Thursday, April 15, 2010

Burning the Midnight oil....

Yes, i find it to be a vague expression aswell. But if you think about it, it actually makes sense because in the old days when you didn't have a simple filament lamp, and you had to study like there's no tomorrow, you had to burn alot of oil (and breathe in all the excess smoke) just to get some light to read.

I wonder how many of you prefer to 'burn the midnight oil' whenever you have a lot to study, but dont have much time. I'm sure alot of you do because when you are in such a situation, this seems to be the most viable option for making sure you have studied your subjects. Yes, we might feel extremely sleepy and drowsy at such times, but the amount of topics we might cover during it are quite worth it.

But what I really want to know is how many of you like to be the 'early bird who gets the worm' instead? (Yeah, another strange expression, but I think it makes more sense). Sleeping early, then getting up early aswell, might remind most of us of our dreaded school mornings. But the fact remains, it is the best time of the entire day for any activity you might want to take some time out for, and do.

First of all, getting up early gaurantees that you will get a chance to pray Fajr in the morning (something which, im sad to say, very few of us do). After that, what you get is a nice 5-7 hours of peacful, distraction-free time to do your studies/work. This is mainly due to the fact that everyone else in the house is most probably sleeping and also because you feel so fresh and energetic (unlike 'midnight studies' when you feel so sleepy, its hard to concentrate) you can study for a long while very easily. So once you're up in the mornings you can do anything you want, without ANY distractions what-so-ever. What you do with all that time is up to you though. Just try to make sure you are not wasting it.

By the way, this is not just opinion, but its a proven scientific fact. A study by researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo in the American state of Utah found that:

"students who habitually go to bed late and sleep late the next day have lower grade point averages (GPAs) than students with early-to-bed and early-to-rise sleeping habits.  The later students slept in the morning, the lower their grades tended to be.  Out of all the factors studied, weekday and weekend wakeup times had the strongest association with students' GPAs. Each hour over the average that students slept in on weekdays was associated with a 0.13-point drop on the GPA (0.0-4.0 scale)."
Source: Journal of American College Health 2000

The blessings of the early mornings are also mentioned in the following Hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh):

Narrated Sakhr al-Ghamidi (radiAllahu anhu): 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O Allah, bless my people in their early mornings." When he sent out a detachment or an army, he sent them at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant, and he would send off his merchandise at the beginning of the day; and he became rich and had much wealth.
{Abu Dawud}

This not only refers to spiritual blessings, but also to material ones. That's why whenever the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) sent out troops or an army, he would send them at the beginning of the day. But if we sleep late, we could lose out on the blessings and profits of this time.

I hope that now, you are convinced and will try to make a slight difference in your lifestyle. One which I am pretty sure will allow you to make the most of every day and help you achieve goals that you never could have before, especially when you are under some time constraints.

Feel free to laud, applaud, criticize, comment, question, react, express your views and bring new information to light in the comments section!
All comments are highly appreciated.


  1. Stumbled across your post. Well-written. Good luck with your studies and may you have a bright future Ameen.

  2. Particularly liked your grand-dad's quote. For some funny reason, I find myself wishing that you become a top-class, first-rate doctor in the future. Are you headed in that direction by any chance?

  3. Yes, I will most probably go into the field of medical Inshallah. We will see what happens.