Jul 11, 2012


By Aasiya Maryam


I always believe change is good. It’s a part of our life. If everything in life was stagnant, life would cripple us. Thus, all that we feel or experience is a blessing in disguise from Allah subhaana wa ta'aala and so is change.

We all know the change that comes with the month of Ramadan. Our entire day-to-day routine is changed- While we were struggling to wake up for fajr throughout the year, we see ourselves up an hour before fajr during Ramadan. While we are disconnected from the Quran throughout the year, we try hard to complete the entire Quran during Ramadan be it by reading it on your own or in tarawaeeh prayers. But have you ever sat back and thought that why this change is only temporary in most our lives? We do see these changes as something positive, right? We all know how important it is for us to establish our Salah on time, how important it is to stay connected to Quran but yet we let these actions fade away so easily once Ramadan is over! Some of us even go a step further and give up our bad habits like listening to music this month, but just the day after Eid we are back to square one watching TV, listening to music and what not! Makes me question – Are we just Muslims during Ramadan? Surely not we might say, but our actions definitely depict that, astaghfirullah!

Did you know that it is a scientifically proven fact that repeating a task every day for 21 days in a row makes it a habit and doing it for 30 days ensures that your new habit gets well established? [1]

So, the blessing of Ramadan is in the fact that we perform an action consistently for 30 days, which means if some action is being performed with the right intentions then that action can become our habit, inshaAllah!

Dear Readers, let this Ramadan be not the one where we stop doing the good things once it ends. Let this Ramadan be not the one where we lose connection with Allah after it’s over! Rather let this Ramadan be one of change that is permanent and not temporary. Change that will keep you close to your deen and help you lead the life that is pleasing to Allah.

Here are 8 ways to help you hold on to the habit even after Ramadan ends:

Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended…” [2]
Keep your intentions for the sake of Allah and to achieve the ultimate goal – Jannah (paradise).

During Ramadan we do things because we have to do it and not necessarily cause we want to do it. For e.g., you get up for suhur because you have to! Now what happens when Ramadan ends is that the need to wake up also ends, since that’s how we have programmed our mind for it. But in order to establish a good habit we need to be willing to do it, and not do it just for the sake of it! For this we replace the “have to” with a “want to” and of ‘course intend to do it for a good reason. Thus, instead of saying “I have to wake up early tomorrow for suhur”, you can say “I want to get up early so I can establish the habit of waking up for tahajjud for the sake of Allah”.

Stay motivated by reminding yourself why you intended to do the act in the first place; remember how Allah is pleased with it. Read about the virtues of the actions that you are performing, make a mental note of it or write it on a stick note and put it up in a place where it will serve as a reminder for you.
   For example, if you have developed the habit of reading Quran everyday then remind yourself of this hadith:
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” [3] [4]

Or if you are working on getting up for fajr then remind yourself:
“Whoever prays fajr is under the protection of Allah. Do not put yourselves in a situation where Allah has to call you to account for your negligence.” [5]

NEVER give up. You might slow down a bit but make sure you don’t stop doing it completely. The moment you see yourself falling, pull the “danger” trigger and lift yourself up again!

A sister mentioned that one of the reasons she is unable to keep up her habits after Ramadan is because of absence of family participation. So, one way to tackle this is by finding an imaan buddy. They can be anyone from your close friends or even a family member, someone who will help you hold on to your habits and you help them with theirs. You also keep a check on each other’s Imaan levels and give it a lift when there is need. Make a pact with them and help each other to keep the spirits high even after Ramadan.

If you do not have any family members or friends who can be help you with this then find someone online in an Islamic forum or group.

In worst case if you do not find anyone, then don’t give in. Remind yourself you are doing this for the sake of your akhira and on the day of judgement you are going to be questioned alone!

Satan will try everything possible to get you out of any habit that is bringing you closer to Allah. But don’t give in to his whispers and suggestions. Remember he promised to do everything to lead us astray, don’t let him win! Seek Allah’s help at every step.

A dear sister always recommends performing wudu and offering 2 rakat nafl salah repeatedly until we feel. So, whenever you feel like giving up or the day you feel too weak to continue with what you are doing then try this mantra. It works wonders, mashaAllah!

I’d like to share a personal experience when it comes to breaking bad habits:
One Ramadan, I gave up watching TV and alhumdulillah I managed to continue this for about 2 months after that. But then it so happened that I was oblivious to the other things I can do, since most of my time was spent in watching TV otherwise. Once I was extremely “bored” and had nothing to do, so to kill time I decided I’d watch some TV but restrict to watching just good stuff like Discovery and National Geography. Now, that was enough for my habit of watching TV to relapse, I didn’t even realise when I started watching those addictive soaps again, astaghfirullah.

The reason I mention this is because if you too have decided to give up on some bad habit then be sure that Satan will try to get you back into doing it, so don’t let yourself get even close to that habit. Stay away from it, the people and the place that might make it relapse again. Above all, keep yourself busy!

Don’t forget Allah loves deeds that are consistent even if small.
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” [6]
I understand that it’s easier to do things in Ramadan because firstly the devils are locked up, so we have only our nafs to fight against and secondly there is a positive vibe in air that keeps us going. Like a sister put it there is a disciplined structure that comes with Ramadan and there are a lot of communal activities happening that motivate us and with Ramadan even these end, so it becomes a lot harder to hold on to the good that we were doing during this month. But let’s remember - anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

Thus, a strong muslim is one who can handle the storm. He/she is not the one who can be good during Ramadan but rather the one who can be good otherwise too for the sake of Allah subhaana wa ta'aala.

So, this Ramadan AND after it’s over, let’s strive to be that strong muslim! Are all of you in for this challenge?

1. http://scienceray.com/technology/30-days/#ixzz1uqZdF4GuI
2. Sahih Bukhari
3. At-tirmidhi
4. Benefits of reading Quran - http://www.themodernreligion.com/basic/quran/quran-benefits.html
5. Reported by al-Tabaraani, 7/267; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6344.
6. Sahih Bukhari 

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


This is a great article that I am about to print. Inshallah, I want to stop at least some of the bad habits I have including with not hanging out with so many non-Muslims who say their God fearing but really aren't. I believe that type of company has messed me up in the past. Allah knows my heart and intentions, inshallah.

Alhumdulillah, I am glad the article inspired you sister. JazakaAllahu Khair! <3

May Allah make things easy for you and help you bring about a positive change in your life this Ramadan and post it!

All the articles associated with the start of Ramadan are informative and inspiring. I look forward to Ramadan to re-establish the path that you fall off. Allah knows my heart and intentions, inshallah I will be guided to the path again.

Alhumdulillah, on behalf of the HH team I would like to say that we are very glad to know that the articles being published are helping and inspiring you! :) Lot's more lined up, inshaAllah, so keep coming back and also do share them for khayr! :)
May Allah reward you for your intentions and help you make a strong positive change this Ramadan!

JazakaAllahu Khair! :)

Intentions are really very important, being sincere and humble in seeking the change and consistently renewing one's intentions. InshaAllah, one of my top focus this ramadan is to renew intention throughout and make tawassul with these intentions and actions which follow....                       

I love the idea of 'ramadan buddies' to support each other's ramadan goals (extra ibadaah + new habits...) fisabilillah, InshaAllah.

We pray to be among those who witness ramadan and benefit from it.    

Very true sis! May Allah help you reach your goal for this Ramadan.

Ameen to your dua!

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