Are you a figment of my imagination, a product of human weakness or, are you really the most powerful being, the most merciful and most kind with 99 attributes/names associated to you?
You never truly answered my many questions instead you asked us to turn to your book. But which one was I to choose from the thousands written by ''you''?
I picked the one I was raised with - The Qu'ran. It sat at the top of my bookshelf. I went on my tippy toes thinking to myself ''This will give me the answers to all my questions'' and with joy across my face and gleaming eyes I picked up your book and opened it up to what I thought was a pathway to all my answers only to realize it was in fact, not.
I stuttered as I read a foreign language the book is in but it brought a sense of comfort knowing these words were from my lord to guide me. You said you loved all of your creation but you would send them to hell if they did not believe in you, and if I just said the shahada and followed your terms and conditions, paradise would be my destiny.
I read about hell and how gay people would go to hell because you said it was a sin and they should be punished. I often thought, why the double standards? Was he not your child? He did not choose to be gay. How was he to fight it all his life? But most importantly I questioned how I was superior to another being only because I followed the book and he/she didn’t. Was it really okay to think that he would suffer hellfire while I sat in paradise?
My doubts crept in slowly ''what about my friends who do not believe in you but donate to charity and always have everyones best interest at heart? They were raised to pray to another god like I was raised to pray to you. Why would they suffer for being born in a family that YOU chose for them?”
I prayed through my nights, confused and crying to you but now as I see it, I really was only crying to a figment of my imagination to comfort me in my weaker moments. I prayed for you to guide my friends, to make my mother become better, for my father to have a healthy life, so how is it that my mother’s health declined as did my father’s? I was doing everything right was I not?
My doubts intensified but all you said was it is a test and that all my doubts were the shaitan getting in my head (even though you created the shaitan and as you claim, have the power to destroy him). Despite it all I kept fighting hard to keep my faith strong in you, which I now realize was my internal weakness and the thought of a higher power brought me the comfort I needed.
I am not a scholar and so I listened to lectures like any other Muslim does. I was told you commanded me to pray 5 times a day. I obliged. My whole day revolved around my prayers and if I missed it I would be struck by panic in fear of hell and your punishment.
I was told to cover my body '' your body is a pearl and you should protect it and it's only for your husband and mahrams to see'' This made me a prisoner in my mind, one strand of hair showing would be tucked in vigorously.
I would make apologetic excuses for you every day. Imagine defending someone who commanded the death sentence to the apostates? Believe me it was not easy.
You consumed me and my every action.
My life would revolve around ''bismillah'' ''allhumdillah'' and ''mashallah''
I praised you despite all the ''tests'' you put me through, even though you made me feel like my body is something that needs to be under wraps I still blindly believed it was all for a greater cause.
During this, I lost a lot of people, some that I needed the most. I kept away from all my friends because in my mind, they were ''sinners'' After all they didn’t follow everything you said in your book.
As days passed my questions grew in number, but your answers – they didn’t. Your book didn’t explain anything. It had no answers for me. It only told me what I should do – no questions asked. I took a leap and instead of hiding behind a book and calling my real life issues a test, I looked into therapy for my Ptsd. I looked into many other books that gave me answers and solutions. I stopped obsessing on my fears of hell and greed for heaven. My role models became great scientists and activist, not Muhammed.
I escaped the shackle of religion. Now at 6 am for me is to watch the sunrise and enjoy life with my hair out in the wind not covered in a tight scarf praying fajr and memorizing verses written by a man in the desert out of fear of God.
What began as a journey to seek comfort soon turned into a toxic and controlling relationship.
(For someone with billions of followers you should at least open a P.O box)
"A new ex-Muslim trying to understand the world outside the scope of religion" - Alishba