I was having a conversation earlier with a friend of mine who lives back in Cardiff (Wales) where I recently moved from, we were speaking about the deen, and she was asking about my eemaan etc since I left, thinking back to that conversation now and my responses prompted me to write it in my blog.
Back in Cardiff after having the baby, my eemaan was low, hormones were running everywhere, I'd been at my mums for about a month so I had not been in the right environment for my eemaan to soar. I'd lived in Birmingham about 3/4 years prior to moving back to Wales (no thoughts of gypsies now! lol)and even though at that time my eemaan was not at the level I would have liked it, I was still alot stronger, I think the environment I was in helped, it was a highly populate muslim area masha'Allaah, and there is a big salafi community there, we moved back to Wales for certain reasons.
When settled in Cardiff, I was able to compare the two cities I had lived in, and over time realised that when in Birmingham I was more stronger, influenced more in a good way masha'Allaah, and realising the environment I was in influenced me also. So after about 3 years in Cardiff, we made the move, but qadr Allaah it wasn't meant to be, there were certain problems and we ended up coming back, and then at a later date made the move again, and this was in June 08.
So I've been here about 7mths now, and about a week after moving, something dawned on me, and I had to take a minute to think and reflect, ok, so what now? I'm here alhamdulillaah, how is my eemaan? still the same, how's it gonna change? hhmm, the answer lies with me, I'm the solution, not Birmingham. I realised that coming to Birmingham wasn't going to miraculously make my eemaan high, it was something that I had to work on, whether I was in Cardiff or Birmingham, yes, there are factors which have an effect on our eemaan, take for example the people one mixes with/the environment you live in, but to build up one's eemaan, that person has to work hard, be motivated and sincere.
Now I am living in a different area that what I was before, it's not too far from that area, but it's not easy to go to the lessons, and by just being there amongst so many sisters can often give you a boost. But I knew I was moving to a different area, I was happy to, I have good friends here masha'Allaah, but we don't see each other that often, we're all too busy raising our kids alhamdulillaah. I surely didn't expect the mice, we had them before in B'ham, and we've got them again, but alhamdulillaah have not seen one yet, and insha Allaah I won't, but I hear them in the walls and that's enough to put you off living here.
This seems to be turning into a really long post so I just want to get to what the point of this post is, but I did want to give a bit of background to it first (a bit! you say) anyway, the title is 'the danger of being sidetracked/distracted' this is in relation to ones deen, it is so easy to become unfocused, take for example the current situation in Palestine, it deeply upsets me what's going on and I feel I need to be clued up on what's been happening there over all the years, and have clear facts, especially when it comes to discussing it with someone who is kinda swayed by the media, and doesn't see the reality, but when this becomes something which you spend hours going through videos on YouTube, or reading articles/blog posts, people's comments about this situation, then it's time to say, 'whoa, it's too much, I'm neglecting my deen in the meantime' everything has to be done in moderation, and priority does have to be on our deen. I feel ashamed that I've left it this long, left my eemaan go down, I let so many things distract me daily, mainly online, take for instance last week, I was searching and searching articles/blogs on Charlotte Mason (educator)and spent much time reading up on her methods and those who are following her philosophy, no work on my eemaan.
These can sometimes be the tricks of shaytaan, not always, sometimes it's our own negligence, but shaytaan can make something which is good in itself to learn about a distraction for us and a way to keep us from studying our deen, and inputting the knowledge we learn into our lives. This happens alot, and my deen shouldn't come second, it should always be first, my PRIORITY ! I had been thinking earlier about starting the study plan on Dr Saleh's website (May Allaah have mercy upon his soul, ameen)but then started to think whether I would be able to put aside time to do it, subhanAllaah. I need to start learning properly insha Allaah, I have been Muslim for 7 1/2 years alhamdulillaah, and have not stayed consistent in my studying, and there are so many things I should have learnt by now, but I haven't. If there's any sister reading this that maybe would like to study the programme together, like online, not sure exactly how, but this would be a great encouragement to me, and would insha Allaah help me to stay more consistent with it. Ok that's it for now, I'm almost writing a book!
Thanks for taking the time to read, now you've been distracted!