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HABITS & RAMADAN – 5 Step Guide to Wean off Bad Habits and Develop Good Habits


Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

Ramadan is the month of blessings, improving oneself, developing good habits and getting enriched spiritually.

Habits pretty much help us run our daily life. Whatever we do is a result of some habit we developed at a point in our life. They help us do the routine activities in sort of an automated way and enable us to concentrate on other activities efficiently. Breathing, walking, chewing food, combing etc. are habitual actions which allow us to think something else while we are doing them.

Whatever we repeat over time becomes a habit and gets ingrained in our life. It goes without saying that the habits we have impact our life and health of the body and soul. Good habits nourish it while bad habits deprive it of the peace required. Habits help avoid stress and live in a balanced way. As a Muslim, one of our aims must be to nourish our soul and make our heart soft which of course is an on-going process and developing good habits facilitates it whereas bad habits shower the process or make us abandon it all together.

Fasting helps us have some control over our desires and as muslims we try to increase our spiritual connection with Allah during this month. Studies show that it takes about 30 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one. Ramadan is the month to get rid of bad habits, develop good ones and get closer to Allah.

A 5 step guide to kick away your bad habits and replace them with good ones.

1. Identify/Acknowledge/Record trigger
The first step is to wholeheartedly accept your bad habits, record t hem and follow them diligently to see what exactly is triggering a particular habit of yours. It could be anything from being in a stressful situation to boredom or lack of activities to do. A battle well begun is half won, and acknowledging a bad habit is the beginning of this batter.

2. Intention & asking Allah’s help
The second step after acknowledging your habit is to have the intention to change it for the better. Nothing is possible without Allah’s help, make loads of dua seeking Allah’s help. Ask Allah to make the journey easy for you, to help you achieve your goals and to stay clean from that particular habit. Allah loves those who seek help from him and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has said that Allah in a hadith qudsi,“If you come to Me walking, I will come to you running.”

3. Replace bad with good – Plan
Planning is an important part of being successful in achieving our goals. A bad habit can’t be stopped unless replaced with some other habit. The time you spend for the bad habit will leave you with free time and it’s up to you to ensure that you do something productive during that time. In a short span of time your brain will be used to seeking out the good habit instead of the bad one after being prompted by the trigger. Rather than one long term goal, plan in small steps and achieve them one by one.

4. Habit buddy/ Support system
We all need support systems who constantly remind us and encourage us to do better and kick off the bad habit. Make a habit buddy or buddies and share with them your intention and plan to change your habits. They’ll be the cushion you fall back on when things seem difficult and the people to share your success with on accomplishments.

5. Reward yourself
The joy of rewarding oneself after achieving something is immense. Be patient with yourself and reward yourself even on achieving the small milestones. Celebrate your success and share it with your habit buddies. It boosts one’s morale and helps achieve better results.
“Developing any good habit is no easy task and takes time. One often ends up failing and dejected, but remember, you need to be patient with yourself. Do not give up! It is normal and a part of weaning off a bad habit.”

Embark on this journey of changing habits with a pure intention and seek Allah’s help. Make dua for your success and do whatever you can, widen your horizon and strengthen your willpower, for, Allah says in Surah Ar-Rad :

“….. Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.’’
{Surah Ar-Rad 13: Ayaah 11}

The team of Ideal Muslimah prays you have a successful journey of replacing bad habits with good ones and have a blessed Ramadan. May Allah accept our efforts.

Authored by Farheen Naaz
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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