Breaking Bad Habits (and creating better ones) this Ramadan


Breaking Bad Habits (and creating better ones)

this Ramadan

S. Ahmed

Ramadan: the month of fasting and of spiritual reflection. During this month, many of us try our best to become “better” Muslims by identifying and eliminating our bad habits while also hoping to create better ones.

A habit is a thing (or things) done repeatedly and automatically. It’s a reflexive instinct for some people. Not all habits are necessarily bad, but certain habits can be detrimental to us – physically, mentally, spiritually and/or emotionally. We are able to make the distinction between good and bad habits thanks to the intellect that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us.

We all agree that certain habits are no doubt bad habits: smoking, foul language, constantly missing prayer or always praying late are just a few examples. On the other hand, we can cultivate good habits: reading 1 page of Quran every day, praying Salah on time, smiling at people are a few simple good habits one can implement easily.

No matter how small and insignificant seeming a good habit may be, if our intention is to please only our Creator, then our reward will be immeasurable, inshallah. The Prophet’s wife Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired (of doing good deeds). And the most beloved of good deeds to Allah is that in which a person persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) started to do something, they would persist in it.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

This Ramadan, let’s challenge ourselves to identify the bad habits we may have and make a solid intention to break those habits while implementing good ones (no matter how “small” they may be).

A few words of advice on breaking bad habits

  • Reflect honestly on yourself and ask what bad habits you may have. That is, “What am I doing? Why am I doing it?” This is in no way a means to justify your habit, but rather a chance to get a better understanding of the problem and, eventually, a solution.
  • Think about the long-term benefits of eliminating that habit – this is not a time for instant gratification. Be realistic. You won’t see a dramatic change overnight, but with persistence and consistency, the results will take shape over time. Don’t just think about the immediate results, but rather about what it will do for your future.
  • Pace yourself – don’t take more than you can realistically handle all at once.  Again, be honest and don’t drive yourself to extremes.  Many people struggle during Ramadan because they set these grand (and unrealistic) goals for themselves. DON’T FALL IN THIS TRAP! Remember, Allah (SWT) loves any good consistent deed, even if it is small.
  • Be patient – it takes about 21 days to CREATE a habit, so understand that it will take that much time (if not longer) to break it if it’s a bad one.  Don’t become upset if it takes time to overcome a habit. If you mess up, you can just start over again. No one but Allah is able to judge you, and if you are sincere, even your effort will be rewarded. How cool is that!?
  • Get support – No one can truly kick a bad habit and replace it with a good one all on their own. Without the support of others, we are bound to quit and revert to our old ways. Don’t let embarrassment or fear hold you back from asking for support. Reach out to people who won’t judge you or make you feel bad, but instead will encourage you to help become better.
  • Celebrate achievements – congratulate yourself each day that you are successful and reinforce good behavior. On the days that you may slip up, remember that Allah will reward you for your efforts regardless of how you did that day, as long as your heart intended to please Him and only Him.

Finally, seek help from Allah to help you overcome any bad habits, implement better ones, and keep you consistent in all of your good deeds. May Allah bless us in all of our pursuits this Ramadan and accept all of our good deeds, no matter how small, but also forgive us if we fail or make mistakes. In the end, Allahu A’lam, and we seek patience and strength from Him.

North Zone Conference June 23

The North Zone of Muslim Ummah of North America will hold their annual convention on June 23, 2013 at the Islamic Center of North Detroit, or Masjid Al-Falah.


See note below:

“Dear respected brother/sister;

On June 23, 2013 the North Zone (mid-west region) of Muslim Ummah of North America, which is a non-profit faith-based social organization in the United States, has scheduled its annual north zone convention 2013.

The theme of this year convention is “Empowering Community through Faith, Unity and Justice” The convention will focus on collective efforts and involvement to build better community and promote sustainable peace and justice in our society.

On behalf of the MUNA North Zone, please accept our humble invitation and attend this annual convention.

Please note that the event will be from 10 am to 6pm and your arrival and departure time will help us schedule and manage the time adequately. We will be honored by your presence.

Venue:          12555 McDougall Street, Detroit, Michigan 48212

May Almighty God accept all our good deeds! Amen.”