As Ramadan is approaching, everyone starts thinking of everything they want to change about themselves during this holy month. Whether they are habits you want to incorporate into your life or ones you want to break, Ramadan is your perfect chance. Those thirty days could change so much about your life if you simply seize that chance and work on it, and the list divides into two: Habits to Incorporate and Habits to Break.
Habits to Incorporate
Praying -and on Time:
This may seem like a given, but more often than not, prayers feel like an obligation that one does only to be done with the task. There are ways to turn prayer times into something that you yearn for, and one of those is to turn your prayer spot into a calm and secluded place.
Think of prayer as a meeting with Allah; you are about to meet the most important entity in your life -and your afterlife- so how do you want that to go? Do you want to be distracted or disoriented? No, you want to be calm and in your best shape. Take the time with your wudu’ and have 2-3 minutes before praying to say dhikr; most of the prayer preparation is mental.
Another way to have yourself looking forward to prayer time is by thinking of it as a break from the world; you don’t have to do anything other than speak to your Creator. Take the time to pour your heart out to Him, and believe that He truly listens.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنٌا الإِنْسٌانَ وَ نَعْلَمُ مٌا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسَهُ وَ نَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
“Unquestionably We have created mankind and We know what his soul whispers to him (the evil whisperings) and We are closer to him than his jugular vein.” (50:16).
See, that is the beauty of prayer, that even if you are unable to utter what burdens your soul, your Creator is All-Knowing and is the most Merciful of all. Implement those concepts within your prayers, and you will feel as if you are cleansing yourself of everything that you want to get rid of, one prayer at a time. Finally, you will be looking forward to your five daily breaks from the world.
Your golden ticket to everything you want to achieve. Tahajjud is a prayer that is performed best at the last third of the night -about 2-3 hours before Fajr. It can go from a minimum being 2 rakaat to any number you want really, and this is when you ask Allah for any and everything that your heart desires. This habit also encourages you to wake up for Fajr and gives you time to mentally and spiritually devote yourself to your connection to Allah.
Implementing gratitude in your everyday life can be life-altering; it is one of the habits that can change the way you even see things. How does that relate to your religion? It is by trusting Allah in a way that is beyond all earthly worries and attachments; this may seem like an impossible concept to fully comprehend, but the beauty of Islam is that even the willingness to do a good deed is counted. Hence, if you try to trust Allah blindly, you will eventually feel gratitude towards everything in your life, even the hardships; think of them as character development, as in the way you cannot be your best self unless you undergo some major changes.
Feeding Your Mind and Soul
The saying goes: “we are what we eat”. If this is correct body-wise, then it must be correct mindset-wise too. In other words, if you are subjected to something as one of your daily habits -e.g. music- you will eventually be programmed to think of it as an irreplaceable part of your day-to-day life. Now imagine if the concept is reversed and you start listening to Quran daily; you will feel like Quran is a must in your life. And no, this is not a comparison where it is Quran vs. music.
Ditching music altogether could be really hard for some people, maybe you are one of them, and that is okay. Listening to Quran doesn’t have to mean that you replace your artistic side; it should only mean that you are Striving to stay connected to Allah through small habits.
Finally, feeding your soul with healthy religious habits does not only include Quran. Some podcasts could make you fall in love with Islam all anew; one of these is a podcast called وعي. It is available on Youtube and Anghami, alongside many other podcasts that can revitalize your religiousness in a way that can change your whole mindset and leave you wanting more habits to include in your day.
Habits to Break
Gossiping and Backbiting
Gossiping is one of the habits that can result in chaos in your internal life -your soul and mindset- and your external one -your relationships. It is forbidden for a reason and no good could ever come from it. If you are fluent in the gossiping language, it might be hard at first to quit it completely. However, it is not impossible. Habits that include other people around you are very dependent on said people, so if you remove the bad circle you break the bad habit. Which leads you to the next point…
Circles and Crowds
In this Hadith, it is explained how people tend to pick up some traits and habits of those whom they surround themselves with. This means that if you surround yourself with people who do good, you will be encouraged to do so as well.
However and unfortunately, this also has the opposite effect if you surround yourself with a different crowd; in other words, if you surround yourself with people who curse and swear, you will end up doing the same just because your mind is now normalizing those words because of how often you have heard them. And this leads to the next point…
Cursing and Swearing
In this Hadith, it is expressed how a true Muslim shall not indulge in cursing and swearing as one of his habits. Sometimes you are provoked to curse yes, but abstaining from it is very rewarding, and if you leave something for the sake of Allah, your reward will be even bigger.
If you are looking for a way to keep yourself on track daily during Ramadan, we created this journal specifically for you! Thank us later 😀
Ramadan is one of the greatest chances to develop a new lifestyle that encourages you to incorporate healthy religious habits and to break the ones that you want to leave behind you once and for all. So start planning and do not give up on yourself; take this article as a true sign that Allah is inviting you to his company throughout your life and leave your worries behind.
Also pray for me since I wrote to you now, what? 1400 words? Yep, prayers earned, indeed. Ramadan Kareem to you guys, Uthhub wishes you a month full of growth and prosperity in your connection to Allah.