Ramadan Challenge: Habit Breaking!

By Sana Aslam

Is there a sin in your life that bugs you again and again? Is it like a bouncy ball – you throw it away and it comes back to you? I’m sure your answer would be in the affirmative.

Countless times in our life we sin, then we feel ashamed and repent. Being only human and thus weak, we tend to keep repeating the same mistakes again and again intentionally or unintentionally.

But don’t worry, Allah (SWT), the Always- All-Merciful, has provided us with this blessed month in order to purify our souls. Not only this, our worst enemy, the one who makes us slip every time, is locked up!

In order to start purifying our souls, it’s important to identify the sins that Shaytan has successfully made an integral part of our lives. Here are a few very common ones:

1. Lying to kids, parents, teachers and friends

Like, telling kids to not go out because there is a dog/lizard/cop waiting outside for them!

2. Backbiting with a group of friends 

Talking bad about teachers you don’t like behind their back. Your nafs goes: “I mean, it’s not really backbiting, is it? They are pretty evil to us!”

3. Cheating in exams

We don’t even consider that a sin anymore – our favourite justification being ‘Oh I’m just helping out someone in need!’ 

4. Showing attitude to parents

Yes this sure happens a lot, doesn’t it? If mommy doesn’t let us visit a friend of ours, we get angry, slam doors, stop eating, make disrespectful comments etc.

5. Not concentrating in prayer

Our thoughts wander here and there plus we keep fixing our clothes etc. during prayer.

These were just a few examples. Sadly, we can think of many more from our own lives.

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But the chance is here! There’s still time to break away from these deeply embedded habitual sins. Let’s try to purify our souls before this blessed month goes away.  Let us all gear up by controlling our soul and let go of 3 habitual sins we are guilty of.

Follow these simple steps to get started:

STEP 1: Grab a pencil and diary.

STEP 2: Think of 3 sins you continuously indulge in and write them down. Be honest to yourself!

STEP 3: Repent from them sincerely. Seek forgiveness, make a special supplication for help, vow not to repeat them again.

STEP 4: Give yourself a target of first 3 days, then a week, then a month until the habitual patterning in your brain goes away. And it does! Your willpower is what’s required. You can also keep small punishments for yourself when you fail, like not having your favourite ice!

STEP 5: Treat yourself after the completion of your targets.

When we are successful in letting go of the sin, let’s then cross it out from the diary. While doing that, imagine how the angels would also be removing that sin from your book of deeds and you won’t have to worry about it on the Day of Judgement inshaAllah.

May Allah help us recognize our shortcomings, guide us to get over them and keep us steadfast. Ameen!

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