- Founder/s: Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí (pictured above, renamed himself Bahá’u’lláh) and arguably his son ‘Abbás Effendí (renamed himself `Abdu’l-Bahá)
- Approximate age: 152 years
- Place of origin: Persia (Iran)
- Holy book/s: Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Kitáb-i-Íqán, The Hidden Words (Kalimát-i-Maknúnih), The Seven Valleys (Haft-Vádí), and all of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings
- Original language of holy book/s: Persian & Arabic
- Demonym of adherents: Bahá’is
- Approximate number of current global adherents: 5,000,000
- Place of worship name/s: house of worship, mashriqul-adhkār
(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.
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.)
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!!!
- Founder/s: Shaykh ‘Adī ibn Musāfir al-Umawī, aka. Şêx Adî*
- Approximate age: 900 years (adherents claim it’s 6000 years, making it older than Judaism & Hinduism)
- Place of origin: Syria and/or Iraq
- Holy book/s: Mishefa Resh (the Black Book) and Kitêba Cilwe (the Book of Revelation)
- Original language of holy book/s: Kurdish
- Demonym of adherents: Yazidis/ Yezidis
- Approximate number of current global adherents: 200,000-300,000
- Place of worship name/s: temple (can’t find the name Yezidis themselves use)
* However, his followers heavily syncretised his Islam with local beliefs as soon as he died.
All my knowledge comes from Wikipedia, this site and Birgül Açıkyıldız’s The Yezidis: The History of a Community, Culture and Religion (ISBN: 9781784532161). I’ll leave the details of what this faith is about for another post and go straight onto the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ points:
It’s extremely ethnocentric. Damn near every supernatural event centres around them or places they’re associated with. God lived in Lalish, north Iraq. Their founder built a shrine & tomb in Lalish (see featured image). And no-one can convert to this faith; you can only be born into it. However, you can convert out of it. If that happens you’re absolutely not one of them anymore, and reverting back is impossible.
It’s highly misogynistic. According to their legends, humanity came from Adam and Eve – except them. They claim descent from Adam alone! Even if parthenogenesis were possible for humans, FROM A MAN?!? They explain that by saying Adam and Eve got into an argument over children; she said all humans will descend from her but he said the man makes life. To settle the matter they put the “fruits of their concupiscence” (cum?) into 2 jars and buried them for 9 months. When the jars were dug up, Adam’s cum had become a beautiful boy (Shehid bin Jerr, from whom Yezidis claim descent) while Eve’s cum became a pile of dirty worms. Then afterward Adam & Eve fucked and gave birth to Muslims, Christians & Jews.
But! But! But those religions aren’t heredi-
In fact, women seem to appear very little in the faith at all. When the angels take human form it’s always as men. OK…
Yezidis are in denial of their faith’s blatantly syncretic origins. Despite their hatred of Muslims, much of their terminology is straight from Qur’anic Arabic or terms Muslims regularly use:
- şêx, pronounced the same as shaykh and means the same,
- imam, from imam (religious leader),
- Tawûsê Melek, from ṭawuws (peacock) & malik (angel/ king),
- kitêb, from kitab (book),
- melekê ‘erşê ‘ezîmî, from malikul-‘arshi ‘aẓiym (king of the majestic throne),
- Ramadan (exactly the same as Ramaḍan, except Yezidis use it as a name of one of their feasts),
- ‘Erafat, from ‘Arafat (name of an Arabian mountain. Yezidis use it for the name of a feast),
- Khidr Nebî, from khiḍr (green) & nabiy (prophet),
- zemzem, from zamzam (the name of a ‘holy’ well in Arabia),
- mîr, from amiyr (leader),
Even their name comes straight from the Umayyad-era khalif (caliph), mujahid & imam YAZID ibn Mu’awiya! They revere the man immensely, even elevating him to the status of angel-in-human-form, but they deny any connection to Islam.
Regarding the prohibitions and laws it’s as bad as Judaism! Forbidden acts include:
- Saying any verbs beginning with ‘sh’,
- Certain foods, including pork, fish, cockerel, gazelle, lettuce, okra, cauliflower, cabbage & pumpkin,
- Wearing blue,
- Hanging around non-Yezidis for too long (especially Muslims),
- Using any kitchen utensils used by Muslims,
- Entering a masjid,
- Shaving the beard (for the clergy caste*),
- Being literate (except a certain subgroup of shaykhs) – abolished in early 1900s,
- Cutting down trees in Lalish,
- Wearing shoes in Lalish,
- Littering in Lalish – not so bad,
- Using water to put out fire; they have to use earth instead – I take it back,
- Exogamy – marrying anyone outside their caste or religion, especially Muslims. Punishable with immediate & permanent exile,
- Getting married in April.
* It has a caste system. Thankfully(-ish) it’s not as complex as Hinduism’s but still pretty bad. There are 3 castes, shaykhs, pîrs & murîds. The first 2 are clergy, the last laypeople. Caste is inherited from both parents therefore immutable. Originally ‘Adi created them as a way to unite the tribes and were only religious roles, but they devolved into their present form. All Yezidis are obliged to have a shaykh – including the shaykhs themselves, and must pay him for services he does for them. Caste systems, especially if any caste is forbidden from being educated, are IMO heaps of shit with no exceptions.
Their god, Xwedê, is a lazy fuck. He created the heavens and earth – but put the archangel Tawûsê Melek in charge of all earthly affairs! What? A god that doesn’t want to attend to his own creation? In fact, Yezidis very rarely pray directly to God; it’s more often done to Tawûsê Melek.
Oh, and God created Eve from Adam’s left armpit.
Now on to what I like:
Like Judaism it doesn’t blame Satan for the existence of evil. In fact, even saying the word Satan is a sin. It’s true Tawusi Melek disobeyed Xwedê’s (God’s) command to bow to Adam, but that was because of his desire to only worship God. Because of that he became God’s main representative on earth. According to one of their myths, ‘prophet’ Muhammad went to heaven and eavesdropped on a conversation between Xwedê and the 7 angels. Tawûsê Melek noticed him and said mortals aren’t allowed to hear such things, but Muhammad got rude. Tawûsê Melek got pissed off and threw him back to Earth! That’s when Muhammad started calling him Shaytan (Satan).
Like Baha’ism (and very unlike Judaism, Christianity & Islam) it believes in progressive revelation. Every 1000 years one of Xwedê’s 7 angels comes down to Earth to give the world new laws to follow. That way people don’t get complacent and think their current ways will remain right eternally.
They’re probably not arrogant. In one of their myths God sent TWO floods, one against Noah’s generation, one against them! Why? Because they didn’t like Adam & Eve’s marriage!
Oh, and during one of their festivals they eat a special tart. Made of crushed grain & meat, it’s called a harîsa. Never had it but sounds delish!
Couldn’t find the full text of their holy books but managed to find this. Read at your leisure:
Back to Part 6
On to Part 8
(Obviously this is the one I know best)
- Founder/s: Abul-Qasim Muhammad Ibn Abd-Allah Ibn Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hashim (aka. Muhammad or Prophet Muhammad)
- Approximate age: 1400 years
- Place of origin: Arabia
- Holy book/s: Qur’ān & aḥādiyth*
- Original language of holy book/s: Arabic
- Demonym of adherents: Muslims
- Approximate number of current global adherents: 1,570,000,000
- Place of worship name/s: mosque, masjid
* There’s also the aḥādiyth qudsiy, a group of 40 reports that supposedly came directly from Allah to Muhammad. Some count them separately, I don’t.
To those wondering why I call myself this,
Know that I am Continue reading POEM: MEANING OF ONE TAWNY STRANGER