We’re often amazed by the incredible amount of work successful people get done. One of the secrets behind their success lies in their morning routines. This article lists the 7 most impactful routines you can incorporate into your life so that you are successful.
The Quran and the Sunnah provide us with Divine and practical guidance in all areas of our lives. When we purify our intentions, implement this guidance and work hard, we will, inshaAllah, achieve success in this world as well as the Aakhira.
There is no doubt that the true success comes from Allah subuhanawuta’ala; who else, besides Him, can guide you to success?
An example of this beautiful guidance is from the following sahih hadith:
“O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings.” (Sunan ibn Majah)
Waking up early means that you are getting a portion of this incredible blessing (barakah)! This is also why in the Quran, we are frequently told to make adkhar in the mornings.
So, as a part of the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (PBUH), we are encouraged to wake up early and to make use of these hours. We also know that following the Sunnah will benefit us in both worlds.
Morning routines: what researchers are saying
Recent scientific studies also confirm the benefits in having morning routines. But what, specifically, have researchers found?
- Some of these studies have shown that morning people exhibit character traits like optimism, being agreeable, satisfaction and diligence. Night owls, while linked with creativity and intelligence, are more likely to exhibit traits like depression, pessimism and anxiety.
- Research conducted by Texas University found that students who consistently woke up early each day actually earned better test scores and overall grade points in comparison to those who frequently slept in.
- In another study, researchers found that early risers are proactive. This also means that they’re more eager to achieve something in their lives.
What you can do to make the most of your mornings
One of the best ways to improve your health is by spending the first 2-3 hours of your day quietly. Begin your day in a stress-free manner. We all know how much stress people go through when they wake up late to work.
If you are poised to achieve success in both worlds, here are 7 things you can do within the first 2-3 hours after waking up.
1. Wake up for Tahajjud
After the obligatory prayers, Tahajjud is the best prayer to come closer to Allah and, thereby, improve our spiritual health. And the best time to pray Tahajjud is at the last part of the night.
The blessings of this prayer is pretty self-explanatory from these two hadiths:
“The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time, then do so.” (At-Tirmidhi, sahih)
“Observe the night prayer; it was the practice of the righteous before you, and it brings you closer to your Lord, and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repels disease from the body.” (At-Tirmidhi1)
2. Spend some time with the Quran and in the remembrance of Allah
A phone without a charger is just, well, a dead phone. Likewise, a Muslim/ah needs to connect to Allah through various forms of adkhar, and specifically, by reciting the Quran. In the Quran, we’re told:
“And glorify the name of your Lord morning and evening” (Al-Quran, 76:26)
Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) compared the believer who recites the Quran to a citrus fruit. He said, “The parable of the believer who recites the Qur’an is that of a sweet citrus fruit: its fragrance is nice, and its taste is nice. The parable of the believer who does not recite the Qur’an is that of a date: it has no smell, but its taste is sweet…” (At-Tirmidhi, Sahih)
3. Pray Fajr with its sunnah (and if possible in the masjid)
Pray Fajr on time, but also remember to pray the sunnah prayer that comes before it. Here is a hadith about this prayer:
“Two Rakat for Sunnah of Fajr prayer are better than the Dunyaa and everything that is in it” (Sahih Muslim)
Just imagine, what about the Fajr prayer then? What about, then, going to Masjid for Fajr prayer?
4. Workout in the morning
In a previous blog post, I’ve talked extensively about how working out in the morning is very beneficial to our lives. One of the key takeaways was this: working out in the morning helps you to be focused for the rest of the day.
5. Take a shower
As you probably know, Islam stresses a lot about personal hygiene. From numerous hadiths, we have been given explicit commandments about personal hygiene. The most important one is this:
“Cleanliness is half of our imaan”. (Sahih Muslim)
And having a shower in the morning helps you to fulfil this commandment, and it also gives you the boost you need to start the day well.
Morning showers provide a host of benefits, but the greatest of all these benefits is that it helps you increase your levels of alertness throughout the day, provided you blast yourself with cold water (ca. 200 Celsius) in the last 1-2 minutes of your shower.
6. Eat a healthy breakfast
Our body needs good care and proper maintenance. And the best way to maintain yourself? By having a healthy meal.
One of the best ways to jumpstart your day is eating a healthy breakfast that is full of protein, healthy fat, vegetables and some whole-wheat carbs.
This is one of my favourite breakfasts:
- ¼ of an Avocado
- 3 organic eggs
- Loads of vegetables
- Some lentils
7. Plan the day
I’ve discussed this in my Ramadan Guide, but planning is perhaps one of the most neglected parts of the Sunnah. 9 out of 10 people I come across haven’t planned their day, never mind their week or year.
Beginning your day with a proper plan that’s already been set helps you to be focused and productive. If you want to achieve more with less efforts, this simple strategy can do the trick!
Take around 10 minutes at the start of your day and list the most important tasks that need your attention. Allocate some specific time for these tasks and commit them to writing. Here is an example of my daily plan:
- 08:30 – 09:30: Blog post
- 09:40 – 10:40: Learning
- 11:00 – 12:00: Meeting with the technical team
- 12:00 – 13:30: Lunch
As you see, every minute is allocated to a specific task. This gives me unprecedented focus, and I’m able to get things done in a shorter time.
Remember, successful mornings don’t just happen; they require effort.
Question: From the above list, what is the one single act you can add today to your morning routine?
1 It seems that this hadith is not authentic (or at least there is a great deal of difference of opinions about it). However, some scholars say that the narration is authentic without the last part (about it being a cure). Nevertheless, the reality of many who have practised Tahajjud regularly proves that if one prays and supplicates to Allah in the latter part of the night with ikhlas(sincerity), it may well serve their health and general well-being.