The early morning is a beautiful time. Everything is quiet and still. The streets and highways (and the office) are empty, and everything is at peace. It’s little wonder that this is a preferred time to pray and seek forgiveness.
As narrated by Abu Huraira, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said
يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ
Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?
Just 10 minutes before Fajr (or ~70 minutes before sunrise) is all you need, really, and InshaAllah it can take you a bit closer to earning His mercy and favor.
As Allah azza wa jall Himself told us in Surah ali Imran
زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ
قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيْرٍ مِّن ذَٰلِكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.
Say, “Shall I inform you of [something] better than that? For those who fear Allah will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from Allah . And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants –
Those who say, “Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire,”
The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah ], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.
And reiterated in Adh Dhariyat
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ
آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَٰلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ
كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ
وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs,
Accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that doers of good.
They used to sleep but little of the night,
And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness…
Sadly (for me), most mornings I rush through a shower, throw on some clothes and rush out the door with barely a thought towards God, let alone praying “Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire” or anything else, and may Allah guide me to better, Ameen.
It would be a shame if all this getting up early only led to good parking spots…
And due to the office move, this is probably one of the last streaking taillights pics I’ll have from this location… maybe I should make a commemorative zine or something… hummm…