|Do excuse the grammatical error|
Should be "its" not "it's"
It is winter now, where fajr is from about 6.30 to 8.15 am. In theory, yes, the above picture is true but it's easier said than done. For the last 2 years, waking up for fajr in winter had been one of the biggest struggle. Partly because I'm the type who sleeps a lot. Another, the air would be so cold during winter that getting yourself out of the duvet is definitely one of the major struggles of the day. If you want to talk about fasting, no bother. Fasting during winter had been hard because you tend to get hungry fairly easily when it's cold.
Of course, you can come up with a million reasons of not doing things you don't want to do. Nak seribu daya, tak nak seribu dalih, kan?
After experiencing the whole summer in the UK this year, and knew the struggle of waking up early enough to catch fajr and fast the very long hours of the day, I am determined to not let this winter go to waste. Plus, if this is to be my last winter in the UK, I might never get this chance again.
I was very determined and managed to hold the determination for some while. But then, I got complacent. I tend to get bored very easily and sometimes I forgot to appreciate the blessings that I have, especially if it's obtained easily. Due to my packed (final year!) schedule, fasting was never hard (alhamdulillah, mashaAllah) because my classes or labs would usually be done when it's maghrib time(or after maghrib). So, often I didn't even have the time to feel hungry. And because of my packed schedule, I usually end my day quite early, very consistently due to exhaustion. Therefore, it is quite easy to set the alarm at 5.30 and even after half an hour of snoozing, I can wake up fresh and still have ample time for qiyamullail. But after all this had become a routine, I became satisfied to the point that I could no longer feel the sweetness of doing ibadah. Later on, I became lazy and fell back into the same old pit.
If you didn't get the idea from the previous paragraph, I actually dread this academic year. Last term was about assignments after assignments on top of applications and some other things I do outside of uni. I was overwhelmed by all the things that was happening that all I wanted was a break. Then alhamdulillah, the 4-weeks Christmas break came. I was overjoyed during the first week. I get to sleep whenever I feel like it, read non-academic books, and many more activities that I would feel guilty of doing during term time. I've decided that I would only get back to my academic works on the second half of the holiday, since I have got assignment due by the start of next term.
Halfway into the break, I had fun the last couple of weeks, trying my best to not think about anything academic-related that I put on hold. Now that that is over, reality hits my like a tsunami. I have got an 8-pages interim dissertation to hand in, and I have got tonnes of applications to make. Again, I got overwhelmed by everything that my thoughts were all going against me. I have had insecurity, anxiety, grief, and depression, all hitting me consecutively in the span of a few days. I was battered by my own emotions and I know I had to find cure.
You know how some people keep on saying that qiyamullail is the cure to everything? Even till now, those words still don't make sense to me. This is real pain kot. I still couldn't digest how that extra 2 rakaat, 10 minutes before fajr time can be a cure to anything. But they do. They really do. There's no explanation to it but trust me, they do. Whenever I tell people of my problem and all they could reply is "take care of your relationship with Allah. Do qiyamullail," a voice inside my head would go, "oh come on. Not this again. I want actual solution!" but somehow, I do it anyway.And miraculously, everything works out smoothly afterwards.
So the actual purpose of this post is this next part. Haha. Sorry for the long introduction.
Yesterday was probably the day when my prayers were replied as fast as lightning. I had been lazy the past few days and woke up for fajr at 7.30 for no apparent reason. It wasn't like I wanted to wake up earlier but I couldn't, I was genuinely intending to wake up that late. But during the day, my head was a mess. I told myself that I'm tired of being an adult (though I know I'm barely starting.lol). I was suffocated with everything that I have to do that I fell down to that low point again. So yesterday, after ranting to a couple of people, I decided to rant to Allah. Yes, I know, I should've went to Allah first, before going to anyone else. Sorry, that's a flaw that needs to be fixed.
I rose for a quick qiyamullail and poured my heart to Allah. One best thing about telling Allah your problems is that you don't even need to put them into words. Unlike telling to human beings, you don't need to explain your situation. The way I like to see it is like having a tangled earphone in my pocket. I just need to take out my earphone from my pocket, show it to Allah, hoping that He'll untangle it for me, and He would. That's usually the condition of my heart. Constantly tangled. And all I need to do is to present my heart to Him and He would do the rest.
So yesterday I received an invitation by Kak P to have lunch at her house. Kak P and her family had always been nice to me and I had not seen them in so long. I decided to accept that offer, with the simple niat of having some fresh air. At her house, she invited some other friends so it was like a small gathering of people. There was me, another undergraduate girl named S, and one other family. Throughout that afternoon, all we did was eat and talk.
At the dining table, we talked about all the hardcore adult topics. From starting up life, to financial issues, and even to family plans. It was a very dynamic conversation of the young ones (me and S) sharing their concerns, and the older ones sharing their experiences. It was a really amusing moment when S and I realised that we were sitting and having an intense conversation amongst the adults whilst their kids (who's aged 16 and below) were sitting in front of the telly, not having even the tiniest interest at our conversation. Abang M, Kak P's husband, did his PhD at my university before. He's now working as an engineer. Abang D, Kak P's friend's husband, is a research fellow at another university. He used to lecture at UiTM for a number of years before. They are amazing people with very rich insights. I was just expressing my concerns about my plan to further study when they provided me with a whole load of tips and advices. They gave us their opinions of what we should do next, why they think so, and the reality of today that made us think. Overall, it was a very fruitful afternoon/evening. This is why I believe that this statement below is very true.
I'm constantly amazed at how Allah works His wonders. His tarbiyyah is definitely personalised to that particular person He wishes to do so. He knows me well, better than anyone else. I walked out from Kak P's house yesterday with a clearer picture of what I should do, high on spirit, and ready to take on the challenge. Bismillah. I just hope that He continuously grant me strength from His side to endure all that is to come.
ٱللَّهُ لَطِيفُۢ بِعِبَادِهِۦ يَرۡزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُۖ وَهُوَ ٱلۡقَوِىُّ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ
"Allah is gentle to His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful and the Mighty" (42:19)
I used to sing out this verse everyday in my primary school. Now that I know its meaning, Allah showed me the true context of this verse. He would definitely help me out (i.e. give me His provisions) in whatever I do. And His help would come in the most loving (i.e. gentle) way possible :')