Perhaps Allah’s promise that whomever prays fajr is under His protection is enough to convince you of the benefits of this salah. But have you ever wondered what other sectors of our life is affected by waking up so early in the morning to perform a task such as salat? Is the only benefit of Fajr attaining Allah’s pleasure and God willing, Jannah? Nope, there’s more!
A 2012 research study published by the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology studied the effect of waking up early on task performance. The specific components analyzed were attention and memory. How was this done? Participants in the study were split into two groups. One group (experimental) was assigned to wake up an hour and a half before the sun rose (sound familiar?). The second group (control) was to wake up at the same time they’d normally wake up. After just twenty days, the experimental group showed significant improvement in memory and attention. Although the control group also showed improvement in memory, it didn’t match the level of the experimental group. What’s that tell you? Go all in for #TEAMFAJR!
Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Every good is charity. Indeed among the good is to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother.” -Tirmidhi
“Smile, it’s Sunnah.” This statement looks even better in practice than it does on a Facebook cover photo, but at times, we forget a sunnah is a sunnah no matter what your mood. The sunnah smile has been a topic of research for decades now. And even though we are used to a smile being a reaction to a positive mood, a number of psychological studies found that even forced smiles can cause a positive mood changing effect. Activating the facial muscles that correspond with smiling actually affects neural activity that correspond with a change in mood for the better, according to psychologist and expert Paul Ekman.
It can be difficult to force a smile when you’re not feeling so great but there is not a sunnah except that there is benefit to us in practicing it. So stay #onthatsunnah.
3) Set Intentions
Messenger of Allah (?) said, “The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for”.
Imam Bukhari (may Allah be pleased with him) began his book of hadith with the hadith about intentions. This emphasizes the principle of intentions in our way of life, Islam. What we call intentionality, psychologists may call purposefulness. The concept of purposefulness has been so significant in research that some psychologists have pushed to consider it a superfactor (highly contributing factor to personality). Intentionality is also major component of management and organizational behavior specifically in the case of goal-setting.
4) Follow The One Third Rule of eating
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying: ‘The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.” -Tirmidhi
The obesity epidemic in the United States is no joke. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 68.8% of American adults are overweight. A third of American adults are obese. With rising obesity rates come rising cardiovascular disease. One of the many contributing factors to this is an issue with understanding food portion control. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there is a strong evidence of a positive relationship between portions and body weight.
One thing dietitians, nutritionists , doctors and the like emphasize is the importance of portion control, that is monitoring the size of portions you eat. The mentioned hadith demonstrates portion control beautifully. Take that Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Hope you enjoyed this bit of research and that it encourages you to make efforts towards adopting more sunnahs and practicing with excellence!