My Lord or Landlord?


A story by Anonymous outlining the struggles between who to please in everyday life.

I have been struggling with Fajr prayers for a while now. The cold mornings of this endless winter create an incredible feeling of morning laziness; your blanket is all you need and your bed you will not leave.

I spent about a week trying to wake up for Fajr everyday and could not even pray before I left the house for school. Shaytan’s tricks were endless; his plan for me not to have a special connection with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala kept surprising me everyday: “I should sleep a little more, Fajr is in five minutes anyways, my alarm is too loud, I’ll lower the volume, I can’t wake up so early I have a long day tomorrow, I’ll just pray before I leave, etc.” I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about.

During this infamous week, my landlord sent me an email saying there was a problem with the payment I had made for the month and I needed to get the cheque down to their agency by the following morning, before 8 a.m. I live about an hour and thirty minutes by bus from the agency, which meant I would have to wake up before Fajr time to make it in time.

I woke up right when my alarm went off, took a shower, got ready and was out before Fajr time. While I was waiting for the bus, I realized how cold it was, but something else was nagging at me and I could not understand what it was. I was very upset about having had to wake up early,  and did not even want to go to drop the cheque off to my landlord. Then it hit me. I realized, with tears running down my face, and with awkward looks from people in the bus shelter, that I did not do this for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. I had let Shaytan win over me for a whole week, giving myself all kinds of excuses to not get up and pray, but when it had come to a matter pertaining to the Dunya, to please someone who had authority over me in the Dunya, I did not hesitate. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive me for this and all of us for our negligence concerning Him.

The question remains: who do we want to please? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or mere people, who themselves will suffer for their own sins and shortcomings? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or Shaytan himself? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or our personal desires?

As silly and sad as it sounds, this battle was between my Lord and landlord, although I know my love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is infinite and keeps growing everyday. The situations may vary, but the struggle is the same; whether you have been completely missing Fajr prayer, feel very lazy waking up, or simply missing out on the sweetness of a deed for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the problem remains the same. As Muslims we need to remember how blessed we are to have Islam in our lives, so why not live up to our name, face our struggles, and challenge ourselves for the sake of Allah?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala give us the strength to overcome this feeling of laziness and excuses that we constantly hide behind, Ameen.

I want to end with a du’aa my father used to repeat in the car every morning when we were kids; a du’aa I only recently became fond of and deeply attached to:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, anxiety and sorrow, and I seek refuge in You from the torments of grave, and I seek refuge in You from the trials and tribulations of life and death.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows best.