Author : Heba Shakeel
“Oh Allah, even as the world sleeps, rise us in the stillness of the early morning, awakening not only our body, but also our spirit, to honor and worship You. Please, graciously accept our humble acts of worship, forgive us for our shortcomings, and guide us towards the path of righteousness.”

In the heart of the bustling city, where skyscrapers stretched towards the heavens like giant fingers of steel and glass, there nestled people whose hearts beat to the rhythm of a different drum. As dawn broke, the city still slumbered under the star-speckled blanket of night, but the inhabitants of this community were awakening, stirred by a call older than the city itself. Meet Hamid, a man in his early thirties, his face a blend of youthful energy and the wisdom of years. As the first hint of the morning sun painted hues of crimson and gold across the sky, he rolled out his prayer mat in the quiet solitude of his high-rise apartment. His hands, usually occupied by intricate schematics and cuttingedge technology, now humbly held together in tranquil devotion. Across the sprawling cityscape, Fatima, a teenage girl with expressive eyes and a determination belying her age, was also welcoming the dawn. In the echoing corridors of a school that knew little of her faith, her hijab was her crown of modesty and identity. As she bowed in prayer, her heart filled with a quiet strength that pulsated with every word of her prayer.
Simultaneously, David arose from his bed in the small hours, his heart echoing with the resonating words of the Adhan, the call to prayer. His journey to faith had been one of searching and selfdiscovery. Yet, each dawn brought a renewed sense of inner peace and clarity. In the midst of this community lived Ayesha, a young woman whose passion for justice flowed as relentless and determined as the city’s bustling arteries. A fierce advocate for social justice, she bore the weight of her community’s hopes and the scrutiny of critics. But as she greeted the dawn with prayer, she drew from an inexhaustible well of resilience and determination. These lives, distinct as they were, danced around the axis of faith. They found solace in the silent whisper of dawn, in the humble act of prayer at a time when the world around them was cloaked in stillness. Each morning, as the dawn prayer ascended from their lips to the skies, they felt a communion, a silent understanding that despite the trials of their existence, they were part of a story much larger than their own.
As the sun began to assert its presence, Hamid stepped into his world of zeros and ones. His mind, a veritable fortress of knowledge, tackled complex challenges, weaving magic into lines of code. Each click of the keyboard was a reminder of the patience he had cultivated in navigating his faith amidst the ethical maze of technology. Fatima, on the other hand, walked the echoing halls of her high school with a grace that defied her years. She was a canvas of vibrant colours amidst a monochrome backdrop, her hijab a swirling galaxy of pride and identity. The whispers that followed her were often a blend of curiosity and ignorance. Yet, she remained steadfast, her spirit fueled by the discipline and resilience the dawn prayer instilled in her each day. Dawood found solace in the rhythms of his new faith. His daily routine, once filled with chaos, now had the structured cadence of the Salah. Amidst the noise of activism, Ayesha remained an unwavering beacon of light for her community. She battled stereotypes and misconceptions, armed with the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) and the strength of her convictions. As she navigated the labyrinth of social justice, she drew her courage from the solitude of the dawn prayer, where she found solace and resolve. Their lives, entwined through the common thread of faith, seemed to parallel the journey of the sun. As it rose in the sky, they faced the day’s trials; when it reached its zenith, they sought solace in Dhuhr prayer; as it began to descend, they embraced the calm of Asr prayer; and when it dipped beneath the horizon, they found peace in Maghrib and Isha prayer. Yet, the spirit of the dawn prayer stayed with them, a beacon guiding their path in the complexity of their world. In the heart of the city that never slept, they were the unsung heroes rising before the sun, their voices united in the quiet chorus of the dawn prayer. And so, they continued their journey, not just as individuals navigating their faith, but as part of a collective narrative of resilience and perseverance, their lives a testament to the beauty of Islam amidst the crescendo of a world often blind to it.
And so, the dawn of each new day was not merely a symbol of the rising sun, but a celebration of their faith, a testament to their journey, and a beacon of hope for every Muslim navigating their path in the modern world. They were not just the keepers of the dawn, but the torchbearers of their faith, lighting the way for the generations to follow. The Qur’an mentions this dawn prayer in Surah Isra and refers to it as being ‘witnessed’, which is understood by scholars to mean angels witness it. Observe the prayer from the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and the dawn prayer, for certainly the dawn prayer is witnessed (by angels) (Quran 17:78) Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH) and blessings be upon him, said, “Angels come to you in succession by night and day and they meet at the Fajr prayer and the Asr prayer. Then those who had stayed with you overnight ascend to Allah, who asks them, though he knows best about you: How did you leave my servants? They say: “We left them while they were praying and we came to them while they were praying.” (Bukhari 555, Muslim 632) This Hadith illustrates the attendance of angels during the Fajr prayer, adding further significance to it. “Oh Allah, even as the world sleeps, rise us in the stillness of the early morning, awakening not only our body, but also our spirit, to honor and worship You. Please, graciously accept our humble acts of worship, forgive us for our shortcomings, and guide us towards the path of righteousness.” May our lives mirror the dawn prayer – a beacon of unwavering faith, constancy, and a renewed commitment to our Creator. Just as each new day begins with the promising glow of dawn, may our lives, too, be imbued with the perpetual light of His guidance and grace. Ameen.


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