Maintaining our Spirituality
Replacing Bad Habits
Eliminating bad habits can certainly prove to be a tough challenge, since they become part of our daily routines and even our personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.
However, the good news is, Ramadhan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from “positive psychology” (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes between 30 to 40 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.
In addition to the physical discipline during the month of Ramadhan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can help you not only to transform your bad habits into good ones but to rid yourself of the evil ones for life.
Over the next few days we will take a look at some tried and proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits as we aspire to maintain our spirituality beyond the Blessed month.
1. Acknowledge and identify your bad habits: First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change. Failure to identify your bad habits will set you back, and will certainly hamper your path to reformation.
2. Pick a habit for this month: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one each month. If you are committed to changing at least one bad habit, you will see remarkable results, Allah-willing.
3. Realize that it’s in us to change: Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.
4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: The Noble Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ ”
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” (Hadith -Sahih Muslim)
This is not an excuse for us to continue transgressing and violating the commands of Allah, but a motivation that no matter how much we have sinned there is always hope of forgiveness from Allah.