This past weekend my nieces and nephews came over for our first sleepover. We had a lovely pizza evening followed by a anasheed evening with words being mumbled and lovely tea in tiny Turkish teacups. The four-year-old and three-year-old were super impressed and were enjoying the novelty of the time together as a family. And then suddenly the usual crankiness sets in. Everyone is tired and no one wants to share anymore. All the fun vanished in seconds as they become overwhelmed by the business of the day and are now unable to deal with the fatigue consuming them.
We quickly divide and conquer- I take my son and put him down for the night. I can hear the little girls trying to sleep but being older they fight it at every turn. After tucking my son in I joined my sister and the two little ones and began reciting. Overstimulated. Fatigued. Emotional from bidding farewell to their parents as they left for Hajj, they struggled to fall asleep. I began reading all the daily duas but quickly realized I need a stronger Dua. They were determined not to fall asleep. And I remembered a beautiful dua when one has trouble falling asleep:
|To be recited when having difficulty obtaining sleep|
|اللَّهُمَّ غَارَتِ النُّجُومُ وَهَدَأَتِ الْعُيُونُ وَأَنْتَ حَيٌّ قَيُّومٌ * لَا تَأْخُذُكَ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ أَهْدِئْ لَيْلِي وَأَنِمْ عَيْنِي|
|“O Allah the stars have gone far away and the eyes are rested. You are Ever living and Infinite, You do not slumber nor does sleep overtake You. Oh Alive and the Everlasting One, grant me rest tonight and let my eyes sleep (close).|
|I began reading and within moments we had two little curly-haired girls fast asleep. As we laid there, I marveled at the words of this beautiful dua. A dua for every struggle. A way to manage every overwhelming situation. These qualities of Allah mentioned in this dua highlight the complete reliance we have on Allah for He is without a doubt Al Hayy – Al Qayyum. As parents and aunts your days are wrangled with so many little tantrums and dramas, and now all you want is to have some quiet time whilst the kids are asleep. Sometimes we shout, sometimes we threaten, sometimes we sing and pat them to fall asleep. Yet as you recite this Dua, you are asking Allah Ta’ala to calm them down and to make them fall asleep – simply because you know that it is only, He who can.|
This Dua highlights to us the incredible power of Allah Ta’ala, in that He never needs the rest that we are unable to function without. He runs the entire world and yet He never needs to slumber or even to rest His eyes for a moment. We read this dua for the little ones, but you can read this dua when you find yourself tossing and turning and unable to find total rest. As you recite the dua, ponder on the beautiful words of this Dua but at the same time reflect on our inability to even find rest whilst our bodies might be screaming for it in the face of His total Control.