Ramadan is the month of heightened Allah-consciousness, of attaining taqwa (piety), of training ourselves to be the best we can be; a month to initiate improvement of reputation, character and for the cultivation of good habits.
People who try their best to live by the highest values are surely people of integrity and indeed people of moral conscience. What is morality though?
Morality describes the principles that govern our behavior and relates to our behavior at three levels...
how we as individuals ensure that we are honest, just and compassionate.
how we interact with and contribute to society, as asset or liability.
how conscious we are of our accountability to our Creator.
Taqwa in an amoral world
In a world, increasingly amoral, perception is considered reality. How one appears to the world has overtaken the substance of who we really are. Impressions, whether real or fake, are given more credence than it deserves.
Though name, image and reputation are what we perceive of people; character is the essence of the "real self". Taqwa is in reality character development coupled with God-consciousness.
Character and reputation
Character is not only the face in the mirror, but the real person behind the face. Character evolves from conscience; is sustained by conscience and is developed; piece by piece, with every thought, with every choice, and maintained with consistency and determination. The pursuance of piety begins by making our reputation a reflection of our character. In many people, reputation precedes character and there is a distinction to be made...
Reputation is what you lead others to believe you are, character is what you really are -
Reputation may be reflected in the combination of your name and your image, character is the essence of your being.
Reputation is the wrapping, character the content -
Reputation is the outer reflection, character the inner reality -
Reputation is made in a moment, character is built in a life time -
Reputation may be reflected in what people write about you on your tombstone, character is what angels report about you to Allah -
Changing bad habits
The renowned philosopher, Aristotle, once said; " You are what you repeatedly do ". Habits are conditioned responses, formed through repetition, until the actions or reactions become second nature; they end up as unconscious behavior, automatic reactions in a particular situation; (e.g. The way you sign your name, the reprehensible habit of cigarette smoking after a meal...)
It was the English writer, Shakespeare, who said; " First we make our habits, then our habits make us ". Thinking in a particular pattern creates a mental path, the mental path affects our attitude and our behavior, and these reflect our personality and character. In other words, our thoughts affect our attitude which affect our actions which determine our habits which reflects our character which could determines our destiny. The Roman poet Naso Ovid rightly said, " habits eventually become character ".
Virtues and vices
According to Islam, habits are classified as virtues or vices, as repeated actions that are in conformity with or contrary to the rules of morality. Virtuous character emanates from good habits and good habits emanate from resisting negative temptations. Good habits, unfortunately, seem so much easier to give up than bad habits.
Bad habits are like a comfortable bed; easy to get into but difficult to get out. The chain of bad habits are generally too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. Remember though, that every habit; whether good or bad, is acquired and can be developed or disowned. Habits decrease or disappear by abstaining from exercising them and then replacing them. In the words of Roman orator, Cicero, " consuetudo consuetudine vincitur = habit is overcome/ conquered by habit. Ramadan is an ideal training period for filtering out bad habits, developing virtuous character and is thus referred to by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a shield against evil and wrongfulness. We are obligated to nurture our noble qualities; control our passions, our anger and emotions. We are instructed to be considerate, generous and compassionate.
Moral improvement and spiritual rejuvenation
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to Ramadan as a blessed month in which Allah has made fasting obligatory on those who are able; whosoever denies himself of the benefits of that month denies himself many virtues. As we undertake the physical duty and spiritual responsibility of fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan, we reflect on the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who said that the practice of faith will not be correct unless actions are correct and actions will not be considered correct unless the heart is correct.
is in their hearts.If we are sincere and determined we can
change our habit for the better if not best.All we need is to
make sincere intention then put it into practice and see the
result especially during this time of Ramadan Rahmah is being
showered in the first ten days before the second ten days of
forgiveness.So don't lag behind strive hard so that we be saved
from the fire and gain entry into Jannah at the last ten days in
July.May Allah accept our ibadah and the entire Ummah we all
become the means of guidance.Pray for our brothers and sisters
in one Country where they stopped them from fasting in the Month
of Ramadan the Muslim Countries should be united to point to
this Nation the injustice perpetrated to our fellow Muslims in
that Country by giving them the freedom which the World together
with UN has given enshrined in the human rights declaration of
freedom of Religion. Pressure must be put on this so called
Nation who think they are civilized by not believing in God.Let
them keep it to themselves not impose it on others if they don't
believe in God we are Muslims we believe so allow our Muslims
brothers and sisters to practice their Deen allowing them to
fast in Ramadan.They are not children yes children can be
persuaded not to fast but not adult.There is no obedience in the
disobedience of Allah openly coming out to stop people from
practicing their Religion. Human Right Groups and other Muslims
must act by reminding the Country that what its doing is wrong
they should be corrected.Month of Ramadan is Month of Blessing
no one should be deprived of his/her duty. May Allah give all of
us including them guidance Amen.
