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My wife won’t get up to pray Fajr and gets angry if I wake her. What should I do?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

My wife won’t get up to pray Fajr and gets angry if I wake her. What should I do?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, and may His blessings and peace shower upon our Beloved Messenger.

I know that you find your wife’s lack of concern about the fajr prayer disturbing, but before you get upset with her, consider the following: Why does she get upset when you try to wake her? Could she have a sleep condition? Does she have small children or an infant who might keep her up at night? How much sleep does she get?

If you think your wife might not be getting enough sleep and this is what is preventing her from waking up for Fajr, then try to help her by getting the kids into bed at night, assisting her with the housework, or whatever the case may be.

If this is not the case and she is getting plenty of rest, then just ask her what it is about the prayer that it is so hard for her to get up. Ask her to be honest with you. Tell her that as her husband and her brother in Islam, you care about her. Missing prayers is a serious sin, and you do not want to see her fall into this. Tell her about the great blessing of the Fajr prayer, and that Fajr time is one of the best times for du’a. Tell her that if she gets up and prays with you, this is quality time you can spend together. In addition, couples that worship together are often closer than those who do not.

Give her these words from our Prophet to encourage her:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation, it is as if he had prayed the whole night long. (Muslim, p. 454, no. 656; al-Tirmidhi, 221).

According to a rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith: Whoever prays al-Bardayn will enter Paradise. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 2/52). Al-Bardayn are Fajr and ‘Asr. [These hadiths are courtesy of Sr. Khadija al-Razaq who was kind enough to share them with me.]

Please be patient with your wife and encourage her to make her prayers. Maybe some inspirational tapes by scholars like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf or Shaykh Zaid Shakir would also encourage your wife to reflect on her actions.

Ask Allah to help her. Ultimately, Allah alone is the one who gives success.

And Allah knows best.

Zaynab Ansari

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