I've never really asked for feedback on my guest post policy. I like finding interesting folk with different views to me that are willing to share their perspectives with readers here. It was for this reason that I was happy to host Rayyan's first guest post here. At the time he'd been a Muslim for four months, and he shared a little of his experiences, answered some common questions, and managed to squeeze in some humour. I enjoyed rereading it in preparation for this post.
Rayyan's no longer a Muslim, and I found myself as interested reading how he left the faith as I was reading how he entered it. His positive impression of most Muslims he's met remains, as does his opposition to groups like the EDL, but he has a newfound concern for his safety and additional reading on Islam has changed his mind on the validity of some arguments that initially led him to Islam.
I hope you find his experiences and intellectual curiosity as interesting as I did. If you're interested in learning more about the issues affecting ex Muslims I highly recommend the Council of Ex Muslims of Britain.
I write this today because I have found two places willing to display my opinions and thoughts, Geoff’s Shorts blog and CEMB Forum, thanks to both of the site admins. I also intend to help others overcome the fear a lot of religious people have, fear, which held me back from my inevitable apostatising; burning in the hellfire. I did not become a Muslim because I didn’t want to go to hell, I had regular contact with people who were Muslims and I saw how they were grateful for the good things in life and were very friendly people who happened to be Muslims and for me this communication set me on a path of research eventually leading me to Scholars on YouTube and I found it satisfied my need to find the meaning of life. I looked past the lunatics like Anjem Choudary and his crew. Even today I reject the stereotype of Muslims being evil it is total nonsense. There is a popular way of thinking here in the UK, people put Islam and Muslims in one category when it comes to acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, Muslims are people and Islam a religion. I based my decisions on real life interaction with Muslims some of whom appear to have somewhat limited knowledge on Islam and then further on my discovery of the faith itself.
The foundation of leaving Islam and overcoming the thought of God sticking His all-powerful nose in my life
My death is warranted under Sharia law, I was welcomed by hundreds into the Muslim ummah (community) but less lovingly, it’s a perfectly reasonable reading of the Qur'an to say that the death penalty for apostates like me is mandated by God (http://quran.com/4/89) explained briefly in the hadith Bukhari 52:260. I had to overcome the fear of hell and God’s many other consequences and satisfy my own conscience that the source of these punishments came from Mohammed who was not a Prophet sent by God. God himself cannot punish you but the enforcers of Mohammad’s religion are the only ones carrying out the punishments when a person willingly apostates. I do not believe miscarriage of unborn children or anything similar is God’s will, but proven complications explained by medical resources, or does He cause animals such as sheep to miscarriage because he wants to punish the sheep? No it’s not down to a super being and his will to punish He, God, simply doesn’t have influence. Although He declares himself all mighty He cannot seem to punish people Himself, if the majority of a country does support religious law only then can the punishments take place as we have seen in places with Sharia influenced law. In places without Mohammed’s Sharia, God's limits are exposed and He cannot use His powers despite Mohammed’s claims Allah is all powerful, His punishments and power are displayed only where it is allowed and carried out by humans. I will never be able to remember all the thoughts that brought me to the decision to leave Islam it was very gradual, I was a Muslim living what most of us know as Orthodox Muslim type lifestyle I just didn't like the label of Salafi avoiding division or to let go of Allahs invisible rope. My faith was based on a picture I had in my mind, stemming from a man who was chosen by God, a role model who lived in the 7th century under attack and aiming to create peace. Could you imagine based on this Mo was awarded something equivalent to a Nobel Peace Prize in today’s world, his prize was his followers. So we go on to read about him and discover his real way of life was not so inspiring after all, a bit like Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and then going on to bomb Pakistani families and support Israel’s apartheid.
