Hi, I am a 22 year old Londoner raised in a very religious Muslim household. I left Islam 3 months ago. I was a devout Muslim through most my teenage years. I prayed, said bismillah before eating anything and followed the pillars of Islam. I'm never 100% sure about the future but I was always convinced (about 99%) I had the right religion and other religions/beliefs were wrong. I would even pray optional Sunnah prayers beside obligatory prayers to please Allah. I went to an Islamic boarding school to learn more. I never once imagined I would become an atheist. I was sure I would die a Muslim.
As a child I was always philosophical. While my cousins were playing super-Nintendo I would often seclude myself thinking about the process of thinking, if you know what I mean. Whenever I prayed I had this indescribable happy feeling. Allah loves me and I love Him. That's the most inner peace I ever had. Therefore I still completely understand why a Muslim is so sincere in faith. My 1st goal was the pleasure of Allah. I even sacrificed gap year a-levels at college for my devotions. I said why are people so ignorant of god?. I even felt sorry for non-believers
Whenever I read the Quran I was amazed at its beauty. However, throughout these sincerities there were always some unanswered questions. I remember as a kid when my mother first told me about eternal hell if I didn't follow prayers. I did not understand the cruelty then but I thought I would when I became an adult. BUT when I became an adult I still didn't understand how a supposedly most merciful deity could torture you eternally for not believing in the unseen-ghaib (quran 2. 3). Now, this sounds like blind faith. I thought have u ever seen the disfigured face of a 30 second burn victim? How can Allah justify that? Is He a barbaric sadist? I shunned any of these thoughts and said it's the devils tricks
From the ages of 15 and 19 I was very religious. Even my friends called me mutawa (or pious). BUT at age 20 however I started questioning everything. Is Muhammad setting a good example by choosing a child Aisha (she was actually 8 years old when he had sex with her as Arab calendars are shorter) as his favorite wife? Why did Muhammad indiscriminately kill the males of a whole tribe called Banu Quraytha and took their women as slaves? I think Muslims pick and choose their sunnah/habits
I then thought I should distance myself from hadith, saying why do Muslims TRUST some guy born 200 years after Muhammad, called Bukhari? Who put some contradictory and irrational narrations together? Bukhari is mentioned nowhere in the Quran! Hadiths are exploitive, unreliable, cultural traditions with ridiculous chains of transmissions (A said that B said that C said x). I thought its incredible people believe the hadith which claims early humans were 90ft tall and the wings of flies have medicinal qualities, something impossible. Islamic rulings make almost everything haram - even masturbation and music!
There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.
So I heard about Quran-only Muslims and decided I'm a Qur'anist Muslim from now on. But I was in a minority denomination. All this cast even more doubts over Islam when I heard about even more denominations. shias, ibadi, sufi, ijtihadi, salafi etc. and disagreeing scholars/mullahs contradicting each other over fiqh/law and other topics in Islam. For example, there's probably a dozen interpretations on what beat wife Q4;34 means.
I wrestled with the devil falling into depression, asking for a sign to prove to me that He exists, and if so tell me which path is right. No!!! God was testing me!!! This was all just a test of character from Allah!!! Stay strong in imaan/faith!!
I repeatedly watched Qur'anic miracle videos until I stumbled on a video by youtube user discussIslam (an ex-Muslim scholar) and www.answering-Islam.org challenging the accuracy of Quran. All this content was very rational and mirrored exactly my concerns with Islam. Beat your wife? Hate and laugh at kaafirs/infidels? Honor killings? Homophobic? Stone to death? Behead apostates? Amputations? Floggings? What morality is that? Mainstream Muslims try say this is un-Islamic but this is false. There's many qur'anic and hadith verses encouraging violence towards non-Muslims
The so-called miracles in the Qur'an now seemed absurd, and required very wishful thinking and innovations. On top of that, I never received a sign from god to remove my doubts. I only find that out as I looked at the pros and cons rather than a biased Islamic point of view as most Muslims research it.
WOW. I was stunned!! Was Allah just another god like Vishnu/Krishna, Christ, Buddha, Zeus, Yahweh and the spaghetti monster? Was Muhammad just a schizophrenic man with compulsive disorder who hallucinated or lusted power? What evidence is there for Islam? Who is al-Qaida? Why did Muhammad's own uncle Abu talib who raised and loved him disbelieve in him?
I asked my mother why she was a Muslim. She said (in a convincing voice) it just sounds right to praise lord of the worlds. But does emotion equal logic? Is Allah just a blanket of comfort to explain the unknown?
This time I read the Qur'an with an open mind back to front but this time concluded it was a superstitious fear of the unknown nature of death and a tool of control from paranoid folklore medieval desert people. Religion in general was given too much respect it does not deserve. I can never accept that my non-Muslim friend who is the kindest person I have ever met would burn eternally for kufr/disbelief. I have seen non-Muslims with much more empathy than Muslims. I now saw the Qur'an as a contradictory work of poetry created in an age when poetry was a paramount and conspicuous part of society.
Why would God protect the Qur'an but not the Bible anyway? It doesn't make sense for god to protect the last book but not the predecessors. It's obvious He wants to see a little fight between all religions. I saw religion as something that divided mankind into us and them. I found the shahadah (Islamic declaration of belief) ridiculous by testifying to be an eye-witness to something that happened 14 centuries previous. Isn't that a false oath in rational environments? Do Muslims have a crystal ball to accurately observe the past? Is god so shallow to aimlessly want you to gratifyingly bend/bow 5 times daily in the direction of a cubicle building in Saudi Arabia or suffer consequences of severe unbearable physical agony/torment for eternity? Even if I was religious and went to heaven, what if my some of my family was in hell? Wouldn't I be sad anyway? Religion uses guilt as an excellent form of control.