believed that our formal religious practices/duties like performing
solah, fasting and giving charity are for character building. To
transform a Muslim to be a civilize individual. Only then that Muslim
could bring great impact on others. May Allah reward you for your
is cruel(Zalim) can change into a just(adl) person like Sayyadinah
Umar (R.A).So Islam mends the character from negative to positive.Only
Islam can stop a person from following his/her desires nothing else
can do this except true Deen. Just imagine the vices in the society
like drinking,adultery ,homosexuality, gambling,taking interest and
all other evils which human being cannot protect himself from their
temptation human is so weak cannot control himself or any other way of
life cannot stop them or protect himself only Islam has the capacity
to stop him or rid the human from such weakness due to Imaan.
Just wanted to say Jazakallah Khier for writing your paper. I have
broke my disgusting smoking habit of ten years four months ago.
However every day is a Mental Challenge to overcome Mind over Matter
and Alhumdilallah it was motivating to read your paper before
Ramadan. Inshallah Allah helps you and all of us have a successful
and self-evolving Ramadan. Ameen.
a tooth does not nullify the fast. However, this does not cover the
case where local anasthesia is injected. There is also the almost
inevitable danger of swallowing liquid used in the tooth extraction.
If tooth refill does not involve injections or liquid then it does not
invalidate the fast. And Allah knows best.
I wish to find out if a visit to a dentist for tooth refill during the month of Ramadan will nullify fast for that day?
This is and excellant article because it reminds me that Allah is not in need of our fasts if during this blessed month we don't take time to reflect and improve ourselves in our piety,eebadah and deeds. I emailed it too all my friends and I pray that we act on what we read, because after all intellilect is knowledge applied. This is a very knowledgeble article on character and habits. Jazakullah khairun May Allah SWT accept your fasts and prayers. ameen. Ramadaan Mubarak
I am a newcomer.
This is my fourth Ramadan. I am a smoker
but since the begining of Ramadan, I have
only smoked a couiple of times and, Inshala, I
won't continue afterwards. With the help of
Allah I will strengthen my character and
become a better Muslim. I found the article
very enlightening particularly the section
quoting Aristotle and Shakespeare.
Peace and Blessings
I'm a 19 year old muslim brother living in Dearborn, MI.
May Allah reward the writer of these very kind words. The reality of the words cannot be stressed enough to especially the young people of america. Who have unfortunatly allowed there character detariate by the giving in of there ahwa's or desires. I urge every person that has read this article to share it with there family, and friends, and try to master the words written for themselves. I belive that the success of the muslims today is must be first throught the mastering of there own self. Asalam u Alakum.
If I understood "zilzaal azzizi" (of Washington, DC/USA) correctly, if an article (posted at the IslamiCity.com website) is advocating some sort of action (or perhaps attempting to evoke some sort of reaction) on the part of the reader, then that article should also include adequate references to the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in order to validate whatever action or position that article is advocating. I (personally) would imagine that quoting non-Muslim personalities while making "sentimental" appeals to non-Muslims (to practice particular observances during Ramadan) might seem acceptable enough, at least whenever directed primarily at non-Muslims.
Articles might be expected, however, to satisfy more exacting requirements before being published at the IslamiCity.com website. This would seem to be because IslamiCity.com represents itself as a source of Islamic instruction - in addition to maintaining a website for Muslims to practice Dawah - Insha'Allah. I would assume that the IslamiCity.com editorial staff could request additions of Islamic scripture from prospective contributors of articles, if such additions where determined necessary to satisfy some sort of standardized requirements for Islamic instruction.
May Allah bless the workers at IslamiCity.com, IslamiCity.com's supporters and the authors of articles and other content appearing at IslamiCity.com (as well as IslamiCity.com's respondents) for their good deeds and intentions.
Salaam (with good intentions - Insha'Allah),
thank you so much for the article. i have not seen this kind for years back. it was really inspiry.
Sory I have little Eng.
But, no problem language barier.
I listening:2002.11.4 tomorrow is RAMADAN 1
Turkey hour is 22:30 : south africa saw NEW MOON
But I read calender paper.
2002.11.5 is RAMADAN 1:two later day.
Which day is RAMADAN.
Please HELP me.
May Allah Guide You and The Muslims From Every Harm
REMEMBER ME IN YOUR PRAYERS DURING AFTAR OF EVERY DAY OF RAMADAN.PRAY FOR ME THAT GOD FORGIVE ALL MY SINS AND WRONG DOINGS BEFORE MY DEATH.THANKS AND ALLAH HAFIZ
asalam o laikum
Sir, i am very thanks for you to more information gave me by your website.
allah gave you more energy.
