By Ustadz Ahmad Jameel
Question: Assalamualaikum Wr Wb, Ustadz, I am a mother with children.Could you elaborate what is count as bad habits, especially for teenagers, and how to change it? Thank you.
Answer: Wa’alaikumsalam Wr Wb,
Raising kids who has got bad habits can be annoying. For example, when if you have a daughter who talks loudly,or when she let dirty dishes piling up in the kitchen, neither she has an intention to clean the dirty floor.Another day, she dresses like a man and playing marbles with male friends and doing other manly activities.
All of those habits needed to be changed. We should not let those habits turn into his/her character.
See this examples:
- Someone who are used to forget his/her appointment intentionally. This habits will become his/her character. He/she may not feel guilty to cancel any appointment.
- A gossiper, his/her day would become empty without talking bad about other people.
- A liar would find it hard to quit his/her habit, even though sometimes that habit go against him/her. In the future, he/she may keep lying, even maybe escalate into a public lie.
- A thief, if he/she does not repent, he/she may commit an even bigger crime.
- A smoker would find it difficult to quit smoking, even when government has prohibited and the manufacturer has put disturbing pictures about the danger of smoking And so on.
When a bad habits has become character, it would be very difficult to be changed. In a worse situation, this character could reflect to our physical. Another example could be seen:
- At the beginning, when someone tells lie, his/her heart would be pounding. he/she would feel terrified. Then he/she may get sweaty, looking at the possibility that his/her lie may be revealed. But when he/she has used to lie, there will not show any physical sign like that anymore, they would show normal expressions, and there will be no burden to lie over and over again.
- Firstly, someone feels worry and affraid when he/she start stealing. But once he/she does not get caught, he/she would repeat that everytime there is a chance. There will be no hesitation or fear anymore.
- A smooth talker who took advantage of his/her ability to do fraud would feel fine even when they acknowledge there are many victim of his/her crime. They would play innocent, or as we say it: A wolf in disguise as a lamb.
- Someone who are used to back to sleep after morning praying (“salat subuh”), or what we called “adding” back then when we were study in boarding school. It would be hard for him/her to do activities without sleeping first. Or someone who are used to take a nap, he/she would feel tired when he/she skip the nap time.
Above examples show that our physical supports our act of sin and wrongdoing. When this happen, only time will determine if Allah willing to give him/her a chance to repent from all of his/her mistakes before death comes to them.
Because of the danger of these bad behaviours which can turned into bad habits, then it is our obligation to train ourself, our heart and our mind to focus on doing good deeds. So that all the good things turn into our character, and it would be easier for us, physically to keep on doing good things, and leave all bad habits and sins behind.
If we see a person who are used to pray at night (ahli qiyamulail), he/she may feel easy to take his/her step to pray in the silent night when other people sleep. He/she would even feel deep regret when he/she skip one night without praying.
In conclusion, as a mother, you should not be worry too much if you have children who has problem with bad habits. If we have a strong will and aways pray to Allah to change the bad habits, He may lead us into a perfect transformation. It is always hard at the beginning, but when we push ourself to make small steps, the next days would be easier. Allah will always give His lead (hidayah) and guidence even if we are full of sin, to get back into His pathway. All we need to do is to spend our time to accept His presence.
I remember once my teacher said when we were at boarding shcool. He said that we live only once, then make it meaningfull. Only do good things, and stay away from bad things.
I wish you and all mothers the best in your effort to change our children and ourself to become a strong character and to be someone who always do good things. May Allah always become our guide, and always lead us to the right path, so that we will survive both in this life and hereafter.
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