Stop Haram Habits With These 11 Tips

Stop Haram Habits With These 11 Tips

Stop haram habits now before it’s too late. It’s important that we have taqwa (fear Allah); that we repent to Him and seek His forgiveness before we pass away.

Everyone commits sins. Sinning is no reason to lose hope or start despising ourselves.

But Jahannam (Hell-Fire) is a place of punishment prepared for sinful believers and disbelievers. There is nothing worse than the pain and humiliation experienced in it.

The disbelievers and those that associate others with Allah will stay in Jahannam for eternity.

The only people capable of coming out of Jahannam are the believers in the Oneness of Allah and in the prophet sent to their nation for their time period.

Here are 11 tips on how to stop haram habits.

Identify Haram (Forbidden) Habits

The first step to stopping haram habits is to realize that you’re violating Allah’s command.

One way to keep track of bad deeds is to use a diary to record your day each day. Document as many things as you can and keep it as detailed as possible.

Check out this article by Saadia Jabar. She outlines the psychology of soft addictions and how we can overcome them through using a diary.

It can be quite difficult to be real with ourselves and see it all on paper. But our own account of our deeds would be no where near as severe as what the angels on our right and our left are recording.

And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein
When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left
Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]. Qur’an 50:16-18

Identify the patterns in your regular routine that need to change. You can then start to make a plan on how to stop haram habits.

Make Tawbah (Repent To Allah)

Tawbah is recognising that you have done something haram and then striving to give up your bad deed for the sake of Allah.

But those who committed misdeeds and then repented after them and believed – indeed your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful. Quran 7:153

Allah accepts sincere repentance of the believers. Starting right now, make every effort to stop haram habits.

Apologise to those you have wronged and make things better.

Make the intention to quit smoking and don’t give up trying until you quit for good. Even if it takes twenty times.

Break up from your haram relationship with the opposite gender. Don’t even explain to them why. Block them on all forms of social media.

Do these things right now. Today. Because how do you know that you’ll live beyond tomorrow? You could get hit by a car or die of a sudden illness.

It was narrated that Ibn Ma’qil said:
“I entered with my father upon ‘Abdullah, and I heard him say: ‘The messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Regret is repentance.” My father said: ‘Did you hear the Prophet (ﷺ) say: “Regret is repentance?” He said: ‘Yes.’” Sunan Ibn Majah

Having sudden flashbacks of committing a sin, experiencing pain from remembering sins and having feelings of remorse are all forms of sincere repentance. It’s a sure sign that you’re on the right track to stop haram habits.

Make Istighfar (Seek Allah’s Forgiveness)

Stop haram habits

The acts of making tawbah and istighfar go hand in hand.

Throughout the day, reflect on any bad deeds you may have done, big or small. Hundreds of times. Ask Allah for His forgiveness.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying.” By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” Sahih al-Bukhari

This is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) even though he was so pure!

So why aren’t we making more istighfar when we have so many bad deeds to account for?

Make a habit of repeating the Arabic word “astaghfirullah” (I seek forgiveness from Allah) or the phrase “allahumma ajirni minan naar” (oh Allah, save me from the Fire).

Follow The Sunnah (The Ways) Of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was the last person to be assigned a prophet by Allah. His purpose was to set the best possible example for humanity worldwide.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:
The Prophet said: “Whatever I have commanded you do it, and whatever I have forbidden you, refrain from it.” Sunan Ibn Majah

There are plenty of resources that describe the life of Muhammad (ﷺ). Read up on books of ahadith (record of things said or done by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) such as al-Bukhari and Muslim, attend lectures at the masjid (mosque) and watch YouTube lectures.

Everything is described from things he said, the way he treated his wives and companions, what he ate, how he slept, how he dressed, how he bathed, how he prayed etc.

The path of goodness has been demonstrated by the messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He has warned us against following the path that is evil.

And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path Qur’an 42:52

We should all be doing our best to emulate him in every way possible.

Get Married

Stop haram habits

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was married and there are many ahadith encouraging others to do nikkah (marriage).

Narrated `Abdullah:
We were with the Prophet (ﷺ) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” Sahih al-Bukhari

Married couples are halal (lawful) to each other. Fornication, adultery and masturbation is haram. Get nikkah done to stop haram habits such as these.

Nikkah protects the believers from sin.

Control Your Gaze

Assess your activities carefully. If there is a risk of there being fitnah (tests or trials) as a result of what you are doing, or looking at, do your best to avoid it.

Never look lustfully at the opposite sex. Don’t look at pornographic material. Avoid watching TV. Lower your gaze immediately if you happen to accidentally view anything inciting.

Before heading out, ask yourself; is there a likelihood of you seeing the opposite gender dressed or acting immodestly? Is it necessary to go to that particular place where there might be fitnah? What can you do to keep yourself occupied with other thoughts if you encounter fitnah?

Voluntary Fasting

Forbidden desires can be restrained through voluntary fasting.

Voluntary fasting can be practiced:

  • On Mondays and Thursdays
  • Six days during the month of Shawwal
  • The ninth and tenth of the month of Muharram
  • Fast of the Prophet Dawood (peace be upon him): fasting on alternate days

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, “The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of (the Prophet) David who used to fast on alternate days. Sahih al-Bukhari

Perform Salat Al-Tawbah (Prayer Of Repentance)

Stop haram habits
Image courtesy of irumge via Creative Commons

Salat al-Tawbah can be performed at any time of the day, whether you’ve committed a major sin or a minor sin. It doesn’t matter how much time has elapsed since committing a sin to offer this prayer.

All that you need to do is offer two rak’ahs (units of prayer) and then ask Allah for forgiveness.

Keep Busy

Most often, we commit sins when no one else is around and we have free time on our hands.

Stop haram habits by doing productive activities. Engage in physical exercise. Join the gym, go hiking, walk around the block or sign up for team sports.

Learn something new. Make an effort to learn Arabic. Recite the Qur’an or watch some Islamic lectures on YouTube. Read books. This will prevent you from distractions and allowing your imagination to run wild.

Avoid being alone. Spend time with friends and family when temptations start to hit you.

Evaluate Your Company

Stop haram habits

I’m not talking about balance sheets here.

Who you hang around is who you become. Do your best to befriend good people that share the same values as you and who hold you to a higher standard.

How do your friends spend their free time? What are their hobbies?

If you have a habit of gossiping, backbiting and slander, and your friends are into the same thing, then it’s time to distance yourself from these people.

Same goes for things like smoking, drinking, gambling, clubbing etc. If you are trying to quit these habits yourself, don’t surround yourself with people with the same bad habits.

There’s no need to be too direct or cold towards them about it.

If they ask to hang out at the bar or the casino, tell them you’re hanging out with a different group of people instead and that they’re welcome to come along if they want.

These could be people from your Islamic lectures at the masjid.

Or people into different interests like dining at restaurants, going on road trips, sports and fitness, hiking or travelling.

Your friends circle doesn’t have to be all Muslims. Just make sure that they have zero interest in encouraging you to do haram activities.

Stop Haram Habits By Controlling Your Nafs (Desires)

Leaving behind haram habits is a test. It can be a difficult one at that too.

Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
“Paradise is surrounded by hardships, and the Fire is surrounded by desires.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi

Control your nafs by improving your thoughts and actions. Strive more to do good deeds. Show patience and perseverance. Develop strong willpower when temptations hit you.

In order to put bad thoughts and actions away you need to become more aware of your nafs.

Are your nafs pointing you towards Jannah (Paradise) or Jahannam (Hell-Fire)?

By following these 11 tips, you can become well on your way to stopping haram habits.

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