Reverting Back to Islam?
You all may know me from the title of M Y, i posted my apostasy in your ffi column i which i got lots of motivating response. Still i see my post in your web in front home page.
Yes this is true i left Islam for good after 7 yrs of being in your site and with facts of rationality that you have did hard work to prove that Islam is lie.
I found that when you prove Islam is all lie, its so interesting to read and to accept because you convince with rationality not with pocket words.
Problem comes in reality. I don’t know about you and many but there are people like me too who needs faith.
In short after leaving Islam , i looked after many faiths like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and humanism (although its not a faith).
Because i was one time practicing Muslim who loved his sweetness of faith, therefore i did not found any sweetness in other faith like Islam.
No matter on what foundation its based on but still i believe the one who is born with any religion become his/her part of life.
You were in in canada when you left Iran, so you can practice your humanism without going to mosques, praying, fasting and all Islamic pillars.
But i stay in a country where we used to enjoy Ramadan, eid , praying going to mosques , its not only environment but its all culture which matters.
You just cannot throw easily a religion and culture which you have born with. I am not hypocrite whatever i do i do not by pretending.
Maybe you can pray behind your uncle just to show him and make him happy as he is the old man, but i cant do.
In short i learned lot from your site that at least being Muslim i will never force my religion on others and believe in humanity but i cant stop namaaz, and all islamic duty.
If there is no GOD so no problem i love my faith i will follow it and if GOD who is not ALLAH then why did he made me born with Islam ?, if he don’t like it.
Anyway i know you say the problem with Islam is that does not bring peace but hate and its religion of shaitan because its forces people.
Mr Sina i have seen people dying with cancer who were believers and non believers at end everyone remembers there god, there faith.
And i come to believe that’s what it counts leaving all doubts behind.
I don’t wish but what if you got cancer and your pain is unbearable and you are about to die will you not remember GOD forgetting your all doubts ?.
Many people have tried to reform Islam let us do too, forgetting her past history we can make our religion now of peace by joining other faiths in unity.
No one is perfect you will always find one good thing in person following humanity and one bad thing too like-vise in any person following Islam.
It will not cost you to keep your faith Islam with you as long as you believe in peace not in violence .
In bible too there are lots of verses of violence but most Christians follow humanism.
I know you will not like this but i am back to my new reformed Islam where i love sweetness of my faith.
You can leave your life and can convince others but know that its different in real word you cannot pretend every time there is guilt felling too.
And don’t forget death which we all have to face one-day, so let everyone believe with whatever they are born with and thats a humanity too..
I empathize with your feelings. I went through the same processes. In fact I wrote a long article about my journey from belief to enlightenment, which I titled Seven Valleys From Faith to Enlightenment.
Your feelings are legitimate. Our emotions have a much stronger hold on us than our rational thoughts. Our prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for our focus, planning, abstract thought, empathy, judgment and insight, is very new. It first appeared in primates and culminated in human brain.
Hominid brains have evolved and grown from 400g in just 3-4 million years, to their present size of 1400g (1.4kg). Homo sapience, i.e. us, is believed to have emerged only 100,000 years ago. The Homo erectus, who lived 1.7 million years ago and had a body not much smaller than us, had a brain half of the size of our brain. Most of the growth of our brain has taken place in our prefrontal cortex. That is where our rational thoughts are generated.
Our emotions are generated in the limbic system. The limbic system can record memories of agreeable and disagreeable experiences.
The limbic system emerged in the first mammals. The first mammals evolved from therapsids (“mammal-like reptiles”) at the end of the Triassic period. That is about 248 to 206 million years ago. Yes mammals co-existed with dinosaurs, but of course they were tiny in size, like mice, so they were in no danger by those giant beasts.
This old limbic system is the seat of the value judgments that we make, often unconsciously, that exert such a strong influence on our behavior.
Our prefrontal cortex is what questions, judges and evaluates the truth and falsehood of a belief and accepts or rejects it on a rational level. However, this is only true if the belief is not rooted in our emotions. For example, a scientist may hold a belief about an area of science and he may have dedicated the best part of his career to prove a theory. But once that theory is refuted, sometimes by the scientist himself, he will readily toss it away and will no longer hold unto it.
Religious belief is deeply rooted in emotions. It brings to mind memories of joy, euphoria, friendship, of waking up in early mornings to eat and pray, the moment of iftar which was more than just eating but of expectation and reunion. The fuzzy feeling of having obeyed God and attaining his pleasure. Memories of childhood and of Ramadan, of friendships we formed in the mosque. All these feelings are generated in our limbic system. This is a much more ancient brain than our impersonal, calculative and rational prefrontal cortex and therefor it is stronger.
