Sometimes we wander: why is it so difficult to give up bad habits? What exactly do I do wrong to drives me to fail every time? One keeps telling himself I want to get out of this habit; but how? Such questions are answered by Imam ibn al-Qayyim:
He said, “Difficulty and struggle in getting out of a bad habit arises from quitting for the sake of other than Allah. (i.e. lack of sincerity). On the contrary, who intends to quit a bad habit for the sake of Allah solely, he will not face any difficulty except in the first step, which is necessary for testing his determination. Employing patience at this moment aids him to overcome this difficulty and turns it into a pleasure. Ibn Sirin reports, “I heard Shurayh swearing by Allah that nobody would feel the absence of the bad habit if he intended to quit it for the sake of Allah. ”
Source: Al-Fawa’id: (1/107).
This previous quote stresses on two major themes: 1- To have sincerity for Allah.
2- To have endurance and patience during the testing period which immediately follows your initial attempt to quit.
Translation and additional notes written by: Abdullah Ibrahim Omran al-Misri.