The Qur’an that is “witnessed”

In the Quran itself, Allah calls the Quran recitation in prayer at the time of Fajr, a recitation that “is witnessed”:

أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

“Establish regular prayers – at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.” [17:78]

The question arises: what “testimony” does the “Quran Al-Fajr” (Quran reading/recitation before dawn) carry?

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, the term “Quran Al-Fajr” means the Salah of Al Fajr i.e. the first obligatory prayer of the day.

It further states, “According to the version recorded in the two sahihs from Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet pbuh said: “The angels of the night and the angels of the day come amongst you in successive groups (in shifts). They meet at the morning prayer (Fajr) and at the mid-afternoon prayer (‘Asr). Those who stayed among you at ascend, and their Lord asks them, although He knows best about you, “How did you leave my servants” They say, “We came to them when they were praying and we left them when they were praying.”

Abdullah bin Masoud RA said, “The two guards meet at Salat Al-Fajr, and one group ascends while the other stays where it is.”

There is great wisdom in this system of the timings of salat. One of these is to avoid the timings of the worship of the sun worshipers. This is because the sun has always been in every age one of the greatest deities of the mushriks, who worshiped it especially at the time of sunrise and sunset.

Therefore, these two times have totally been forbidden for salat. Besides this, they worshiped the sun at the time of its zenith. That is why Islam has ordained that the Muslims should offer their two prayers during the day time after the sun has declined and the Fajr prayer before the sunrise.

The Prophet pbuh himself has stated this wisdom of the timings of prayer in several traditions. For instance, in the tradition related by Amar bin Abasah, the Prophet pbuh is reported to have replied to a question to this effect: Offer your morning prayer, but refrain from it when the sun is about to rise until it has risen high. For the sun rises between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it at that time.

Then after mentioning the Asr prayer, he said : After Asr prayer, refrain from any prayer until the sunset, for during that time the sun sets between the horns of Satan and the unbelievers fall prostrate before it.

The rising and the setting of the sun between the horns of Satan is a symbolic expression that has been used in this tradition. This implies that both these times are used by Satan as temptations for the people. This is, as if to say: that Satan is so pleased with the worship of the unbelievers at the time of sunrise and sunset that he appears to carry the sun on his head as a mark of approval. This interpretation of the tradition is based on this remark of the Prophet pbuh : The unbelievers fall prostrate before it.

Further, Fajr is very important prayers and it is one of the factors that measures the level of faith of the person as well a strengthen our Imaan continuously. Fajr Salaah is the practical demonstration and testimony of faith (Imann). And even start our day with the remembrance of Allah. But due to our life style, late at night culture. We often miss our prayers or couldn’t get up. Fiirstly, the determination is the key. And preapare ourselves mentally and have a willing heart to fulfill this important obligation. This is religious commitment (must performe on time) ordained by Allah. Definitely, we need to be sincere towards it.

There is no doubt about the fact that the early morning hours carry special blessings. This has even been endorsed by the prayer and sleep schedule of Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his companions.

Sakhr Al-Ghamidi said: “The Messenger of Allah said: “O Allah, bless my ummah in the mornings.’ Whenever he sent out troops or an army, he would send them at the beginning of the day.’” Sakhr was a trader, and he used to send out his caravans at the beginning of the day, and he did well as a result and made money.” [Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

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