Which memories are more enduring and more significant in your life? The ones pertaining to your childhood, when you were shown love and affection or perhaps abused and mistreated or when you learned how to calculate the root square of a number? Of course memories that involve our emotions are more significant to us.
Religion has very little to do with reason and a lot to do with emotions. It affects our limbic system more than it does our prefrontal cortex. And our limbic system has a greater hold on us than our rational mind.
Feelings are stronger than reason. But not for long! Eventually reason overcomes emotions. In Aesop’s story of the race between rabbit and turtle, rabbit is faster but at the end the turtle wins the race, because he is more steady and persistent. Emotions are like the rabbit and reason is like the turtle. Reason never relents. It is very stubborn. At first emotions seem to be winning, but eventually reason wins the race.
If you think you miss the emotional fuzziness that you used to receive as a believer go ahead and immerse yourself in Islam. It is my belief that after sometimes you will give up. That is my experience. After the initial shock that I received when I learned the truth about Islam, I tried my best to cling to my faith. I prayed more fervently. I wanted to regain my faith. After two years of dismal failure I realized I am only trying to fool myself and gave up trying. It took me two years to accept I am not a believer anymore.
I compared this period to when Adam ate from the tree of knowledge and his eyes were opened. He could see the truth that he was naked and as the result he was kicked out of the paradise. That paradise was the paradise of ignorance. Once you eat from the tree of knowledge and your eyes are opened, you can no longer stay there. He saw himself naked because everything he thought to be true was not. He saw himself as the emperor with the invisible clock and the deception of it all.
I clung to those closed gates for two years until I accepted the reality that I can’t go back. I had to find my own way and earn my living with the sweat of my brow. In other words seek knowledge through my own efforts and not rely on someone providing it for me.
When you are a believer, you don’t have to search for the truth. All the answers are provided for you in a book. To understand how the world came to be, you consult that book. To decide how to treat other humans you read that book. To find how to run your daily life and the best way to govern the society, you read that book. Islam goes even further and tells you what to eat and what not to eat, how to dress, how to brush your teeth, how to defecate, urinate and copulate. When you leave your religion, you have to rely on science, on conscience and on commonsense to find the answer to your questions. This is the interpretation of the metaphor of earning your livelihood with the sweat of your brow.
The movie Matrix depicts the same story in a science fiction film. You and I have taken the red pill. We have seen the truth. Not knowing the truth was more pleasant, but it is too late for us.
So go ahead and give your best shot and see if you can go back. See if you can unlearn what you have learned. I tried for two years and failed. I know others who did the same and they too failed. Let me know if you succeed. Once a child is born he cannot go back to the womb again.
Do I miss the belief in God? I confess that I do. This is now 18 years that I am an atheist. But I would not hesitate to become a believer if God if only I could. About three years ago my sister called and gave me a terrifying news. She said, she may lose her daughter. A tumor had been found in the fourth ventricle of my beautiful 22 years old niece. This is a cavity between cerebrum and brain stem – the most sensitive place in human body. Her father is a psychiatrist and knows about the brain. He told my sister to be prepared for the worst. You can imagine the devastation that this news caused to everyone. My sister said, please pray. I said, to whom? She said Ali, I need to believe or I will go mad..
I went out and walked by the sea with a huge pain on my chest. I wanted to do something, but there was nothing I could do. If I believed in God I could pray and satisfy myself that I did what I could. That is when I realized how lucky the believers are. The feeling of helplessness is overbearing. The belief in God is a fantasy, but it is a beautiful fantasy that helps us overcome hardships, gives us hope and a sense of belonging.
(The operation was successful and the tumor was benign. My niece is perfectly fine.)
Belief in God can help patients live longer. According to a new study, post-operative patients with religious faith have a better survival rate than those without such beliefs.
Daily Telegraph reported A research found that people who were actively “seeking God” fared better than those who did not hold religious faith, regardless of which faith they held. Even patients who did not attend church were up to three times more likely to survive by having a “strong religious connection.
Dr Franco Bonaguidi, who led the study, said the study found patients with “high religious coping” who actively sought “God’s help” and trusted their beliefs had a “more prolonged post-transplant survival than patients with low religiosity. We found that an active search for God, (where) the patient’s faith in a higher power rather than a generic destiny, had a positive impact on patient survival,” he said. Dr Bonaguidi added that it was, “the personal relationship between the patient and God, regardless of religious creed rather than formal church attendance that positively affected survival.” The specific religious beliefs held by a person did not appear to matter.
