Category : Tips

For Muslims all over the globe, Ramadan is the most vital month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This month is set apart as the time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)first received the revelation of the Qur’an. It is characterised by fasting from dawn to dusk, in which believers also engage in prayer, self-reflection, & charity and embrace the values of discipline, spiritual growth, and self-improvement. Indeed, the implication of Ramadan stretches beyond refraining from food & drink during daylight hours; instead, it is a time to instil virtues and elevate oneself so that these habits extend beyond one month. The 21-day theory comes into play, signalling that it takes 21 days to establish a new positive habit or discard an undesirable one. In applying the theory, one can merge the practices of spiritual & personal development, consolidating them to form a transformative experience that spans the entire year.

The 21-day theory suggests formulating new habits takes approximately three weeks of consistent practice & was proposed by Dr Maxwell Maltz, a renowned plastic surgeon and the author of “Psycho-Cybernetics,” after observing patients adjust to changes post-surgery. Although it takes 18 to 254 days on average to form a new habit, the 21-day plan is still a valuable yardstick to adopt.

To make habits that can affect the entire year, Muslims are encouraged to perform the following during Ramadan:

The Recitation of the Qur’an: Understand the importance of the Qur’an being revealed this month and spend additional time reciting and reflecting on its verses.

Spiritual Purification: View Ramadan as an opportunity for self-reflection and purification of the soul. Engage in dua (supplication) and dhikr (remembrance of Allah) to cleanse the soul, enabling a transformation of lasting habits.

Introduce New Acts of Worship: Introduce new acts of worship to deepen your spiritual growth during the month. This can include nightly Qur’anic reflection sessions or learning a further supplication each day.

Learning is the Key to Success: Commit to learning daily, aim to cover diverse areas such as Islamic history, literature, & personal development, & pick up new skills during Ramadan to facilitate intellectual growth during the month.

Foster Gratitude and Empathy: Use the act of fasting to develop empathy for those less fortunate and foster gratitude for all the blessings you have received. Reach out to those in need, volunteer and donate to strengthen the community and help others.

Consistent Prayer and Reflection: Establish a consistent prayer routine and make time for reflection and personal meditation. Use the late-night (or early morning) tahajjud prayer to better connect with Allah and seek forgiveness and guidance for personal growth.

Charity: Practice regular voluntary charity giving by setting aside a portion of your income to help those in need and ensure that the payment of annual zakat falls during Ramadan.

Family and Community Engagement: Organize family bonding events and reach out to the community throughout the month, creating togetherness with shared experiences, conversations and prayers.

Acts of Kindness Campaign: Launch a community-wide campaign to perform random acts of kindness that pledge compassion and generosity during Ramadan and beyond.

Balanced Nutrition: Consume nutritious meals from all food groups during suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (meal to break the fast) to sustain high energy levels through the following day.

Artistic Expressions: Explore Islamic art, calligraphy, short stories and poetry. Use your love for art and create art that expresses the spiritual themes of this month that bring you closer to the spirit of the month.

The 21-Day Theory provides an easily relatable guideline for incorporating lasting change and betterment habits in our lives throughout the month. While the timeline of habit formation might be up for debate, we know that the key is always the same – to continue to show up with purpose and persistence. Whether it is during Ramadan or at any other time, the 21-Day Theory is a practice that offers us the chance to journey through a time of spiritual renewal and self-growth. When we use this time to let our spirits stretch and cherish and channel that part of us – through compassionate living in the direction of our betterment – we genuinely encourage our self-improvement and influence others. This allows for establishing the most beneficial habits and an ongoing way of living throughout our days and all our ways.


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