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Replacing Bad Habits – Part 5

Maintaining our Spirituality

So today we take a look at the last few points that we should consider in order to maintain our spiritual connection and vibrancy which we had built during the auspicious month of Ramadhan.

13. Remind yourself of Death and Hereafter often: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ beautifully advised us,

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏:‏ ‏ “‏ أَكْثِرُوا ذِكْرَ هَاذِمِ اللَّذَّاتِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ يَعْنِي الْمَوْتَ

“Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures (i.e. death)”. [ Sunan Ibn Majah 4258]

14. Resolve to continue on and follow up: Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as “Tazkiyyah” in Islamic terminology. It’s more difficult than the first few steps of change. (“How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?”). So ensure that you follow up. Link yourself to a good Allah-fearing Islamic Scholar, make a habit of spending time in the Path of Allah and constantly engage in noble and charitable work.

15. Develop a relapse strategy: How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the ‘cost’ of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways. For example that if you do___ act than you will keep three fast or pay so much sadaqah (charity) etc.

16. Ask Allah for Help (Dua): MOST IMPORTANT!-Make Asking for Allah’s Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah’s Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to help and to respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him. Allah will NEVER disappoint us! Allah Ta’ala says,

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ٱدْعُونِىٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

“Ask me, and I will answer your call…” (Quran 40:60)

وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ مَخْرَجًا

وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُۥ

“And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He (Allah) will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” (Quran 65:2-3)

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