In this counseling answer:
“Distractions stem from a mind which is able to house it. Therefore, if you house it with productivity and beneficial material, the distraction will have no space to reside.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.
The world is a place of fitnah. Not simply for the Muslims, but also for those who are trying to make something positive and productive in their lives.
For example, if you want to study hard and become a professional, you need to have your focus on the right things and not being distracted by friends who like to waste time or party, and not spending too much time yourself not doing work which is productive.
The main thing to keep in mind is your goal in your life. When you want to become a professional, you need to have your eyes on your target, the destination. When that is in place, everything else falls into place and there is no such thing as a distraction.
Similarly, for a Muslim, there is one and only goal: to please Allah, to obey Him. Everything we do, we must make the intention of pleasing Allah with our act. For example, when we are studying for a test, we must make the intention that we are studying so that we can make something valuable of ourselves and use it to serve mankind.
Imam Shafi said, “When we do not keep ours nafs busy with truth, it will keep us busy with falsehood.” Therefore, if we internalize the meaning of this life and understand its purpose, then it will be easy for us to keep ourselves on the right track.
Allah says in the Quran,
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51: 56)
When we have such a mindset, we can easily see our destination. It will be hard for anything to distract us. No matter how much dirt comes in our way, we have our eyes set on the destination.
In addition, things will only become a distraction when we think too much about them. If we see something or hear something which is distracting, we should try to take our mind off it. This can be done by rationalizing that the time spent on thinking about it can be rather utilized to something else, something more useful or relaxing perhaps.
The distraction will only be detrimental if we focus too much of our attention on it. When you see something which you are aware is going to steer you on a different direction, you need to use your common sense, logic, and your ability to rationalize to remove it out of your front view.
Improve your focus
Write down what you do daily.
This is very important. If you list down everything you do in each day, it will help you see what it is that you have done which has taken you away from what you want to achieve in life. For example, if you see that you spent 3 hours watching a movie, or 1-hour surfing Facebook, you will see that the time wasted could have been spent doing something worthwhile for you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Build your willpower.
Being focus on a goal and working towards achieving it is by no means an easy feat. When you fill your mind with productivity and try to erase noise, then it will become easy for you to keep yourself focused and on track.
I recently heard a story about a man in the 1800’s who wanted to marry a married woman. Being honest, he goes to the husband of the woman to ask him to divorce his wife, so he can marry her. The woman’s husband, being a very devout individual, appreciated his honesty. However, he said that if he prayed 5 times daily for 40 days, he will divorce his wife. After 40 days of praying regularly, the man (who wanted to marry the married woman) felt a spark in his heart. He realized what a grave mistake he had committed to having bad intentions for a married woman. He later went to her husband and apologized.
This story goes to say that when we pray with a true heart, it cleans our conscious. It makes us realize the good and distinguish it from the bad. The salah is the connection with Allah. When we stand to pray, we must realize that we are praying to the Owner or the World, and it is a special connection which has been bestowed upon us.
Allah has chosen us over others to be rightly guided, and be on the straight path. When we realize this, it will become easy for us to keep the noise away.
As unnecessary as it may sound, exercising helps focus. It releases certain transmitters in your brain which improve focus, attention, and the ability to make new connections and expand learning. When you exercise, you will realize that it becomes hard for your mind to wander, and it will become easy for your mind to focus.
Reading puts your brain to work. Read things which interest you, and things which help you expand your knowledge.
Try an easier solution.
I understand that you go on a cab, but is it not possible to go in a different cab, which is perhaps less populated with those who are in constant need to listen to music always? Perhaps get a few individuals together who share the same mindset and are a bit like you.
Also, you can also try to use earplugs. Sometimes, when we have earphones, they are not the best at keeping the voice out. You can try using earplugs. But I would personally try to get a different cab for commuting to college every day and twice daily if the music and the religious chants of the others is distracting me to a high extent.
Do not worry.
Dear sister, nothing is in our hands. All we must do is simply trust Allah and try our very best. This applies to marriage. I am sure that you have heard the quote, “man proposes, God disposes.” Therefore, if we seek happiness in what we currently own, there will never be frustration or unhappiness. If there is talk about marriage going on at home, do not stress over it. Simply make du’aa’, and let your parents know the type of person you seek to marry. However, you must realize that Allah will send you the type of person who compliments you. Therefore, work on improving yourself.
In conclusion, distractions stem from a mind which is able to house it. Therefore, if you house it with productivity and beneficial material, the distraction will have no space to reside.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.