Yes indeed beautiful and well put. Shukran.
The article was most certainly beautiful and completely true; thank you very much! I would like to make a request that you please kindly write about disability in an bulletin in the near future in terms of how it should be treated, perception, etc as many muslims I meet don't seem to be able to treat me right.
Many thanks and Was Salaam
This is one of the most beautiful, true, clear articles I
have EVER read!!
Personally, I've been going to write about 'habit' & have
yet to get to it. Inshallah, this will encourage me to
strengthen my resolve to do so.
PLEASE keep articles such as these coming regularly.
THIS IS A VERY GOOD ARTICAL.AND RAMADAN IS APPROCHING INSHALLAH AND THERE MUST BE SOME DETAILE ARTICALS ON THE FRONT PAGE AT LEAST TILL THE 1ST RAMADAN SO, PEOPLE COULD READ BEFORE THE START.AS NON-MUSLIMS ARE READING ISLAMIC ARTICALS AS WELL AND THEY CAN BETTER KNOW ISLAMIC PRATICE.
THIS WAY THEY WILL NOT HAVE ANY KIND OF DIFFICULTIES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT AND HOW MUSLIMS PRACTICE THEIR PILLERS OF ISLAM.
MAY WE ALL GET THE BENEFITS FROM THE BLESSINGS OF ALLAH IN RAMADAN.AAMEN.
To describe it in a super-simplistic way, the phenomenon of Habit becomng a driving force in making of character, refered to by Aristotle (Who learned this from Socrates) and Shakespeare, is known in Psychology as the tendency to minimise and eliminate dissonance, that is the conflicts between our values and our behaviour. Values modify beliefs, which determine bahaviour. Dissonance can be dissipated by modifying behaviour (habit) and in time, values and belief will chnge to adapt to the "new" 'habitual' behaviour as a means of eliminating dissonance between the two.
These comments are to express my deep disappointment to the Editors of Islamicity by printing a rather weak and confusing article by Sadullah Khan on the subject of Islam's noble month of Ramadan.
It appears clear to me that the author is trying his best to impress everyone that he is a man of scholarship and deep learning, especially in Western classics, such as, Greek and Roman letters.
For, in this regard, he attempts to augment his arguments on taqwah and Ramadan by quoting from such ancient sources as Greek philosopher Aristotle, Roman poet Naso Ovid, Roman orator Cicero, and last but not least, English poet Shakespeare!
What is this man talking about? Where is the relevance of the obscure and impertinent quotations of these ancient men of letters to Islam's blessed month of fasting? Where is it?
But Sadullah Khan's failings did not stop there. The learned writer (and I am sure he is learned), in this entire article, neglected to mention a single verse from the Noble Qur'an, explaining Allah's pronouncement for Muslims to fast during this venerable month. In addition, the he failed to formally quote in a single, complete Hadith from among the sihah sittah (reliable six canonical texts) to corroborate his somewhat confusing and contradictory postulations.
Why is this writer trying to extol the virtues, benefits, and inner spirituality of Ramadan by giving us weird and unrelated quotations from ancient men, while at the same neglecting to make a single reference to Allah's sacred Book or from the Prophetic Tradition?
I have to confess that I have seen it many times where these learned men of the cloth try to outdo themselves by pretending to be cute in language and rhetoric, only to demonstrate what is patently ridiculous and foolish.
So, I warn you my friends, let's beware of these ministers of religion, who tell truth in little things only to betray us in deeds of greatest consequence.
I am so looking forward to this my second Ramadaan. It is my intention to grow as much as I am able and become the best servant of Allah I can be. Thank you so much for this wonderful article.
May Allah continue to bless you. As-salamu 'alai-kum wa rahmatu-llah.
souhaite un bon jeune du RAMADAN avec une bonne
which define the real essence of Ibadat (worship) and
which shows and emphasizes the spiritual benefits of
such acts are the ones which make the real impact on
the hearts and minds of people. I encourage Islamicity
to publish more such articles during Ramadan and
Bismilah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem
Asalam Alaikum Wa Rahmat'Allah Wa Barakatu.
This Article "Ramadan-Mending Habits and Developing Charecter" is what i thought to be a very breif, yet very good article harmony wise. It gets to a basic understanding in taking all these principles, and issues, and combining them as a whole, with a very fit intellect. So i would like to say Jazak Allahu Khierun, and insha'Allah, more articles regarding Ramadan will be posted up for everyone to read.
Wa Alaikum Asalam Wa Rahmat'Allah Wa Barakatu.
I thank you for the great job you are doing and dont relent as you reward is definately with Allaah (SHW).