Ramadan is a month of blessings and once it’s over that does not mean the charitable acts we do or the goodness of the month also have to come to an end. Pop psychology says that it takes about three weeks to develop a habit, although research shows that actually vary from person to person and the actual time it takes to develop a good habit is, on average, 66 days. So it’s really important to continue our Ramadan habits post-Ramadan in order to cement them.
During Ramadan, we may feel that it’s easier to have good habits, because the devil (Shaitaan) is locked behind chains, and there is nothing that can stop us from being inspired to do good. Remember that it doesn’t have to happen all in one go. We must take baby steps to bring about a change in our lifestyle for a stronger and deeper connection with Allah (SWT).
In this time of making or breaking habits, we must let go of our immoral habits and work towards developing those that please Allah (SWT). There are so many ways we can beautify our character in a way that Allah loves and is pleased with, throughout the year. Let’s continue striving for the sake of Allah in the following ways post-Ramadan.
1. recite the Quran daily
The Quran depicts an ideal way of living one’s life. Reciting it every day, no matter how much of it, whether it is one ayah or one surah, is key to a peaceful life (mentally, financially, spiritually, and emotionally). This can be made possible by setting a time for reciting it every day based on one’s capacity and time.
Once it is part of your everyday routine then it is also recommended to take out some time to read it with translation or tafsir as that is immensely beneficial. The Quran is designed with the necessary information for us to lead a content life and is meant to be recited, understood, and adopted in everyday practices by us.
2. Give Sadaqah as regularly as possible
In the month of Ramadan, especially, Muslims go out of their way to help those in need. Sadaqah comes in different ways and forms. It can be monetary, providing assistance in any way, or simply an act of kindness such as a smile that would brighten another person’s day.
There’s great joy and fulfilment to be gained from the act of giving. Give your time, money, love, knowledge, or help to someone, it will surely not only leave a smile on your own face but also help you in the Hereafter too. A small gesture of kindness goes a long way.
3. continue the acts of Sadaqah-e-Jariya
Isn’t it important to think about the Hereafter and prepare ourselves throughout the year instead of just in the month of Ramadan? Ask yourself this question, and then think of ways how you can be a source of Sadaqah-e-Jariah (everlasting reward) for someone.
There are multiple ways to do so such as planting a tree, distributing food and water, sorting your wardrobe and giving away clothes, shoes, jewelry, or anything you no longer require, donating funds for a hospital, charity, old age home, or school, supporting the education of a child and countless other ways. Such acts are a way for us to earn sawaab even after we die.
4. Be consistent with your daily prayers
The kind of contentment and satisfaction one gets after performing the five daily prayers is unparalleled to any other. Prayer is a way to connect with Allah and share our thoughts, worries, and struggles with the Only One who can provide a way to ease them. In the hustle-bustle of our daily life, we often forget our prayers or delay them due to worldly matters.
The motivation really comes when you schedule all your daily tasks around prayers, instead of scheduling your prayers around your tasks. Only if we realise that prayers hardly take a few minutes and will actually add barakah to our time, money, and energy, will we make sure to prioritise them. Islam has placed special importance on Fajr and Isha prayers and labelled them as a sign of a true believer hence we must make a daily note to offer these two prayers.
5. Do Dhikr daily
The remembrance of Allah nourishes the soul and softens the heart. Maintaining that connection and conversation with Allah even after Ramadan allows us to gain a closeness to Allah that our hearts need and crave. Continue to make duaa for everything you want and need in this life and the next even after Ramadan and watch how beautifully Allah answers your prayers as time goes by. You can read your adkaars in the forms of tasbih when you first wake up, before you go to bed, and/or anytime throughout the day when you have downtime. It can be while driving your car, taking a walk, or cooking a meal.
This is an easy and simple way to gain a strong relationship with our creator. Even the act of supplication (duaa) is counted as dhikr or any mention of Allah with the intention of reaching out to Him and pleasing Him.
Remember that Ramadan is a grooming program designed by Allah to bring out the real humanity and productivity within His believers. The virtue of patience, steadfastness, sharing, caring, being humble, forgiveness, and restraint must be continued till the end of time.
These habits are excellent additions to our lifestyles as they carry incredible rewards and could be gradually adopted over time. All one has to do is have the proper intent and take the first step to maintain all the beautiful habits we created during Ramadan.
The best way is to get help from a close one. Whether it’s your spouse, best friend, mother, father, or any close relative/sibling; take them on board for this task. Let them join you to offer on-time prayers, give sadaqah, keep Nafl fasts, and discuss the daily ayah of the Quran you recite. It will not only encourage you to keep up with your target but also strengthen your relationship with them.
We hope these will serve as a useful reminder to maintain the habits you developed during Ramadan and strive to be better on the path to Allah!