“Beep-beep! Beep-beep!” For many people, there are few things in life as dreaded as the sound of an alarm clock, yet that is the sound to which billions of people commence their morning every day, as awakening on time is a priority.

However, come the holidays, and the sound of the morning alarm is replaced with the sound of blissful snores. After months of toil, the family can finally enjoy the chance to sleep in for a while. Instead of rushing, breakfast can be enjoyed in leisure, and for a change, people can even enjoy an afternoon nap.

But, in many homes, those are not the only changes…

Just as the sound of the morning alarm can no longer be heard in the holidays, sadly the sound of the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala can no longer be heard as well… Just as the sound of children turning the pages of their textbooks can no longer be heard, unfortunately the sound of them turning the pages of the Quraan Majeed can no longer be perceived as well… Just as the sound of the parents assisting their children with homework can no longer be heard, lamentably the sound of them conducting ta’leem with their children has also faded away…

People’s general understanding is that during the holiday, one should avoid all activities that are burdensome and unpleasant, instead indulging in recreation and relaxation. Hence, if a Muslim abandons performing salaah, reciting the Quraan Majeed and engaging in zikr during the holidays, what message is he silently conveying? Is he saying that these are unpleasant and burdensome activities? (Allah Ta‘ala forbid!)

Furthermore, when we, as parents, conduct in this manner, then what values are we imparting to our children? Are we teaching them that they should also take a break from Allah Ta‘ala’s Deen from time to time as it is a burden? We may not be saying it so explicitly, but actions speak louder than words…

When a person is in love, he will never find any pleasure or happiness while separated and cut-off from his beloved. Even if he is relaxing in the most scenic location, surrounded by every luxury and being serenaded by the sound of waves crashing gently onto a white beach, he will find little happiness as he is alone, cut off from his beloved. When a Muslim claims to love Allah Ta‘ala, and wishes to become the beloved of Allah Ta‘ala, then how can he ‘abandon’ his relationship with Allah Ta‘ala in the holiday?

When a person becomes the true lover of Allah Ta‘ala then he will only find true relaxation and happiness in His worship. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed Sayyiduna Bilaal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to call out the iqaamah for salaah saying, “O Bilaal! Bring us comfort and relaxation through the salaah.” (Sunan Abi Dawood #4985 & #4986) Likewise, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also said, “The coolness of my eyes has been placed in salaah.” (Musnad Ahmad #14037)

This is something over which we should all ponder carefully. Some of us find enjoyment in baking, others in reading, spending time with friends and other activities, but how many of us find relaxation and enjoyment in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala? Why is it that we can awake happily at 3am to depart on a holiday trip, yet struggle to awake at the same time to worship Allah Ta‘ala?

The answer is that we have not invested enough into our relationship with Him, hence we have not become His true lovers. Thus, just as we avoid work in the holiday, we also regard His worship to be ‘work’.

We should first of all realize how much we have been influenced by modern culture, and how far we are from the blessed way of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Then, we should repent to Allah Ta‘ala, beg Him to instil His love and love for His worship in our hearts. Finally, we must ensure that our homes and holidays are not devoid of His worship, for then the holiday will bring us nothing but loss and misery.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with true happiness and relaxation, aameen.