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Replacing Bad Habits – Part 1

May 09, 2022

The Noble Messenger of Allah ﷺ has said, Almighty Allah says,
يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا ذَكَرَنِي، فَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي، وَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُمْ، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ بِشِبْرٍ، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ ذِرَاعًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ بَاعًا وَإِنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي، أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً”
‘I treat my servant according to his expectations from Me, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart…. if he walks towards Me, I run unto him.” (Hadith-Qudsi)

Let us make this time, a time of “Change”. Are You Ready for it??

“Change” is the vogue today. “Change” is being chanted by the Presidents to rally up public support; “Change” is being demanded by the masses suffering due to skyrocketing fuel and commodity prices; “Change”, a drastic one indeed, is what we are witnessing with awe in the global weather patterns.

For Muslims, Ramadhan is the prime time for change. This month dramatically alters our routines and schedules. From tight sleep schedules, to hunger for extended hours, to reduction in consumption of junk foods, to a technology diet; to withdrawal from caffeine addiction, to lengthy standing in Taraweeh prayers at night, to extensive listening to the Holy Quraan. What a change indeed!

The real change, however, Ramadhan demands of us is the internal change – a change that positively transforms our lifestyle, character, attitudes, conversations, and habits. Allah has described this change in the month of Ramadhan as follows:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who believe, fasting has been ordained on you as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may adopt Taqwa” [Quran 2:183]

If our change is limited to outer physical practices only, we become slaves to Ramadhan, instead of being servants to Ar-Rahman (Allah, the Merciful).

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has warned us about those who don’t fast from bad behaviour:
“Allah has no interest in any person’s abstention from eating and drinking, if that person does not give up lying and dishonest actions” (Sahih al-Bukhari).

Every Ramadan we make resolutions and tell ourselves: “This Ramadan will be different. I’m going to change my bad habits.” “I will give up ………”, “I will take my practice of Islam to the next level”. But how many of us are really able to follow through? Plenty of good intentions, many amazing wishes, but sadly enough, life goes on as usual the morning of Eid.

Ask yourself, how is my fasting benefitting my spiritual connection with Allah? How is my extensive worship in Ramadhan helping me discipline my tongue (taste and speech), eyes, ears, and habits?

Are you ready to take that first step to transform your bad habits into good ones?

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