Stories for getting rid of Bad Habits and diseases of the Soul in Islam
As we know every living human being on the face of this earth right now errs, makes mistakes and commits sins. Because if we didn't, we would not be called as human beings! Rather we would be called as angels. Angels are the one creation that always obey Allah (SWT) and do not have the ability to transgress and disobey. Obviously, we are not angels, so we are bound to make mistakes and develop bad habits.
Every single one of us, no matter how pious, religious and knowledgeable - commit sins and makes mistakes.
It's especially tough when one is young. There is just so much pressure. Peer pressure, societal pressures, parental pressure - there's pressure from all over. And it's not only limited to when we are young. Adults too feel the pressure. So many times, we feel we are compelled to do things that we know are wrong or that we not supposed to do.
It boils down to a simple fact. The human being is weak. As such, everyone is bound to make mistakes, sins and develop bad habits. Some of us may be in the bottom deck and others on the top, but we are all on the same ship.
As human beings, we can't be perfect even if wanted to. We are bound to have shortcomings and to make mistakes and develop bad habits.
That means we will always make mistakes. For as long as we live, we will continue to err and to make sins and develop bad habits. But does that mean that we should just leave ourselves as we are and continue with our ways? Of course not!
As per one of the saying, "Human beings can never be perfect, yet the only way human beings can truly improve is by trying to achieve perfection."
The very least we can do is try. After all, Allah (SWT) knows we are weak.
"Allah would make the burden light for you, for the human being was created weak." Noble Qur'an (4:28)
"Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear." Noble Qur'an (2:286)
However, He (SWT) also wants us to work towards improving ourselves.
"Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition." Noble Qur'an (13:11)
We can never stop sinning and making mistakes. But at the very least, we can try our true best to be perfect (even though we know we can't become perfect human beings).
In diagnosis of physical ailments there are certain rules and procedures to be followed. First of all the disease must be identified. Secondly, the way of treatment must be determined. Thirdly, treatment must begin with the use of appropriate medications and avoidance of harmful things and continue until complete recovery.
The diseases of the soul are caused when its powers trespass the bounds of moderation, moving towards the extremes of either deficiency or excess. The way in which these diseases must be treated is the same as that used in treatment of physical illness and must follow the three stages mentioned above until full recovery is attained.
Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old bad habits.
Remember, committing a sin while seeing it as something bad is one thing, while committing a sin and not even considering it to be a sin is far worse.
When trying to stop committing a sin, we must try our true best. More often we use the term "try my best" very casually. When dealing with our sins, we must have a strong resolve and we must try our true best.
Imam al-Baqir (as) says: A true believer is firmer than a mountain.
Lastly, we all know that nothing happens without the will of Allah (SWT). For this reason, we must pray and even cry in front of Allah (SWT), asking Him to help us in battling our bad habits and diseases of the soul. If one finds crying to Allah (SWT) a bit difficult, perhaps doing so in bed at dark night might make it easier.
Let's face the reality. Our birth certificate does not have an expiry date. We do not know when our term in this world is to expire. Nor can we add life or credits to extend our life when it ends. So, this is our chance to change for the better.
Opportunities are usually remembered only after they are lost. This is our chance to set things straight. We all know we have only one life - one that we don't know when it will come to an end. So, let's seize the opportunity and run with it.
May Almighty Allah (SWT) give all of us the ability to recognize our sins, bad habits, diseases of the soul and the strong will to give our best in trying to correct them at the earliest.