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The Post-Ramadan life: 7 things you need to know to keep the good habits

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7 things you need to focus in Ramadan to get closer to Allah (swt)

 

By the time you’re reading this essay, the blessed month of Ramadan is about to end and you must be preparing to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the gift of Allah (swt) in this dunya in response to following the orders of Him (swt) during this beautiful month. We kept ourselves away from food and drinks from Fajr till Maghrib, many of us successfully prayed five times a day in Masjid, some of us have completed the recitation of Quran during the month, we stood up in taraveeh and qayam-ul-layl by the taufique of Allah (swt) specially in the last 10 days, we managed our conduct (Akhlaq) during the month, attended lectures and duroos of Ulama, spent money in zakat and sadaqat (charity) to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt).

 

You see! All of this happened in just one month. So, if you are the one who did all of this, then you’re surely a very lucky person as at least you tried to utilized the opportunity given to you in the form of month of Ramadan to make it a means to draw closer to Allah (swt). Did you notice the big change in the productivity level in the month of Ramadan? You did all of what is mentioned above and did not compromise on your economic activities in the form of a business or a job. You had same 24 hours every day that you have in rest of the year, but see the barakah in the same 24 hours in this blessed month!

 

We have written our own story through our intentions, planning and commitment, our duas and tears and our relation with Allah (swt). Towards the end of this month, two important questions are certainly on everyone’s minds:

Have I done enough in Ramadan? And  

How can I sustain my Spiritual and social productivity after Ramadan?

 

I have experienced and seen many brothers and sisters who develop the beautiful momentum in Ramadan, but once the month is over, the drive and motivation that kept them up throughout the month, will fade out in post Ramadan life.

 

Psychologists say that a person needs about 21 days to develop a habit and interestingly, we practice number of good habits for 30 days in Ramadan, but even after this much practice, many of us lose our way after Eid.

 

Here are a few things you should keep in mind to maintain the good habits you picked during Ramadan in your post Ramadan life.

 

1. Make Dua to be steadfast

 

The battle between our ego, our spirituality and Shitan is not a battle that can be won easily. Therefore, making continuous dua is of foremost importance in the post Ramadan life. Seeking Allah’s help is the only way we can refuge ourselves from the design of Shaitan.

 

‘O You Who makes hearts steadfast make our hearts steadfast in adhering to Your Deen and your obedience.’ (‘Allahuma, ya Muthabbet al-qulub, thabbet qalbi ala deenek’ wa ala taa’atik) [Ibn-e-Majah]

 

2. Make it a permanent habit

If you want to keep your good habits, you have to make sure that they remain part of your routine life. For example, fasting. Did you know that the Prophet (sas) encouraged fasting on Mondays and Thursdays? He said: A man's deeds are reported (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays and I prefer that I should be fasting when my deeds are reported. (Tirmidhi)

 

This is a great way of maintaining the habit so you're not out of practice by next Ramadan.

 

Or for example, were you extra generous during Ramadan? Well, maybe you can fix out a set amount of your monthly income to a charitable cause to maintain the habit of giving. Similarly, recitation of Quran, as I’ve met number of people who recite Quran in Ramadan and then they forget till next Ramadan, but because they are out of practice, they in fact find it difficult to recite in Ramadan and end up reciting only few juzz during this blessed month. I suggest you to block 30 minute slot every day and follow this as if you have a meeting with your boss.

 

Make all the good habits part of your daily and weekly schedule. The point is to keep the act in practice, and of course gain rewards from Allah (swt).

 

3.Assess yourself on daily basis

Assessing ourselves, our intentions, words and actions, every night is a very good way to maintain good habits. Self-assessment doesn't only help you see where you are and where you've got to go. It's also a great reminder of what you were supposed to do and didn't.

