. But it seems like time goes by faster at home. Some of us still have to cook lunch and dinner for our families and clean up the house more often since it’s 50% more untidy when everyone’s always home.

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’

“When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”

The Prophet said that the People of Paradise will only regret one thing: not having made enough dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in the world.

Even when we’re tired, we are told to remember and give thanks to Allah for the blessing of fatigue.

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: “The Prophet said, ‘No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that‘ [Bukhari].

So next time you decide to snooze your alarm for Subuh prayers or you decide to sit at home all day and binge watch on Netflix, think about these tips that the Sunnah has provided us. Insha’Allah you can do something to stop your fatigue or laziness and get up and do something good for yourself and others.

Muhammad – His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

This book by Martin Lings was a recommendation by Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan that someone shared on Instagram. It’s an easy read for a beginner of seerah studies, despite 300+ pages (as a FTWM, it’s a struggle sometimes!).

It’s a great feeling to finally read and know about our beloved Prophet’s ﷺ life story and to understand his character and how he handled different situations. I find myself going through a whole spectrum of emotions while reading the book – amazement, anger, sadness.

At the beginning, the author wrote about the Prophet’s ﷺ lineage starting from his great grandfather and I find that you may easily feel lost or not be able to remember all the names. It’s best if you read the book several more times (recommended 3 times) in order to truly understand the contents. It’s not easy to go through the same book many times but it makes the book purchase worthwhile!
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I do recommend asking or learning from a Ustaz/Ustazah if you are unsure, or to follow a seerah class. For starters you could listen in to Al-Qudwah Academy’s sessions on Mondays. AQA uses Fiqh Us Seerah, but Ustaz explains it all the same.
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This book is available for purchase from our favourite bookstore – Wardah Books.
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Happy reading! May Allah swt gifts us the gift of time to increase our knowledge and may the knowledge be beneficial for us.