Dear Ali Sina
I need your advice on a very important matter. I have read your articles and have found them very convincing. I was born and raised in a conservative religious family in Pakistan. I had always doubted Islam but all around me were very religious and I couldn’t find answers for the questions I was having about Islam. I was always told that I had to not question and just believe but I couldn’t do that. I am 30 years old now and married to a religious woman for five years and have a daughter. It was arranged marriage although not a forced one apparently. I am now convinced after studying a lot including your articles that I am no more a believer in Islam. That leaves me with harsh reality around me. I cannot say this in my community and family because you know the repercussions. The word has already slipped that I am not a practicing Muslim. I fear someone will report me to extremists which are quite common around me. I don’t know how to remain silent because I cannot. I think I have the right to my own views but I cannot do that for the fear of my life. I cannot even tell it to my wife because when I start the topic she says to stop talking like that. She is dumb completely in everything.
I kindda developed liking for another Pakistani girl. And now both of us want to marry and this new girl is religious too. She says there is nothing wrong to marry for the second time in Islam. But I am not a Muslim anymore and she knows it too. She says she will accept me with this. She is however quite qualified and has agreed to enjoy her life with me without being in burka. She uses miniskirts but never miss her prayers too. Our relationship is few months old in which we have met for few times and mostly we are on phone. I also find myself guilty as I am cheating on my wife. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to leave my wife as I know I will never be able to see my daughter again and there will be family clash too. She is relative. And if I leave her for another woman who I love I fear how would our long relationship workout if we have different religious beliefs. I am sure I cannot change my wife and I am not satisfied with her. But I am not sure about the girl I love either. I don’t know how would she act in bed as she doesn’t allow me to do it because of religious reasons otherwise she says she wants it. I want your advice on how shall I cope with my environment and family (including parents, siblings and relatives) as I am no Muslim any more. Also about my daughter. She is four and already beginning to follow her mom in prayers. She will ultimately become like her mother. I don’t want that either for because I don’t want her to live in fear all her life and waste her time and energies on prayers. Also about my this new relationship with the girl I like. If I marry her nobody will accept that neither in my family nor in hers. This marriage will be in court and secret and thus with a lot of problems from families. She is doing it because islam has allowed second marriage. I want her because I like her but I don’t like her being religious and I don’t like being married to two girls. i am sure one will suffer and my financial condition doesn’t allow it too at this moment. I desperately need your advice here.
Your email contains two questions. One is about your apostasy and the other is about your relationship with this other woman.
As for your apostasy you have to keep it a secret. You leave in Pakistan. This is a dangerous place. Your first duty is to stay safe and protect your life. So I suggest you keep your mouth shut and even go to the mosque and pretend to be a Muslim if necessary. Beat Muslims at their own game of deception. Things will not remain always the same. When the time is right you will be able to declare your apostasy. Now is not the time.
The blind faith of your wife is a problem. But you have a child with her. That innocent child has the right to both her parents, and to be loved and provided for. You must do whatever you can to ensure she does not miss what is rightfully hers.
If your wife is unwilling to listen there is nothing you can do. It might be unsafe to bring the subject up. She can put your life in danger, especially if she senses that you are not faithful to her. Women can be very vindictive. They fight dirty, much dirtier than men. This is biological. They are weaker physically so they compensate with viciousness. Don’t corner a woman as she can destroy you.
If you want her to leave Islam, first you have to love her. Love is not something you can fake. You must really love her and make her know. Once there is love and the relationship is strong you can find a way to convince her to read my book. Understanding Muhammad is translated into Urdu. Maybe you can trick her to read it. For example, ask her to help you deepen your faith in Islam by reading it and convincing you that Islam is true. But she must not reveal this to others. Otherwise your life could be in danger. If she reads my book she will leave Islam. I have not heard any Muslim reading my book and still wanting to remain a Muslim. The book sows the seed of doubt in them and they eventually break their chains and set themselves free.
As for this other woman, it is my advice to stop seeing her. This is not a healthy relationship. She is a house wrecker. Even if Islam allows polygamy, polygamy is wrong. It goes against human nature. A woman who agrees to share her husband has low self-esteem. She will not make a good wife and a good mother. Mothers are the primary care givers. What kind of education can she provide for her children? The fact that she wears mini skirt but still defends Islam makes her a hypocrite. These Muslims are worse. There is no guarantee that they will remain moderate. They can turn zealot extremists overnight. Once you live with her for some time the physical attraction will fade and you’ll have two problems on your hand – two women who are not compatible with you – two enemies that will do everything in their power to destroy you.
I believe you should cut your relationship with this other woman and try to work on your marriage. Talk to your wife and tell her that what makes a marriage work is mutual understanding and communication. She is a Muslim and you have doubt about it. So you should work together and find the right way, so both of you walk the same path. Reassure her that you are not suggesting that she leave Islam but only asking her to help you understand it and for that she should read my book and tell you why Islam is right.
To find answer to most of our questions all we have to do is rely on the unerring Golden Rule. Put yourself in the position of your wife, and your daughter. If you were in their place what would you want your husband/father do? How would you feel if your wife cheats on you? Forget what the laws of Pakistan say. Islamic countries are screwed up. Neither the people nor their laws are sane. Islamic laws even allow Muslims to raid the non-Muslims, murder them and rape their women. They allow a man to beat his wife. They allow pedophilia. Do these crimes become right because they are allowed? Most Muslims don’t do these things because they are more decent than their prophet. Do to others what you expect to be done to you. Treat everyone the way you’d expect to be treated.
If you want the Urdu translation of Understanding Muhammad, please let me know. I can email it to you in PDF file.
Wish you the best