 

Ask yourself, for instance, Did I offer my five obligatory prayers? What was the quality of my Slaah? Did I pray on time? In congregation? Did I recite a portion of Holy Quran today? Did I do my recommended daily adhkar today? You can add more questions and keep it as an assessment form. This will serve to remind you to keep up the good habit and do better next time in’sha’Allah.

 

4. Reviewing your intentions

Niyyah or intention is the key to Allah's acceptance of our good deeds. If we developed a habit to impress others, for instance, we may be able to keep the momentum for a while, but most probably it'll wear out soon.

 

But if we maintained a habit sincerely to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt), in’sha’Allah, not only shall we be rewarded for it, but our intention will help us maintain the necessary motivation to continue to do good. It is extremely important to review the purpose (intention) behind your actions and make sure that it is aligned with our ultimate purpose.

 

5. Don’t leave efforts if you make a mistake

This happens with many of us that we are pretty regular in praying during Ramadan, but slack afterwards. Instead of just ignoring prayers if we miss out on couple of occasions, we must realize our shortcomings and immediately seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) and try to get back on track.

 

The beauty of Tawbah (repentance) is that Allah (swt) blesses us with this opportunity to return back to Him after doing something wrong. We should remember that we are humans and that we will make mistakes. So, keep repenting and keep working to be on track.

 

6. Develop your momentum slowly and gradually

Hazrat Ayesha (ra) reported that Prophet (sas) said:

 

Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and remember that you shall enter Jannah only through Allah's Mercy, and also remember that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is regular and constant even if it is little. (Bukhari)

 

The wisdom in this Hadith is tremendous and it is one way of keeping up good habits you have picked up in Ramadan.

 

For example, let's say you were motivated to recite Quran for half-an-hour on a daily basis in Ramadan. But now that it's over, you feel lethargic, lazy and want to give it up. Yet, you had wanted to maintain this habit after the blessed month is over.

 

Instead of trying to recite Quran for the same amount of time, reduce the time period to as much as you are initially able to do, even if it's just five minutes a day. If you keep up this 'five minutes a day' habit, In’sha Allah, you will see the amount of Quran you recite will increase slowly but gradually, perhaps even surpassing your Ramadan time in the long run. I know a brother who started following this advice 5 years ago and Masha’Allah today he is reciting one juzz every day other than Ramadan and two juzz a day (other than taraveeh) in Ramadan. He says that he is experiencing immense barakah and tranquility in his life.

 

7. Don’t give yourself an option

Have you ever noticed that what makes you get up for work in the mornings, no matter how tired you were a night before? What makes you pull yourself out of a warm bed on a cold morning to get ready for university? It's the fact that you have no option, and you know that there are negative consequences to not going to work or university (you’ll be fired or you'll fail).

 

Use the same psychology on yourself when it comes to maintaining your good habits. Talk to yourself, for example, that “Allah will be very angry with me if I do not pray Fajr, no matter how cold my room is on a chilly December morning!” Giving yourself room on this occasion in turn can lead to more bad deeds, which could lead to decreased emaan, and a downward spiral in your life. And Allah can show His displeasure in various ways in this world as well as the next for not praying. You could lose your job; you could have a family crisis, you’ll develop anxiety or depression etc.

 

 

Finally, may Allah (swt) accept our every little effort and count it in our balance of good deeds. Let’s make dua that we will observe the next Ramadan with much more positive energy and honest intentions in’sha’Allah.

 

P.S. One of the best ways to keep yourself on the track is to practice the framework of Strategic Visions and Strategic Time Management workshops. If you haven’t experience them, I suggest you to attend whenever it is possible for you in the coming days. If you cannot attend in person, but may be interested in attending these courses online, please let me know.

 


Yameenuddin Ahmed has been associated with Timelenders since 2004 as one of its key leaders in the area of life transforming trainings, coaching, and counseling. To date, Ahmed has helped thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations in developing worthy and powerful visions and in bringing order, enhancing character, and improving performance in personal and professional living. (Read more)


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