I don’t believe in God because I can’t. Muhammad would say my heart is sealed. I believe my eyes are opened. Whatever the case I know that I can’t become a believer and that is despite my wish. I envy the believers. I have never tried to persuade others to give up belief in God. I am not an atheist crusader. Furthermore, I don’t see atheism contributing any improvement in human conduct. It does not make us more ethical or more moral. It is more rational. Reason is important, but there are other factors that are also important, such as love, altruism, hope and friendliness. Different religions emphasize on these factors differently. In Islam there is not much love and altruism, and friendliness is limited to fellow believers. But there is hope – the hope for the afterlife. This hope may be a fallacy but it is still hope and hope is good.
If you can and want to believe in God, I suggest you choose a god that is a god of love. Follow a religion that promotes altruism, is inclusive and not exclusive, and does not advocate the hatred of the outsiders. Islam does not fall into that category. Islam is a religion that promotes hatred and violence against non-believers. The word kafir is derogatory. It means one who covers. In fact “cover” and “kafir” are etymologically connected. Kafir is one who knows the truth and hides it. This is an insult. It is stupid to believe people know the truth and reject it. Narcissists think like that. Since Islam is the brainchild of a narcissist, it denigrates the disbelievers and calls them kafir. You did not become a kafir when you found the truth about Islam and left it. But now that you know that truth and try to cover it, you have become a kafir. (What I say is true, but I am only teasing you).
It is true that it is easier for one who lives in the west to leave Islam. I could go to churches and I did. I had read the Bible and it did not appeal to me, specially the Old Testament. I was not going to churches in the search of truth. I knew I can’t find the truth in any church, synagogue or temple. I needed human contact and company. I found a Mennonite church, which was great. After the highly lively sermons, the music and the choir there was lunch. I paid just the cost of the food, very little money, and had as nice meal that I could eat in the company of others. Each week I sat at a different table and met new people. In the evenings there was youth activity, music and songs. And sometimes they organized outings, such as hiking and sport. There were Bible studies. Since I knew the Bible better than others I often explained it to them. I never told them I don’t believe. I was not going to spoil their fun and I also enjoyed seeing the joy in their faces. Then I moved to another city and did not look for another church.
Unfortunately, living in an Islamic country you can’t have that kind of experience. Yes there is a lot of sweetness in other faiths too. You can’t taste them because you approach them rationally, while your approach to Islam is emotionally.
Going back to the mosque is your only option. Go ahead. Eventually you will accept that you don’t belong there. This can take a few months or a few years. When the time is right for you, you’ll resign to that fact.
One day, when standing for prayer, I paused and told myself, what the hell are you doing? Who are you trying to fool? From thereon, I realized I can’t go back.
There is another very important point that you must remember. Many Muslims are terrorists. They kill innocent people all over the world.
Yesterday the Taliban Muslims shot Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl activist and nearly killed her. Her crime was to expose the Taliban’s atrocities and advocate for girls’ education. Malala was shot in the head and neck.
Who is responsible for this crime? The Taliban? No! the Taliban are practicing the true Islam. You and other Muslims who go to the Mosque and keep this religion of hate alive are responsible. The Taliban see this and believe Islam is the fastest growing religion and hence they conclude that it must be true. If it is true why not practice it the way Muhammad intended it to be practiced?
If people stopped going to the mosque and mosques become empty, these fools will lose their steam and will not be so eager to kill innocent people.
Any time Islam is perceived as strong Islamic terrorism (jihad) becomes virulent. Any time you go to the mosque remember you are indirectly promoting Islam and have a share in the spread of Islamic terrorism. If after this you can live with your conscience, go ahead and pretend to be a Muslim.
What made Hitler strong? It was the huge masses who went to listen to his speeches. if these people did not go and by their presence did not show their support of that madman, would he have dared to start the war and kill so many people? Hitler was a madman. You can’t expect responsibility from a madman. The ultimate responsibility was on the people who supported him.
When the Islamic revolution happened I was not in Iran. But I met many people who had escaped after the revolution. They said they did not know a thing about Khomeni and the revolution. They were not interested in politics at all. They just went to the streets because it was fun. It was a novelty. They sang a few taboo slogans which in itself was exiting and there was no danger, because the Shah had ordered his soldiers not to shoot at the crowd. Without knowing, they made that revolution happen and not only they paid for their stupidity, their children are still paying for it.
Any time you go to the mosque, you are supporting a terrorist cult. What you feel inside does not count. Your presence is evidence of your support for Islam and an encouragement for the Taliban and other terrorists.