Try These Proven Techniques For A Successful positive change in your habits during Ramadhaan and beyond!
1. Acknowledge and Identify your bad habits : First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change.
2. Pick a habit for this month: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for this month. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, Allah-willing.
3. Realize that it’s in us to change: Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.
4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.”
(Hadith -Sahih Muslim)
5. Intention & Plan to change: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.
6. Replace a bad habit with a good one: Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.
For instance, it’s easier to replace your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading the Qur’aan or a good Islamic book etc. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:
“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.”
1. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has said, “When Ramadan begins, the doors of heaven are opened.” A version has, “the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the Satans are tied with chains.” Another version has, “the doors of Mercy are opened.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Page 255 and Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 1, Page 346]
Hadrat Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haq Muhaddith-e-Dehlwi Alaihir raHmah comments:
The meaning of the “Doors of heaven” being opened is the continuous descending of mercy, and the ascension of good deeds to the Court of the Almighty without any obstacle (preventing it from ascending). It also means the acceptance of (permissible) supplications. The meaning of the “doors of Paradise” being opened is being encouraged and granted the ability to perform good deeds, and the acceptance of these good deeds. The meaning of the “doors of Hell” being closed is the protection of the souls of those who fast, from things which have been forbidden by the Islamic Law, and rescue from the things which provoke a person on doing bad deeds. It also means to break the desire which the heart has of things of lust. The meaning of Satan being tied with chains is the sealing off of all the ways by which evil whispers enter the mind. [Ashi’ah al-Lam’at]
2. Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has said, “Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward (from Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala) all his past sins will be forgiven. Whoever prays during the night in Ramadan with faith seeking his reward (from Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala) all his past sins will be forgiven. And whoever passes Lailat-ul-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward (from Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala) all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Page 255 and Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 1, Page 259]
3. Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has said, “When the first night of Ramadan comes, the satans and the rebellious Jinn are chained, the doors of hell are closed and not one of them is opened (during the entire the month of Ramadan); the doors of Paradise are opened and none of them are closed (for the entire month of Ramadan); and a crier calls, ‘Those who desire what is good, come forward, and those who desire evil refrain from it’, and many people are freed from Hell by Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala, and that happens every night.” [Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Page 153 and Ibn Maajah, Vol. 1, Page 118]
4. Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has said, “Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the doors of Heaven are opened, the doors of Hell are closed, and the rebellious satans are chained. In it there is a night (worshiping in it) which is better than (worshiping for) a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good (and blessing) has indeed been deprived of all good.” [Nasa’i, Vol. 1, Page 299 and Mishkat, Vol. 1, Page 173]
A lot of us yearn to prepare for Ramadan, but we have no idea how to start. Below are a few tips to insha’Allah (Allah willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.
Make the Intention
Simple to do, with a powerful impact. Maybe you want to prepare for Ramadan, but between school, work, family, and your other activities, you just have no idea how to fit in ‘prepare for Ramadan’ time. Instead of separating ‘prepare for Ramadan’ from your daily activities, make your daily activities a MEANS of preparation for Ramadan.
For example, perhaps your mom asked you to pick up your brother from school on the day you finally had time to read a few extra pages of Qur’an. Instead of feeling upset as if you have lost a great opportunity to prepare for Ramadan, make the intention that you are picking up your brother to please Allah and prepare for Ramadan by obeying your mother, helping your family members, building ties of kinship…and the list continues.
The point is that preparing for Ramadan does not have to be some magnificent, enormous, extra-special thing that needs to be done at a certain time of the day. Many of your daily actions can be turned into Ramadan preparation actions with a sincere intention insha’Allah.
Do these Easy-to-Reap-Reward Actions
Ask Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah radi allahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) said “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever says subhan Allah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea.“ [Bukhari, Muslim]
[ALLAH’S Quran – 3:79] “………..Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said :
[Bukhari, Book #61, Hadith #545] ” Narrated ‘Uthman: The Prophet said, “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.”
