I always make my intention before going to sleep that I will wake up for fajr salah, but never be able to despite setting my alarms. Is there any reward for making the intention where one could not get up.
I know that Shaytaan ties 3 knots on the children of Adam (A.S) when man goes to sleep! and it is not easy breaking them.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrates that Allah’s Messenger (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Our Lord is pleased with two men: One man who gets up from his bed and his quilt (parting) from his comfort and his wife for prayer. Allah says to His angels: Look at My servant, he got out of bed, his quilt (parting himself) from his comfort and his wife for the sake of prayer with an earnest desire for that which is with Me and out of fear of what is with Me… (Tirmidhi: 373)
From the above the importance and the reward associated with praying Fajr Salah is evident. One should take every precaution to wake up on time, however if after every precaution one is unable to wake up then the Prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is no negligence while one is asleep but forgetfulness occurs when one is awake. If one of you forgets the prayer or sleeps through its time, then he should perform the salah when he recalls it.” (Fiqhus Sunnah: 2.99)
In conclusion although one will not be negligent of missing the prayer (after every precaution taken) due to sleep and will get a reward for having the intention, one should make every effort to wake up. This includes that one sleeps early to enable them to wake up early and in time to pray Fajr Salah. Therefore my recommendation to you is that you go to sleep straight away after performing your Isha prayers and Inshallah this will help you in getting up on time. Also after getting up what one should do in opening the knots Shaytan had tied during the night is explained in the Hadith below. This will and help the individual start the day energised and fresh.
Abu Huraira narrates that Allah’s Apostle said, “Shaytan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays (salah) the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.” (Sahih Bukhari: 2.243)
Only Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham