Tag Archives: irtidad

The big aftermath

(This is a continuation of The Big News. I wasn’t originally planning on writing it, but I feel it’s important to really give readers a fuller perspective on how I think about stuff, especially family relationships & parenthood)

It’s now been 2 years and 7 and a half months since I became murtadd (ex-muslim). It’s still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. At the same time, not all consequences of that decision have been positive.

The most dramatic consequence to date is I WAS MADE HOMELESS. Yes, that was directly because I told my mother about my apostasy. I didn’t tell her straight away, because I was building up the courage and still getting used to it myself! I had no intention of keeping it hidden forever though, because that’s the coward’s way.

It took about a year, and as I expected she didn’t take it well at all. Here’s a list of the things that happened as a result:

  • She stopped speaking to me – while we were under the same roof. The only communication we had was her telling me to move out, and loads of shouting. It got so bad that if she’d gotten physically violent or threatened it (which I believe she would have), I would’ve defended myself by any means necessary. Any.

Oh, another thing I should mention is I have an autistic younger brother. Even though his autism is severe enough that he still can’t say full sentences (he’s 25), I’m certain he understood the intensity of the conflicts even if he didn’t understand what they were about. I’ve always felt he’s been severely underestimated his entire life. Apart from the fact that I only retaliate not initiate violence, I also knew that mum is his only means of support which is why I held back at all.

  • She stopped respecting my privacy. She read my diary – which she never used to do before.
  • She started throwing my belongings away. That’s when I made a conscious decision. When I get myself properly settled I would steal mum’s Qur’an & ahadiyth collection, because I knew that’s what she treasured most. And I’ve done it.
  • She forbade me from eating any food I didn’t buy myself. That’s when my eating habits became seriously disturbed; I went down to only eating 1 meal & 1 snack a day. Even now I still don’t eat as much as my body needs.
  • She dismantled my bed. This meant I had only the living room floor to sleep on. My sleeping patterns became seriously disturbed as a result; I had to wake up to use the toilet literally every single night. I didn’t have even one unbroken night’s sleep in all that time.
  • Something that did surprise me is how Pakistani mum really is (behaviourally. She’s of ‘black’ Jamaican background). In all the time I lived with her, I never knew her to care what other people thought or said about her. Even having my autistic brother wasn’t an issue (& I know for some parents it is. They’d be too ashamed to let the kid see light of day!). Once I told her and my ex-stepdad of my irtidad that completely changed. She begged/ threatened me to never tell anyone in the local community. I know that’s a Sasian thing because the area we lived in was predominantly Pakistani, and they’re really up themselves about honour, shame, all that fuckery. I replied I wouldn’t tell anyone UNLESS THEY ASKED.
  • I became suicidal. There was a day I had a knife to my throat and was ready to slit it, but it was only the thought of my gf that stopped me. To this day she doesn’t even know.
  • Months before I got properly kicked out, I went to the local social services to get rehoused. As you know, the social housing sector is pointlessly slow. Part of the reason is they take the piss. I told them the whole thing (including the suicidal tendencies), and they didn’t believe me. At one point they tried to turn me away because I didn’t bring my passport with me, even though they’d met me before and knew I was a British native! Not to mention that I wasn’t a priority because I was otherwise healthy, non-disabled, heterosexual, single, male, under the age of 35, and with no history of drug/ booze use let alone abuse.

Yes, suicide is considered a non-priority by the English social services. In that case I hope they do us all a favour and top themselves.

  • After she kicked me out (in writing), I lived in a hostel. I found it myself after loads of referrals from other services and searches. I was there for 4 months. It’s telling that the other tenants were almost all African immigrants. But they were never the problem. The vast majority of them I got on very well with, and I still speak to them to this day. The main problem was the landlord (Pakistani Christian), cook (Sasian, once gave me rotten fruit and refused to apologise) and housing coach (‘white’, and useless as shit), plus the “responsible tenant” who was there to keep an eye on us (house n***** who hogged the washing machine). So yeah, England is still racially segregated.

However, after 2 months in the hostel I found out about Crisis. It’s a charity dedicated to helping homeless single people secure private accommodation, as well as help with benefits, employment, etc. if they need it. Yes they found me a place. YAY!!!

At various points mum has tried to contact me again wanting to meet my girlfriend. Fortunately I’d made her fully aware of everything, so my gf refused to meet her. Just as well; I didn’t want them to meet! I honestly believe she’d have been in physical danger. Why? She’s exactly the opposite of the kind of woman mum wanted me to have: non-Muslim & from a certain Wafrican country that Jamaicans often hate. Plus it’s likely mum would’ve tried to blame her for my apostasy, completely ignoring that I apostatised before I even met her. I love my gf too much to put her in that level of danger.

Why did I not tell other family members? I have loads. Because they most likely wouldn’t have believed me; mum’s always been the sensible level-headed “good girl” among her siblings. Also, it wouldn’t have helped; my family members have always been very slow to help each other. Furthermore, being the only Muslims in the family made us the odd ones out. Though we were respected and seen as “good”, I’ve always noticed a certain reservedness everyone displays toward practicing Muslims. Even the one member I told didn’t believe I could “just give up” the faith, that I was still Muslim deep down*.

For those reasons I consider MY WHOLE FAMILY as bad as mum, and I unapologetically hate her and have no desire to reconcile. Ever.

* On a slight tangent, people who’ve never met me greet me with “as-salamu ‘alaykum”. Even my gf agrees I “look like a Muslim”, and it’s not just the beard! Shite!

This is why I have huge reservations about parenthood. I don’t want this shit to be epigenetically passed on to the next generation, or to accidentally project any lurking insecurity onto them. Not to mention I resolutely refuse to have children in a ‘white’-majority country.

(Please see my poem Fifty Percent)

I was never unwilling to accept, but now I’ve experienced first-hand, that:

In some cases, parental love is conditional and temporary. Not all parents love their children or wish them happiness and success. I know this doesn’t refer to all parents (otherwise we’d all be screwed!!!), and I have friends with very supportive parents/ families. I also acknowledge that my situation is not unique, as being made homeless is a surprisingly common theme among ex-Muslims.

This makes sense considering Muslims are taught that love of Allah and his prophet (not prophets?) takes priority over EVERYTHING else – including family. Muhammad directly said no-one’s a true believer until s/he loves him more than their family. Flick through the ahadiyth and you’ll see a lot of his followers greeting him with “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you.” The Qur’an (64:15) says “Your wealth & your children are only a fitnah*, and Allah has with him a great reward.”

* can translate as trial, infatuation, tribulation, riot, enchantment, persecution, test, temptation or civil strife. Take your pick.

It is 100% true also that under the shariy’ah, murtadduwn are to be killed. If England were a Muslim-ruled country, I would have been slaughtered.

(In case anyone’s under any illusions, ex-Muslims do get physically attacked and killed right here in England too. I was just stupidly lucky.)

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I write this fully aware that my mum sometimes reads this blog (remember she no longer gives a shit about my privacy). But it is an important story to tell. I originally wanted to keep it firmly in my past, but it has made me who I am today.

I am free of the burden of my family’s secretiveness!

I am spatially distinct from the filth of Abrahamic monotheism!

I am on my way to bigger and better things with my creativity and destiny!

I am several steps closer to leaving this shithole country for good!

I like being alive!!!

Theological Musings part 3 – SECOND KUFR ANNIVERSARY!!!

Now makes exactly two years since I left Islam. And I’m still all the better for it!

This post will be in two sections: an inventory of things Islam had done for me (I’ll let you decide what’s positive & negative), and an update on my current beliefs about divinity, morality, existence, etc.


WHAT DID LIFE AS A MUSLIM GIVE & TEACH ME?

  • Absolute faith that my religion was right, unending doubt over if I was following it properly or not
  • Confusion over whether humans really have free will or not
  • Definitive answer to the Problem of Evil (only after I’d finally resolved the free will issue!)
  • Daily moderate exercise, i.e. the 5 daily prayers

  • Sleep deprivation!!! (due to waking up for fajr most mornings, and in Ramadan waking up for suhr + fajr, then staying up for ‘isha + tarawiyh – especially bad when Ramadan’s in summer because night hours are shorter)
  • Decent sense of time without a watch/ clock
  • Guilt at my own emotions, especially lust – to the point that I lived in the fear of becoming a rapist
  • Fear of my own emotions, especially lust and anger
  • Patience, a.k.a. absence of ways to stand up for myself against verbal bullying
  • Selective critical thinking
  • Refusal to even attempt recreational drugs of any kind, legal & illegal
  • Prioritising the akhirah (hereafter) over the dunya (worldly life)
  • Disinterest in the dunya, resulting in dreading adulthood as I didn’t know what to do with it

(can’t blame that completely on Islam; also due to typical upbringing as a creative. Great talent, discouraged by mum from taking it seriously ’cause it “can’t be a proper job”)

  • Idealised understanding of Islamic history
  • Lack of understanding of personal history (because, similar to Khalid Yasin’s opinion of Malcolm X, I thought anything outside Islam was irrelevant)
I swear by Allahu ta’ala, to this day I maintain that Malcolm X’s existence only mattered once he became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz!
  • Belief that all forms of sexual expression, contact & intercourse outside of heterosexual marriage were wrong
  • Subsequent failure to acknowledge how attractive girls can find me (admittedly still affects me)
  • Constant grappling with the issue of how Allah communicates to people, or why certain people are selected for prophethood and not others regardless of iman (faith)
Oi Moshe (Moses)! I don’t talk to humans, OK? Except you.
  • Effectively self-hatred (though I’d have disagreed at the time), since in Islam everything good you do originated from Allah & everything bad you do originated from you
  • Guilt that every sin I commit, even if accidental, could have me sent straight to jahannam (Hell)
  • Selective loyalty to family, lack of concern over having very few friends
  • Acceptance that I’m not normal
  • “Love what Allah and His messenger love, hate what Allah and His messenger hate”
  • Belief in beings I couldn’t empirically verify for myself, i.e. jinn & angels
  • No fear of death
  • No satisfying answer to the question “Why is suicide wrong?”
  • Don’t accept when people tell you about “knowing too much”, “too many questions”, that kind of shit. Find out for yourself
  • Constant arguments with other Muslims over being in one of the 4 schools of thought (I was in none; to me they were equivalent to sects and Allah said “Do not divide your religion”)

WHAT IS LIFE AS A MURTADD/ KAFIR GIVING & TEACHING ME?

  • Happiness is the most important goal in life. I reckon Epicurus was on the right lines on how to attain it (though his book is fucking long & boring!!!)
  • All religions are ritualised attempts to meet that goal. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we remember that’s all they are and we’re smart enough to accept they work for some and not for others. Unfortunately most religionists aren’t
  • To disbelieve in Divinity just because of the existence of evil & suffering is a cop-out. Divinity is not responsible for evil & suffering, WE ARE! It’s our shit so we clean it up! To be honest I made this conclusion when I was a Muslim but out of my own thinking not from Islam
  • Without exception all religions are a mix of good and shit in differing proportions

  • In the words of Agent Six from Generator Rex, “Know what you want and make it happen. No excuses.”
(taking his own advice, if you know what I’m saying)
  • Prioritise this life over any life after death. We know this exists, we can only believe in the hereafter unless & until it happens. If it happens deal with it then. Besides, if the Abrahamic faiths are right, our conduct in this life determines our place in the hereafter so this is still more important
  • Total certainty that we have free will and are therefore co-creators of our own destiny. I say co-creators because other factors influence our destiny as well, e.g. upbringing, language, education, time & place, bodily health/ disability. Predetermination only sets a likely range of paths based on destinies created beforehand, it doesn’t exclude the possibility of new destinies
  • I have the right to address the divinity in any way I want. If I want to be grateful for something I’m happy about, I can. If I want to be effing & blinding ’cause I don’t like something that just happened to me, I can. Yes, I’m saying it’s alright to swear at ‘God’. It’s alright, It can take it
  • Just like religion, gender roles are inventions of human societies. They’re subject to change and can be adopted as-is, inverted, reinvented or ignored as and when it suits an individual
  • Gratitude that I’m not normal
  • Progress only gets made through bold actions. Any mistakes that happen therefrom will be rectified by more bold actions
  • Decisions don’t have to be made with full knowledge. They don’t have to be exactly “the right decision” either. Information can be gathered along the way, and decisions can be changed along the way
  • Law of Attraction
  • Islam is an inherently anti-racist religion. However, that hasn’t stopped Muslims being racist, in the past or now. Even Muhammad’s own grandkids were racially abused for being pure ‘black’ Arabs as opposed to ‘white’ Turks!
  • Regarding sex, mutual pleasure is more important than procreation. If a couple has children via unhappy intercourse, those children likely won’t grow up emotionally functional
Looks like mummy and daddy loved each other 6x very much!!!
  • Justice is spelt R-E-V-E-N-G-E. Revenge is spelt J-U-S-T-I-C-E.
  • Human understanding of divinity is heavily influenced by major historical events, but most especially by our own desires and psychological need for love & protection. There’s also the fact that we ‘need’ to see it as like us. That’s why all religions’ gods have human features like eyes, hands, feet, mouth, etc.
  • Ieshua (Jesus) was a bog-standard normal man. Nothing more, nothing less. Same with all other so-called prophets and demi-gods
  • Heaven & paradise are two different things. Heaven is the sky and outer space, paradise is the way Earth was and is meant to be
A salt lake in Ethiopia, example of Paradise

Here we go again – again

Inspired by yet another conversation with a Muslim guy I met on the bus last week (4/8/2015). Not this one, a new guy. 

It all started when my phone suddenly played up. There was plenty of battery life but it didn’t let me make or receive calls, texts, emails, nothing! I still have no idea what happened. When I got on the bus and tried to use it, this guy claimed the CPU processor was damaged. He offered to have a quick look at it, but all he did was turn on & off mobile data, Wifi and Bluetooth. All the while claiming he’d been a computer programmer or something for 5 years. Then he admitted he didn’t know what to do and blamed it on not eating all day.

Whatever.

After that he claimed he knew me from a long time ago. I didn’t know him at all, but he said he’d seen me in various masajid around my area. I thought he could be right so I carried on talking to him. He told me he’d been training to become a hafiz (memoriser of the whole Qur’an by heart) at some special institution, I told him I’d been doing the same except without the institution. Which was true; in my late teens I’d memorised about 32 suwrahs.

All was well until we exchanged names. Mine is so unmistakably Islamic it’s ridiculous, so when I told him I’m not a Muslim he flipped!

God damn it.

The dopey bastard made lots of stupid assertions:

There’s no such thing as ex-Muslims. I told him about the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, and he flat out didn’t believe me.

My ethnic background (which I refused to tell him) may have made me misunderstand the religion. Cheeky little shit. As if he (being of Sasian background, who were historically Hindus) had the right to tell me I’d been following it wrongly. Especially after claiming to “know” me and seeing me in the masajid.

I must’ve had some bad experience with a shaykh or family member that made me apostatise, no-one stops being Muslim by choice. Mind simply too weak to handle the possibility of his beliefs being wrong.

I was pretending about my name, and about having ever been a Muslim. At that point the little asswipe pissed me off royally. I made sure to shut him up there and then. I jackhammered it into his head that my name is my name whether I’m a Muslim or not. My new spiritual status doesn’t change diddly-squat on my birth certificate. Fair enough you assumed I’m Muslim when you heard it, I told him, but don’t ever – and I mean bloodclaat EVER! – say I’m pretending about having been one. He then claimed he didn’t say that, which I corrected him on straight away.

At one point throughout the argument we discussed contradictions in the Qur’an. Needless to say he said there were none. I gave the example of the number of “days” Allah is said to have created the world in, Qur’an says 6 in one place and 2 in another. He asked for a specific chapter & verse number. I said “Why would I bother remembering that if it’s not part of my life anymore?” He then made out that without a reference I can’t back up my argument. I told him he could easily check the internet for the reference, at which point he got scared and said he doesn’t have a robotic or encyclopedic mind like that.

Remember he said he’d trained to become hafiz. There is no way you can be hafiz without having an encyclopedic/ robotic kind of mind. My mind was exactly like that when I was memorising Qur’an. What kind of hafiz was he?

Worse, throughout the discussion he was trying to drown out my voice by constantly talking over me. I told him he wasn’t listening, he said (and I quote) “Why should I listen to you?”

Y’what? 👹

I pointed out that he’s carrying on like a typical Muslim. He got offended and said, “Like a typical Muslim?” Bear in mind there were 2 Muslim women sitting right next to him listening to the whole thing, and a 3rd well within earshot, and I replied, “Yes like a typical Muslim, because most Muslims I’ve told about my irtidad carry on exactly like you. You’re all the same.”

Admittedly that’s not quite true. None had to date been as bad as him, though the difference is only in degree. The type of response was identical.

Provocative, yes. Offensive, arguably. Wrong, no.

Good Lord, what’s wrong with these religious people why they can’t even accept that apostates exist? I admit, when I was a Muslim I used to believe they only existed from other faiths not my precious Islam, but then I read enough ahadiyth to know that couldn’t be true.

And the dopey bastard still didn’t sort out my phone. It sorted itself out after dying and recharging.

SMH.

Oh, and:

I need to come to the masjid with him. Why? Am I supposed to drop my own plans, my own life, for a guy I don’t know? Besides, with a mouth as unreliable as his, he’d probably take me to a Saudi strip club instead. 😆

Theological Musings part 2 – Post-apostasy

…Then I stopped being Muslim.

No wait, not yet I didn’t! I had certain experiences that caused me to re-examine my understanding of spiritual matters. One of the most prominent was one that I still remember to this day:

I was going home from school, walking past Pymmes Park when I looked up at the sky. For a split second I saw a face. The face was a woman’s, literally black skinned, bald, and smiling at me. She didn’t look like anyone I knew at the time.

(and admittedly she was hot! LOL)

Just the face, just the face, just the face, just the face…

Then I ignored it and carried on walking. It was just a figment of my imagination… except it was unbidden. I hadn’t been thinking about women beforehand, I just looked up and saw it as easily as I would’ve seen a cloud had any been there. For years I didn’t think about it again.

Another experience was a bit more recognisable to other people. Years before the one above, I was walking home from school (again) and it was snowing. It had been snowing for a fair few hours so the snow had settled. When I turned onto my road I looked at the settled snow and WHOA! The road was covered in a few inches of snow, and it was completely undisturbed! No footprints, no tyre tracks, no fallen leaves or branches, no other people or animals around, nothing! And it was still snowing so It was beautiful, and I was suddenly really happy!

Some time after that, round about the age of 16, I’d finally worked out the secret to happiness: don’t express strong emotions! In my head (and on paper) I’d grouped emotions into good and bad. Good ones were Calm, Joy & Love; bad ones were Anger, Fear & Grief. I’d found a website (radically reworked from when I first saw it) that explained Islam in a new way, a way that incorporated scientific understanding and I loved it! It only relied on the Qur’ān for guidance not the ahādiyth (nowadays known as the Qur’āniyyah or Qur’ān-alone movement*). I’d heard of and read works from Adnan Oktar (pen name: Harun Yahya), Tariq Ramadan, Khalid Yasin and others, but this website was really clear.

Islam really was the truth after all!

Allahu akbar!

You’d think other Muslims would be all good with that but HELL NO! There are tons of detractors calling them Satanic, innovators, anti-sunnah, etc. Even following the Islamic line of thought that was backward thinking; so the ahādiyth (which were made up from the minds of men) are as essential to Islam as the Qur’ān (the “direct words of Allah Himself”)? Did Muhammad rely on al-Bukhari, at-Tirmidhi, Muslim or al-Muwatta to explain the revelation, or did he forbid his followers from writing anything from him except the Qur’an? Relying on ahādiyth seems like borderline shirk to me. 

Astagfirullah wa a’uwdhu billah wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā billah!

In my early 20s I also read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I used it as a guide for my creativity, because like most creatives I’d been stifled, convinced that writing could only ever be a hobby at best. This book taught me to not just indulge in my creativity, but to see it as a way of life and source of energy that would guide me to whatever I wanted in life. Basically the Law of Attraction, but with real-life examples and techniques I could actually use in my ordinary life.

And I’d had many other such experiences, both entrenched in and independent of Islamic influence. Mostly they involved visions, visualisations, dreams (that made bloody sense to me for once!) and new life experiences.

Suffice it to say, the most defining one so far is my choice to apostatise. That came about through looking back on my life up to that point (mid-September 2013, 1 year & 10 months ago now) and realising that ultimately Islam didn’t help me. It held me back in areas of my life that would’ve made me a better person, and other reasons in the link below.

What do I think of spiritual stuff now? This is what I said in The Big News:

  • Monotheistic, still deciding what to call ‘God’ (Allah, Yahweh & God all have an anthropomorphic slant, but I believe It is not human or like any biological organism, and is definitely not male or female)
  • Trusting of emotions as well as rationality, subjectivity and objectivity
  • Understanding the importance of self-esteem, sense of purpose and following my desires
  • Trusting of my real-time experiences over pronouncements of ancient books
  • Prioritising external material blessings over internal spiritual ones (not because I think it’s more important, but because I’ve been brought up to do the reverse so much I’m trying to balance it out)
  • Situationist, fallible & liable to change without notice (which is a good thing; change is the foundation of reality. People who refuse to change refuse to improve, and people who refuse to improve are fucked)
  • No longer feel guilty about swearing!

Update:

  • I’ve decided what to call ‘God’. I call it Divinity or The Divinity – I know you can translate Allah this way but let me explain. Allah is contracted from al-ilāh, and ilah means god/ divinity. However, ilāh is specifically male/ masculine so al-ilāh (Allah) is referring to a male. How do I know this? Because it has a feminine/ female form – ilāhah. Remember Arabic has no neuter pronoun, so linguistically a deity has to be either male or female. However the word divinity is neuter; it can refer to a female, male or sexless being,
  • Regarding the word god, it is usually used in reference to a humanoid being. In fact, if you look at mythologies all over the world that describe gods & goddesses, you’d swear they were talking about normal humans most of the time! They have parents, siblings and children; use weapons & tools; live in physical places; eat, drink & shag (especially Zeus); and even own pets and slaves! So now when I hear the word god or God I think of that,
You have a problem with my sexual escapades, mortal? Come talk to my lightning bolts!
  • More than ever now I understand that physical and spiritual happiness cannot exist independently. They could very well be the same thing,
  • There’s no difference between mind, soul, spirit or psyche. They are all different names for exactly the same thing. I’d come to this conclusion ages ago but forgot to mention it on this blog,
  • Destiny/ fate is not just Divinity’s creation, we humans (I’d argue all living things) co-create it both for ourselves and for others. It’s true that we are largely responsible for our lives (karma, law of attraction, whatever) but not completely. Situations outside our control (aka. accidents) happen, and we are influenced by family/ friends/ environment/ culture, but it’s still within our control to change them. The more we practise manipulating our destinies by large-scale actions, the more luck we create for and attract to ourselves. Again I understood this years ago but forgot to mention it here,
  • Angels and devils are nothing but figments of our imagination, HOWEVER this doesn’t make them non-existent. For some weird reason it makes sense to think of there being other spirits among/ within us, since the soul behaves like different beings at times. Devils are often scapegoats we use to avoid admitting we are evil at times. However, I like the Jewish understanding of Satan: he’s NOT the cause of evil, he’s doing what Yahweh told him to do – tempt us away from good. But it’s totally on our heads if we obey ’cause it was our job to fail! There’s a website which gives intriguing info on the history of spiritual beings but…

Oh wait, now I remember: angelsghosts.com.

  • Before I believed sex was unnecessary for individual survival, only necessary for procreation. When doing it, though, it’s still important to make it pleasurable – especially for the woman since we men have done so much psychological damage to them. And the concept of spiritual sexuality always appealed to me. Now I see sexuality as a fundamental function of the soul even from before birth. Why? I don’t know, but it gives us energy, sharper senses, greater awareness of the immediate surroundings, greater impetus to think for ourselves, and PLEASURE!!! Also, whereas I used to think all sex outside of heterosexual marriage was wrong, I now think any sex is good as long as it’s between consenting adults (or coevals in the case of adolescents) who care about giving pleasure to the other party. Oh, and no STIs,
  • In fact, now I believe that sexual pleasure is MUCH more important than procreation. A happy sex life makes a better example for children to follow when they grow up. And yes, children should be taught about sex young. Even Islam isn’t that prudish (even if muslims are). The argument that it’ll make them want to do it more is crap; I knew about sex since I was 8 but lost my virginity at 25. If children are taught how it works when young they won’t have to rely on porn for guidance, and if taught properly they’ll know how to avoid inflicting pain, unnecessary hurt feelings, unwanted pregnancies, STIs, etc,
  • My stance on emotions is totally inverted. Now I think strong emotions that generate action are generally better than weak ones that inhibit action. I’ve reclassified Anger as good and Calm as bad. As I said in The Big News, I also believe “patience is not a virtue” and “good things come to those who don’t wait”. In fact, with my girlfriend I use a new stock phrase – “the power of impatience”!
  • We humans share a lot more in common with animals than we like to think. In fact, we are just another species of animal. We have bodies as they do, and we have souls AS THEY DO (note: animal comes from anima/ animus, Latin for soul!),
  • Strangely, despite the stereotype it seems humans are the most sex-crazed animals on Earth! As far as I know we’re the only animals whose sexual urges aren’t limited by time of year or availability of partners. We’re always at it and always thinking about it,
I dunno Tawny, I kinda like the stereotype…
PHUT PHUT PHUT PHUT… wait, what?
  • I no longer feel obligated to respect any religion. In fact, I kinda see it as important to challenge people’s religiosity otherwise they typically don’t learn. Ironically, since quitting Islam I have become more interested in religious history!
  • Still situationist, fallible & liable to change without notice.

(In case you’re wondering about the featured image of the dark-skinned Indian woman, that’s to symbolise my shift in focus from the spiritual/ conceptual to the physical.)

Theological Musings part 1 – Pre-apostasy…

Mostly inspired by my irtidad (apostasy from Islam), but also from my constant reflections on the divine even when I was a Muslim.

As a Muslim I never believed in a gendered god. From what I’d understood Islam didn’t either. The only reason Allah is known as “He” is because Arabic has no neuter pronouns, everything is a he or a she. To this day I find that stupid, in all languages that use gendered pronouns for inanimate objects, not just Arabic. Moon = male, sun = female, etc. Meanwhile “It” sounded generic and disrespectful, like how you’d describe a rock or a dog.

An anthropomorphic god was wrong too, and Islam makes it very clear that Allah is not like us. He doesn’t need sustenance, procreate (therefore the son/children-of-God doctrine was total bollocks), get tired, age, die, get forgetful or make mistakes, etc. He is not like any of His creations.

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Taken from aintnogod.com

So for most of my life I had a term in my head to refer to Allah: the Meta-Force. Force because He has no physical form or substance yet still makes things happen, Meta- because I thought of forces (like gravity, electromagnetism, strong & weak nuclear, etc.) as creations and astagfirullah for defining the Almighty by His creations! To me Allah was invisible and all-seeing, inaudible* and all-hearing, omnipotent, omniscient yet only partially knowable, omnibenevolent**, etc.

* except for the one and only time in human history He spoke to Moses through the burning bush. 

** as for people who posit the “problem of evil”, to me there was no such problem. Evil is caused by us, choosing to act upon the whispers of our eternal enemy the Satan. It was that simple. 

God, Yahweh and Allah were synonymous, just different names for exactly the same thing. Despite what evangelical Christians (and even some Muslims) like to think, the god of the Bible, Torah & Qur’an were one and the same being. It’s just the Bible & Torah were distorted by people through the passage of time. Unlike a lot of Muslims, I also didn’t exclude the possibility that Krishna, Rama, the Buddha, etc. were all prophets too. Muhammad reportedly said there were 124,000 prophets throughout human history and the Qur’an only mentions about 25 by name. It also stood to reason that other holy scriptures (Upanishads, Tripitaka, and others) could very well have been messages of Allah that got distorted after the messengers died. Therefore I always felt a bit compelled to respect them all even if I believed they were wrong.

Allah occupies a dimension completely outside of our universe that we have no hope of ever accessing. We’d have to exit the space-time fabric and enter worlds with more than 3 dimensions, which is and always will be impossible no matter how advanced our technology becomes. There is a hadiyth (narration of Muhammad) that says there are seven worlds/ dimensions/ universes layered on top of each other. As vast and beautiful as it is, our universe (the dunya) is the lowest of all, a mere drop in the ocean compared to the next one above. That one is only a drop in the ocean compared to the one above it, which is only a drop in the ocean compared to the one above it, etc. Then the highest of them is – again – a drop in the ocean compared to what’s above it: the kursiy* of Allah. The only thing above that is Allah Himself, for whom there is no comparison.

* Often translated as throne, but the throne of Allah is called a different name – ‘arsh. Kursiy really translates as footstool. 

‘ARSH = THRONE
KURSIY = FOOTSTOOL

As I grew older and wiser (I like to think!) my understanding of Allah evolved again. For a start I decided that since Allah wasn’t male I should stop saying “He”. Fuck the supposed disrespect, “It” or “IT” was more accurate.

However, I had given very little thought to my personal relationship with Allah, simply because Islam does not mention personal relationships with God much beyond love, hope and fear. This is the state a true believer is meant to die in: simultaneously loving to serve and remember Allah; hoping that all our love, good intentions & actions will be enough to earn us Paradise; fearing that it may not be.

Oh yeah, and love what Allah and His messenger love and hate what Allah and His messenger hates.

Islamic prayers are also extremely ritualised. The exact same movements of standing/ bowing/ prostrating/ kneeling/ raising the right index finger, 5 times a day every day. The words are identical each and every time except a part in the standing when you recite any part of the Qur’an you choose, as long as it’s no less than 3 verses. And always in Arabic, don’t care if you’re in the 80+% of non-Arabic speaking Muslimiyn worldwide. No let-offs, only exceptions are if you’re mentally or physically incapable of performing them, and if you do them late you must make them up. The repetitiveness is meant to focus you on Allah, so that your faith & sincerity will increase to the point where you’ll be praying as if you can directly see Him. Even though Muhammad explicitly stated we cannot see Allah.

You are allowed to make personalised supplications outside of prayer times for any reason you want, but since the prophet also did them it’s recommended to follow his examples verbatim. And since he was an Arabic-speaking Arab, it’s better to do them in Arabic.

Astagfirullah! How dare you use the holy language of the final prophet to make a likeness of creation? And with Allah’s name?!? This is idolatry, and blasphemy, and…

In summary Islam’s stance is: Allah created us, we just have to sincerely serve Him and hope for a good afterlife. This dunya is a prison for the believers and paradise to unbelievers, but it’s all good because the akhirah (hereafter) will be eternal happiness for you and eternal torture for them. Just have sabr (patience/ forbearance), focus on the akhirah instead of the dunya. Allah has already spelt out everything we need to know for life, just use your free will to obey and submit. Oh, and think for yourself because Allah commands it.

So what about angels, jinn & prophets?

Islam is very clear on that:

Prophets (anbiya) are humans so spiritually pure and the rest of humanity so impure Allah gave them authority to dispense His messages. According to conventional Islamic belief, all prophets were men. All of them were tasked to deliver Allah’s message to their people, whereas only Muhammad was instructed to deliver to all humanity as he was the last one.

This always begged the question in my mind: what qualifies some people to be that spiritually pure? Obviously age doesn’t factor in: Muhammad was a prophet at age 40 while Jesus was a prophet from birth!

Angels (mala’ika) are another type of creation altogether, totally unrelated to us. They travel at light speed, don’t eat or drink, and carry out Allah’s commands exactly since they don’t have free will, and they can live all the way to Judgment Day. They can visit our world (when Allah allows it) but don’t live in it. The Qur’an and ahadiyth don’t describe their appearances at all, apart from just that they’re massive, made of light and have any number of wings.

I thought of them as God’s tools in a way, as they’re tasked with stuff like directing the winds, telling seeds to grow, carrying souls into foetuses, carrying Allah’s throne & footstool, blowing the trumpet on Judgment Day, etc.

Jinn are another type of creation. The closest Biblical equivalent is demons, but not all jinn are evil. Just most of them, same as humans because they also have free will. They are similar in power to angels, as they’re created from “smokeless fire” – whatever that means. They live in our world, form communities, eat, drink, procreate and have religions like us. They usually don’t get involved with us – so possessions are damn near non-existent – but will attack us if disturbed. Ibliys was their ancestor, and when he refused to prostrate to Adam he became the Shaytan (devil). Although he hates us and wants us all to burn in Hell, Allah is so merciful Shaytan  is allowed to live ’til Judgment Day. According to one report, Allah is even SO merciful that if Shaytan were to repent Allah would forgive him!!!

Devils (shayatiyn) are just any evil-minded beings, usually jinn but can be used for humans too.

Since I believed in Islam so strongly, I believed jinn and angels must be empirically verifiable. For years I scoured the Internet for scientific explanations, and the ones that made most sense to me were that angels are the fundamental forces of nature (gravity, weak & nuclear, electromagnetism) and jinn are bacteria.

And then…