Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
Everybody’s level of faith goes up and down. This is even so even amongst the most pious of people. The most important thing is how you manage this. It is important not to let the whispers of Shaytan get to you. The most dangerous of which are not those that tell you to commit big sins, but are actually the ones that just encourage you to do the small, seemingly most innocent of things. It is these things that gradually open the door to bigger sins. For example, in the example you are giving, it is not acceptable to free mix with non mahram men. It may seem quite innocent at the time because you are not actually engaged in any physical acts with one another and nor do you probably have the intention to either.
However, this seemingly can easily and subtly lead to more serious sins. So you can see how such a seemingly mi or thing can lead to something even bigger and why it is actually more dangerous than the bigger sins. Relating to this matter in particular as it is one that you have mentioned, it is easy enough to avoid this altogether by keeping yourself busy and entertained in halal ways. If you can satisfy your needs for such pleasures then you wouldn’t feel any need to search for it in ways that are less acceptable.
Likewise, to feel like you are not following Islam because you have not adhered to one aspect of Islam is a similar example. When you now tell yourself that you are not following Islam at all due to a single aspect then this may make you feel that you might as well not complete any of your obligations at all and therefore it makes it a lot easier for you to do things like hanging out with non mahram men because in your mind you are not following Islam at all so it doesn’t make a difference. As you can see this over exaggeration in your mind about your state of mind can lead you to behave in ways to match what you think about yourself. This is something that can fixed by changing your thoughts about yourself. Ask yourself this; just because you are neglecting one part of your Deen, does that mean you have to neglect the rest? For example, just because you chose not to read the Qur’an or pray any sunnah prayers today, does that mean you are not following Islam at all?
Just because you didn’t pray Fajr today does that mean you are not following Islam? You may say that the latter example is more serious and may constitute leaving Islam, however, you have choice to repent and ensure you do make your prayers in the future and still conduct yourself in line with all aspects of Islam. Alternatively, if you take the mindset that missing this one prayer means you are not following Islam at all then you will be left feeling that there is no point in adhering to Islam at all and will let go of anything that you are adhering to and fall into sin without concern or guilt for your actions.
When you feel distant from the Deen and like there is no point in following Islam it can be difficult to pick yourself back up again. It can be especially overwhelming if you have distanced your self from the Deen bit by bit and gotten involved in things that are not in line with Islamic principles. However, if you keep in mind that Allah is the most forgiving and the most Merciful you can get yourself back on the path and find contentment in Islam in every aspect. This is a process that will generally be more successful if you take it step by step rather than diving into it all at once. Gradually increase your prayers, then the amount of sunnah prayers you pray, the amount of time spend reading quran, making dhikr.. Etc..
If you do too much at once then you may feel overwhelmed and take a step back. Also, make sure to be with good people who will support you in your journey and encourage you on the path and to do good deeds. As you tread this path back to the Deen you will begin to realise the beauty of Islam once more and even begin to wonder how you could have questioned it at times too.
May Allah guide you on the straight path and make you journey easy. May He reward your efforts and may you find contentment on your journey in Islam.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.