By Shifta Flani.
I could hear it, the constant shrieking of my alarm clock. It sounded like something from very far- another planet, Jupiter perhaps. It could not be morning yet, I mused. I felt like I had fallen asleep just a few minutes back! Sure as hijab pins are a girl’s knight in piercing armor, it was dawn, and if I wasn’t wrong I had heard the first adhan…but I so trusted my alarm clock to wake me up on time…..well, at least fifteen minutes to fajr! I hit the snooze button and turned over in bed, I mean, what would just five more minutes do? I heard the Muadhin calling out, ‘prayer is better than sleep’, yet at that very moment sleeping felt so glorious, so exhilarating! I kind of wished there were extra hours allocated for sleep, or a system where I could redeem bonga points on sleep!
The next moment I opened my eyes it was way past six and the sun was already out to play and scorch the slaves of Allah.
I had not prayed fajr yet, and as I swiftly jumped from bed I was really tempted to curse but all I could afford to say was a sack load of “astagfrullah”. Guilt engulfed this heart of mine because I remembered having such a vivid dream right after I snoozed off, taking wudhu and praying fajr- only that I did it in my dream. For good measure, I even prayed the two rakaats before fajr; a dream yet it felt so real.
Was that the devil appearing to me in such astounding detail and clarity? Was he the one making me love the snooze button despite the knowledge that once I snooze off that’s it, I’ll miss fajr by perhaps a whole hour? I heard his whispers in my ear, encouraging me to sleep on, that Allah would not mind so long as I made up the missed Salah later. He must have taken his sweet time, tying up the three knots, knowing I’ll sleep right through. Yeah right, I heard the whispers of Iblis and I still gave in to them.
Or is it just my soul growing weary of ibadah, conforming to the whims and seemingly easy way of laziness in its performance. It has to be either of the two; my nafs or Iblis because I know that Allah wishes me well inasmuch as my Ibadah benefits him in no way at all.
I mean, really, is the devil that strong or are we giving him too much undeserved credit? I can imagine how he must find it humorous when we give in so easily to his whispers; while it would have been easier and more befitting to resist. Damn, it must feel like watching a rabbit get snared by a trap while it would have just been safer had it been a little bit wiser- just like the tales of old made us believe in sungura mjanja.
Just the other day I was listening to a most amazing lecture (lives of the prophets) by imam Anwar Al awlaki, May Allah grant him Jannah. He narrated how (it’s not a Hadith) Iblis became an enemy to mankind right from the beginning, even before Allah put the Ruh (soul) in Nabii Adam (as). Iblis approached the dried clay form of Adam, felt it, hit it a bit and when he heard the hollow sound similar to the one made by a dried clay pot, he said, “This is a weak creature, if I am given authority over him, I will subdue him. If he is given authority over me, I will disobey him…..”
Subhanallah! That is Iblis for us, a clear enemy whose game plan had already been conceptualized way before our father Nabii Adam even had a soul. We are talking about an enemy who waged his war against us at our weakest point, when we were just a lifeless bunch of molded clay that would have broken at the slightest hit.
His promise, his main strategy, his main goal is to mislead mankind till they enter hell fire along with him.
The way I see it, we have a choice, we always have a choice. When Iblis made this declaration of war, Allah granted him permission to do so, but along with this came a ‘disclaimer’ that yes, he could mislead whoever he can among the slaves of Allah, except those who believe in Allah and do righteous good deeds.
So basically we do have a choice, either to be among those who get easily mislead by the plans of Iblis (Allah reminds us that the plans of Iblis are dhwaif) who is man’s greatest enemy (Quran 17:53; surely, shaitan is to man a clear enemy) or be among those who are firmly grounded on Iman and fall under the category which Iblis will find utterly impossible to mislead.
So, tomorrow when you hear the adhan for fajr, make a choice on what party you want to be. Mention Allah’s name, get up and in spite of the tempting urge to sleep on, the tightening knots of iblis and probably cold water make wudhu and head out to the masjid for Salah. Make a choice to disappoint your greatest enemy; the enemy who flows inside you like blood until it’s like he has become part of you. Choose to be among the party of Allah, remember, the party of Allah will always be successful.