By Nadeem Ashraf (Speaker, Youth Club).
Let’s make this Ramadaan the month where we rid ourselves of old bad habits and gain new good ones. But forever!
Ramadan is a month where even the weakest and laziest among us make an effort. This effort comprises of abstaining from eating & drinking the whole day. This also a month of where we discipline ourselves. This discipline could mean not smoking for the whole day, no drugs, no watching certain content. It is also the month where we actually make an effort to read some Quran, pray much more regularly and intensify our Duas…
But as soon as Eid is done, a lot of us go back to our bad habits and sins! All that good work through the 30 odd days is diminished within a matter of hours after our last guests have gone after enjoying their Eid dinner.
Perhaps we may feel guilty for a few fleeting moments. But then a text arrives from a friend: “let’s go watch a movie yaar, it’s been ages..” or “hey, let’s meet up for a date” from someone from the opposite gender.
This one text, this one invitation inspires you to indulge in something which isn’t only forbidden in Ramadan but actually throughout the year!
So perhaps that’s where the misconception lies. We have been duped into thinking that as long as we are ‘good’ and ‘well behaved’ this month, we get a ‘free pass’ for the rest of the year!
This is more than a misconception, this is a delusion.
We will be accountable, rewarded, and punished for all of our actions, before, during, and, after Ramadaan.
This is a huge gamble. A gamble that could end in painful torment in the akhirah. The gamble is that we think we’ve done worship this month. We have become holy. Or another way to look at it is, I can commit sins throughout the year yet when Ramadaan comes I’ll make sincere tawbah.
But how can we guarantee we will live to see the next Ramadaan?. Do we want to die in a state of sinfulness and be filled with regret on the Day everything comes to account?
“And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had followed the way along with the Messenger.” [Surah Al-Furqan, 25:27]
Let’s not be that person with deep regrets; avoid that horrible feeling by taking action now.
Building a Ramadan Mindset
Make this Ramadan the time when we finally make an everlasting change. Our intention should be that we will continue the good work way after this one month. Make some promises to ourselves that this Ramadan we will finally make that change in our lives that we’ve been thinking about for years. The mindset should be that I will fast and worship Allah not because my family does it or all of our mates do it but because it is incumbent upon me to do this sort of worship.
“.. it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.” (Dr. Maxwell Maltz).
Dr. Maltz and other experts have advised that it takes around 21 days to make or break a habit. Ramadan is not far from this time frame. So why not take inspiration from this and make that big everlasting move to last a lifetime.
Insha’Allah this Ramadaan and this year will be a year of permanent change. It’s difficult at first but it will get easier, Insha’Allah.
“…Has not the time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah…” [Surah Hadid 57:16]
May Allah SWT bless this Ramadan for all of us and allow for us all to embody the traits that gain the pleasure of Allah SWT.