Why do Muslims treat women as if their bodies are like obscene, disgraceful, humiliating, notorious, vulgar and wicked belongings of men that have to obey? Didn't god design you? I have been to Arab gulf states like Abu Dhabi and this segregation is a cause of a lot of homosexual activity there (even more than the west) to the point some forms of homosexuality is accepted among sexually frustrated youth. One look at shari'a law in Saudi Arabia proves it's the most barbaric invention since Nazism. I now looked at things done in the name of Islam and was in disgust. The violence depicted in the Qur'an is atrocious, bloodthirsty, heartless, and depraved. Kids are not given a choice to be Muslim, but rather forced to memorize the Qur'an. We all know that the Saudi royal family paid Maurice Bucaille to make the Qur'an sound scientific and how each revised Qur'anic translation is edited to keep in touch with scientific developments. There's hundreds of errors in the Qur'an but you'll only see it if you're prepared to.
Its inhumane how Muslims (according to Qur'an 83:34) will laugh at non-Muslims who are in hell. How can it amuse you that someone is being tortured? If Muhammad's splitting of the moon, Moses' sea passage and Jesus' raising of dead miracles really happened why don't I ever see such miracles? I don't think a classical language such as Arabic can be a message for all of mankind. The earliest Qur'an's don't have diacritical marks, hence cannot surely be the word of god. Hajj (pilgrimage) is an economical tourist industry for Arabs and Muslims have been conned into thinking its spiritual.
I knew I would never believe in Islam again. Allah, if anything, sounds barbaric and brutal and enjoys human suffering when we didn't even ask to be born. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence beyond reasonable doubt; something no religion could offer.
Evil supposedly started when Iblis (Satan) did NOT bow to Adam. This contradicts the main message of tawhid in the Qur'an. Maybe Allah can't make up his mind? One time you should NOT bow to creation and another time you HAVE to bow to Adam (creation). Everything in the Qur'an now looked to me as everything I'd expect a medieval egotistic conceited know-it-all swollen-headed wise guy with compulsive disorder to say, and Muslims looked to me like prude faith-head parrots and sheep who imitate whatever they are told to do. No wonder, as Muslims are indoctrinated since birth and have the adhan blasted into their ears 5 times daily. Religious people simply have an exaggerated self-opinion to not think chimpanzees are our cousins. There is no evidence for an afterlife whatsoever.
Is it a coincidence that all 25 Islamic prophets and scriptures come from the same tiny area of the Middle East? Did Allah forget about the rest of the world? NO, I'm pretty sure god is not that incompetent. I think verses such as Alif laam miim were only introduced to give a mystical and spiritual feeling to the Qur'an with claims of only Allah knows it meaning. And Muslims actually believe that explanation. Muhammad simply had a great imagination and is the Arab version of J.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and J.k. Rowling.
You clearly have to (Qur'an 2:3) believe in the unseen - in other words, BLIND FAITH like all religions
Despite all this, I did WANT god to exist - who wants to become non-existent? But I'd rather choose to follow something that has evidence rather than ancient mythical, contradictory, fictional and delusionary fairy tales. Vedas, Qur'an, Bible, Kitab Aqdas and the Book of Mormons are all the same to me. Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Qur'anist Muslim, Catholic Christian, Protestant Christian, Baptist Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jew, Baha'i faith, Jainist, traditionalist, Rastafarians are all emotional attachments to things we can't comprehend. I think Allah is supposed to send an angel or something as evidence.... but he doesn't....
Sometimes I still think what if I was wrong about my parents' religion? What if there is a god? But those thoughts fade away when I contemplate there shouldn't even be one flaw in a true religion and god would understand my concerns, if he exists (which I doubt). I don't care if a religion has the most followers in the world or only 20 adherents, as every religion claims to be 100% true. I think Muhammad had compulsive disorder. I think the Qur'an is a fictional medieval version of Harry Potter. I think Muslims have been conned into thinking hajj is spiritual rather than a tourist industry. Baha'ullah might have been the last prophet for all I know.
I then read a book called the greatest show on earth by Richard Dawkins who made a lot more sense to me. Cosmology and evolution have factual evidence that that suggests Adam and Eve fairy tales couldn't have happened and concludes that evolution by natural selection can explain apparent design in nature. The temptation to attribute the appearance of a design to actual design itself is thus a false one. I'm open to the possibility of god existing but not in the form of religion. I prefer the opinion of an Oxford university professor, biological theorist and academic who is by far the #1 intellectual in Britain, than some middle age desert dweller nobody alive has seen, leaving only speculation. Call me sceptical, but that's me.
I disbelieve in organized religion in the same way I disbelieve the sky will be green tomorrow. I've never seen an angel, devil or god. I don't think god is a delusion because I hate him, it's simply I looked at the world around me and don't see intelligent design. Earth is at some insignificant part of a galaxy. But the curiosity and boastful nature of mankind has made some of us exaggerate ourselves beyond proportion.
When I die, I'm truly sure that's it. There's no such thing as an afterlife
That's my story.
Ex-Muslim atheist, Peace