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  1. JazakumAllahu khair for writing this article. When I came back from hajj I made a commitment with myself to have more productive habits by incorporating daily recitation of the Qur’an in my life. I also wanted to perform all prayers on time, pray all my sunnah prayers and do dhikr and du’a after every prayer. In the beginning it was easy and then slowly, slowly I fell behind as I currently work five days, am married, am trying to start up my own business, attend Islamic classes, do social activities and see family. This is not an exhaustive list but that’s the crux of my commitments at the moment. What I am struggling with is consistency, over committing and lack of balance. How do you achieve balance and still give everything the time it requires?

    • I’m still figuring it out but I think they key is to learn to sort out what is important and what is not, and to learn to say no to things which are not important. Habib Umar mentions that we should divide our time, and plan for those time, and stick to them and in doing this there is barakah in our time. So take on tasks which are important to you, plan your time ahead, and try to stick to your planned schedule. The planning will help in letting you see the bigger picture, inshaAllah :)

  2. Salam Alikum sister Nur,

    This article came to my inbox just in time :) in the past months I was reading several books and blogs about habit changes.I came to understand that to achieve my goals I need to build the right habits. I was also thinking that there is a missing element and I can not find a good source/article that links the Islamic perspective ,of habits changing, with the advanced western literature. The latest book I am reading is “the Power of Habits” by Charles Duhig, and as I was putting a plan to follow the advices on the book your article came to give me a bigger and deeper scope for the actions that I need to take. I totally agree with you that purification of heart and linking our intentions and goals to worshiping Allah are very critical in lasting habits change. making Duaa’ and asking Allah for help is an excellent first step to start with,

    Barak Allahu Fiki Wa Juzaiti Al Jannah,

    • Waalaikumusalaam sister Mona,

      Yes! That’s exactly what I was feeling as I was reading Charles Duhigg’s book (in fact I refer to him a lot in the second part of this article). It was making me confused a little, and then Alhamdulillah I came across the book Purification of the Heart (had it for a while, but it was just sitting on the bookshelf).

      May Allah swt help us change our habits, and thus ourselves :)


  3. JazakAllah for a fantastic article! ‘Purification of the Heart’ is a brilliant book – everyone should try to read it, if possible. Can’t wait for Part 2 :)

  4. Salaamunalaikum, Jazaaki-ALLAHU bi khair. Quite useful and informative. This is a well researched and well written piece Cheers and keep the good work.

  5. Wonderful article, mashallah. It is thought-provoking and really makes one think of the importance of listening to your heart…trying your best to manage it.. It seems like a difficult task. I cannot differentiate which messages are coming from my heart or brain. Writing in a journal helps me. I make it a habit to write every night before I sleep..just reflections on my day, random thoughts or issues I am going through. I suppose it is a way to combine both my heart and mind in this task. So many questions to think about. Thank you.

  6. Asalaam alaikum.. just what I needed today. Very beautifully illustrated. Looking forward for your next article. Jazakallah

  7. Jazakallahu kayran,i have benefitted immensely from this article.iam going through some emotional challenges recently and reading this article has lifted my spirit a lot.please how can i get that book on good habit you mentioned in the article.May Allah reward you abundantly. Maimuna.

  8. Thank you dear sister for sharing your knowledge with us !
    Personnaly, when I want to be consistent with a new habit, i create a new file with Excel and build a column with numbers (let’s say from 1 to 30, if your goal is a month long). And then, I color a new cellul everytime I have accomplished my action. In this way, I don’t want to “break the chain” and keep going until I reach my defined goal. :)

    • Jazakallah khayr for reading, Brahim31!

      Alhamdulillah I, along with several of my readers, did the “break the chain” method together sometime earlier this year. For some of us it worked, and for some of us it didn’t, because it required making another habit of actually inputting the chain!

      Right now I use the Good Habits app as I’m always with my phone and it removes the friction of the additional step:

      Thanks for sharing!

  9. Wonderful article! May Allah reward you and strengthen your enthusiasm! Can’t wait for part 2, jazakaLahu khrayran! (from France)

  10. Excellent article, jazakAllah Khair for sharing these gems. It is so important to focus and continually refresh our intentions but also to delve deep and try to understand diseases of the heart. Looking forward to Part 2 InshaAllah! May Allah swt reward you abundantly.

  11. Asalamu alaikum…..

    Jazakallahu khair dear sister for the study you have done to write this article.its greatly appreciable and of course looking forward to ur next article.May Allah almighty bless you and ur family..

  12. Asalamu aliakum…
    Mansha Allah, you wake sleepy hearts up. Jazakallahu khairan. May Allah grant you more motivating and inspiring writing skills to influence people. Ameen. I found your article the right time I wanted to change, and it worths than books I was planning to read. Alhamdulilaah, Allah showed me the shortcut to alter my habits through your article. May Allah reward you with good.

  13. Maa sha ALLAH, Brilliant post it is. I will suggest this as a buttressing point that Islam is a perfect religion. Perfect in the sense that all areas, every aspect of human life has been defined and Islam has addressed every issue that may arise in the course of human life.
    As much as it is important to familiarize one’s self with general knowledge, we as muslims, should endeavor to very importantly seek Islamic knowledge through existing literature, videos, lectures and a lot more. and internalize those things we have learnt. May ALLAH make this path an easy task for us and count us among the dwellers of Al-Jannah. Aaameen.

  14. This is a great article. Thanks for this effort.

    I wanted to also share some of my thoughts from my experiences coupled with interactions with scholars.

    1) we should not aim for perfection

    2) we should not despair when we slip or fall, just get up and keep moving forward. Shaytan tries to knock a person out using this trick, but Allah swt gives us the antidote of tawbah.

    3) we are responsible for sustained effort and sincere effort. Result is not in our hand. Only Allah set controls that.

    4) it is quite possible that we may not achieve a particular result we work for, this doesnt necessarily mean failure/doom. Allah is Hakeem.

    Allah swt has given everyone a sound fitrah. Due to various reasons not limited to personal, friends, society, parenting etc, our natural fitrah is soiled. Eventually, the heart gets darkened.
    Thats why every time we sin we have to rush to clean up the black dots from the heart, because if we dont, then it gets harder to cleanse the heart.