[Bukhari, Book #92, Hadith #419] “Narrated ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not wish to be like anybody except in two cases: The case of a man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and that of a man whom Allah has given religious wisdom (i.e., Qur’an and Sunna) and he gives his verdicts according to it and teaches it.” (to others i.e., religious knowledge of Qur’an and Sunna (Prophet’s Traditions).”
[Bukhari, Book #3, Hadith #79] “Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophets and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)”
1.1 It is Mustahabb (recommended) to fast a great deal in the month of Shabaan
Narrated Aaishah (may Allah be pleased with her): “Allahs Apostle (peace be upon him) used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast. I never saw Allah’s Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Shabaan.”
1.2 The Reason for Fasting so much in Shabaan
Narrated Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I said, O Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him), I do not see you fasting in any month more than in Shabaan.
He said, That is a month concerning which many people are heedless, between Rajab and Ramadaan. It is the month is which peoples deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds, and I would like my deeds to be taken up whilst I am fasting.”
1.3 After the Half of Shabaan
Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When Shabaan is half over, do not fast.”
Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Even if the hadeeth is Saheeh, the prohibition in it does not mean that this is Haraam, rather it is simply makrooh (disliked), as some of the scholars have understood it to mean. But whoever has the habit of fasting regularly should fast, even if it is after halfway through Sha’baan.”
1.4 Fasting the day of doubt
Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “None of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (Nawafil) (and if his fasting coincides with that day) then he can fast that day.”
 (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 190; Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2580
 Sunan an – Nasaa’ I; Sunan Aboo Daawood; Classed Saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah; Classed as Hasan by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan an – Nasaa’I, Number 2221; as quoted in http://islam- qa.com/en/ ref/13729
 Sunan Aboo Daawood, Number 3237; Sunan at – Tirmidhee, Number 738; Sunan Ibn Majaah, Number 1651; Ibn Hibbaan, Number 1651; Classed as Saheeh by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at – Tirmidhee, Number 590; as quoted in http://www.islamqa. com/en/ref/ 13726
 Commentary on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (3/394); as quoted in http://www.islamqa. com/en/ref/ 13726
 (Agreed Upon); Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 138; Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2382
“Surely they who recite the Book of Allah and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them secretly and openly, hope for a gain which will not perish.”
Establishment of the Hour (Qiyamah)
[Sahih Bukhari : Volume 9, Book 88, Number 237]
Narrated Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu): Allah’s Apostle(sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, “The Hour will not be established
(1) till two big groups fight each other whereupon there will be a great number of casualties on both sides and they will be following one and the same religious doctrine,
(2) till about thirty Dajjals (liars) appear, and each one of them will claim that he is Allah’s Apostle,
(3) till the religious knowledge is taken away (by the death of Religious scholars)
(4) earthquakes will increase in number
(5) time will pass quickly,
(6) afflictions will appear,
(7) Al-Harj, (i.e., killing) will increase,
(8) till wealth will be in abundance —- so abundant that a wealthy person will worry lest nobody should accept his Zakat, and whenever he will present it to someone, that person (to whom it will be offered) will say, ‘I am not in need of it,
(9) till the people compete with one another in constructing high buildings,
(10) till a man when passing by a grave of someone will say, ‘Would that I were in his place,
(11) and till the sun rises from the West. So when the sun will rise and the people will see it (rising from the West) they will all believe (embrace Islam) but that will be the time when: (As Allah said,) ‘No good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before, nor earned good (by deeds of righteousness) through its Faith.’ (6.158) And the Hour will be established while two men spreading a garment in front of them but they will not be able to sell it, nor fold it up; and the Hour will be established when a man has milked his she-camel and has taken away the milk but he will not be able to drink it; and the Hour will be established before a man repairing a tank (for his livestock) is able to water (his animals) in it; and the Hour will be established when a person has raised a morsel (of food) to his mouth but will not be able to eat it.”