The alleged final messenger from God had revelations almost every time a situation came up which he had not covered yet. Limits were put in place for his followers and himself except in cases where he was exclusively not bound by God’s limits, such as the four wife limit where God made exception so Mohammed could legally have more wives, at one point nine. Whilst one woman with four husbands amounts to a whore, one male having four (or nine) wives is Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) gifts to Mohammed, gifts which were living humans like ourselves to please his needs. I saw once in a debate an explanation attempting to justify why Mo had extra wives, amongst them were widows so they weren't left without support despite God revealing when Mohammed died all of his wives were to remain widows, even taking a wife from another tribe to create peace with the said tribe to later find out the tribe his new addition came from had already been defeated by Mo and his army. Do we accept this woman used her free will to marry a man whom had just murdered her family and friends? It is surprising those whom study Hadith still run with it, and this is another difference I see between Islam and Muslims the knowledge that can be gained from reading Hadiths just isn't there because fitting life around practising the main pillars of the religion and other life commitments time just doesn't include reading how Mohammed really lived and behaved. I used to use Qur'an references and Hadith to defend Islam I only notice how the tables turn and it can’t defend itself. It could be claimed my eyes and heart are sealed by God I cannot see his true message then I still thank him for not sealing my brain, his God he claims planned my life before I was even born, converted me to Islam for me to leave it so he can then punish me after death despite claiming I have free will whilst having no influence in this plan. Seven or so months after I became a Islam I was wasting many months feeling guilty about everything I enjoyed from music with instruments to sleeping on whichever side I choose to sleep on.
There seems to be confusion these days amongst a lot of Muslims that when a person debates Islam or disagrees with Islam it is an attack on Muslims and is wrongfully labelled as Islamophobia, it relates to Islam and not Muslims as a whole or individually. Insulting a Muslim is neither something I would do or support, similar are accusations of disagreeing with Israel for murdering Palestinians and being called anti-Semitic or the religion Judaism whilst not intending to insult individual Jews e.g. I once asked a Jewish guy what the context and his personal view on Judaism permitting 3 year old girls to be married? Answered with my old favourite line “that’s a verse out of context,” whilst I was asking him for the context and sometimes this is true religious scriptures are said out of its original context, in cases like this the only context it could be acceptable is if the previous verse commanded to ignore the next verse. Similar to Islam’s the girl must have started menstrual periods whilst Quran 65:4 gives Mohammed’s answer as “Wait 3 months first” when revealing the wait time for consummating a marriage with a child who hasn’t yet started the menstrual process.
We have these groups today who are far right but deny being far right such as EDL and spinoffs of the group who are still EDL but chose 3 different letters but are still the same EDL. So they decide to react to a group of men burning poppies and shouting murderers at the corpses of dead soldiers despite the fact they are dead and cannot hear the curses so hurting the families unfortunately with no peace in mind and within Islamic limits, so the EDL behave the same way as the extreme group and hijack England’s flag as their symbol at the same time. After a few drunken protests and some Nazi salutes the leader of the EDL a convicted illegal immigrant himself, announce to the hundreds of people within the group that all Nazis and racists are no longer welcome leaving the EDL with about 12 members protesting in communities that despise them leaving them bruised from flying bricks, and chanting “we go where we want” whilst they are ring fenced into a few hundred meters of railings and police officers.
I do believe there is a way to have opinions on and disagree with the Qur’an without going round in groups with pig masks on believing a pig to a Muslim is like kryptonite to Superman, when it simply isn't consumed by Muslims. When people are struggling with their beliefs and need support what good do groups like these do? It’s sad they use Islam as a cloak for their real hatred which is Pakistanis, hate breeding more hate.
Whilst Muslim apologists dislike anybody having an opinion on Islam if it isn't the same opinion as their own, you can and it isn't Shaytan in your head it is a conscience and your personal thoughts. Many Islamic sources blame black magic and food poisoning for crimes of Mo and his companions on Jews whilst not liking fair criticisms and logic not conforming to their faith. Debating Islam has been hijacked by racist groups and is commonly labelled as freedom of hate despite having no issue with the Muslim you are debating with. Right wing groups like these are instead Muslim-ophobic and it taints the image of people just discussing the religion, I don’t see a solution because dislike with the behaviour of the prophet is not acceptable and taken personally giving little tolerance to the opinions of others. When people suggest saying nothing and offending nobody, is that freedom of speech or limits like those following religions choose to have? So we find ourselves bound to limits because of the religion. I don’t intend to start a campaign against Islam and this will be my last public blog on the subject, I intend to support people leaving religions any way I can, and support others in their own right to have a religion, REAL support for free will whichever direction is chosen.
Thanks again to the sites