Islam to Atheism: A PAKISTANI MUSLIM'S EMANCIPATION FROM IDEOLOGICAL SLAVERY.
Date: 14 Jun 2009
From Islam to Atheism: A Pakistani Muslim's Journey
Saturday, 13 June 2009 18:33 Muhammad A. Khan
Why I left Islam and how look at it now...
Born a Muslim, I am living in the Muslim community observing and contemplating on various dimensions of the inhabitants of Pakistan: their Islamic culture, their styles of living, and their way of commerce. The most important aspect that intrigues me is the inclination of Pakistanis towards Islam. In this respect it is doubtless that Pakistani culture is very different from the rest of the world.
With 95% of its 170 million people Muslims, Pakistan is an Islamic state. The number of rural Pakistanis far outweighs the number of urban dwellers. Pakistan has only four provinces, but more than thirty spoken languages. Urdu is the national language, and English is a Secondary language. The 1973 constitution of Pakistan has declared that Arabic will also be a secondary language of Pakistan. Despite such a constitutional measure, still in 2009, Arabic has no place in this country. I would safely say that more than ninety percent Pakistanis, including me, do not understand Arabic; neither do we speak nor write it properly. Truly, this proves the heart of a Pakistani is anything but Arabic.
Just like any other Islamic countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, Islam is the only dominant religion in Pakistan. Bitterly condemned and despised, religions other than Islam have very little place in these countries. These Islamic states attempt to adopt their way of life according to the Quran and Sunnah. In Pakistan, Sunnis are in the majority, about 75% of the population: the Shias are the second largest Islamic sect.
My beliefs towards Allah, Islam and Muhammad as a Muslim
As stated above, I was, by birth a Muslim, and at an early age we were taught the basic principles of Islam. Allah was everything to me. I considered him as the almighty. He was omnipresent; I thought he was watching us all the time.. He knows every action of us, even what we think and intend. We live happily or sadly, that’s all from his will. We were taught that he loves us very much and he is our only protector. He possesses such a mighty power that we could never even think.
Like every Muslim, I had a great reverence and adoration for Muhammad. To me, he was a hero, a superman, the only savior, infallible, protector, merciful, and the most remarkable personality on earth that can never be compared with anyone else. I could never dare to conjecture that Muhammad could ever commit sins or do mistakes. Had I ever questioned the honor and integrity of Muhammad, I started to blame my subconscience. I often thought that I was one of the luckiest men in the world that I was born a Muslim, and we Muslims would be the only inhabitants of Jannat, where there are hoors (heavenly virgins) and vine (wine) with exclusive flavors. Thus, around the age of 20, I started to offer prayers, not only five times a day, but also nawafil prayers (extra prayers that are not compulsory), just being greedy to have more hoors in jannat. I believed that the more we pray the prettier our hoors will be.
Sadly, due to this self-deception and ignorance, I neglected and overlooked the pretty virgins in this world.
Knowing that every non-Muslim, no matter how righteous or good, will go to hell, I often pondered about them, and the terrible fate that awaits them. Pitying them, I wished that all non-Muslims become Muslim and join us in jannat. Because I learned that the only method for the success in the hereafter was to believe in one Allah and in the affirmation of the finality of Muhammad, the (so-called) prophet. I firmly believed that Muhammad was the next great personality after Allah.
My reasons of Leaving Islam
Now, I will discuss about the false conception of Muslims about Islam, Allah, the Quran and Muhammad .I found the good reason to leave Islam when I discovered the gross irrationalities and logical errors Muslims make about the supremacy of Islamic faith. Here I shall illustrate my view-points, and it is up to the reader to decide if I had been right or wrong.
Who is this Allah? This legitimate question is very common, but there is no satisfactory answer. Many great thinkers have succinctly discussed about the origin of Allah considered, by Muslims, the only God, my past God, too. From their record it is established that before Islam, Allah was also the pagan god or deity. Research shows that Allah was a moon-god, whom the people of Quraish in Arabia, revered and worshiped.
Muslims have a completely different notion of Allah. The above claim of Allah being the god of the pagan Arabs will severely hurt ordinary Muslims. They will never accept claims of many scholars, since they will not agree that their Allah, who is invisible and living above the highest heaven, was once an idol-god of the Arab idolaters.
I consider the claim of the scholars about Allah as true. This is because Muhammad’s father’s name was Abdullah (slave of Allah). Muhammad’s grandfather, Abdul Muttalib (slave of Muttalib), gave this name to his son in association with one of their deities. The truth lies here, because Abu Lahab, the uncle of Muhammad and one of the sons of Abdul Muttalib, had his original name as Abdul Uzza (slave of Uzza). We know that Uzza was one of the deities of the Quraish, and this name is also mentioned in the Quran (53:19, 20). It is natural that Abdul Muttalib chose another deity (Allah) as his other son’s name, Abdullah.
Thus, there is no surprise that Allah was certainly one of the esteemed deities of the Quraish, that Abdul Muttalib, the Quraish leader, gave this name to one of his sons. This reason prevents me from prostrating before a god that was once an idol, and later pretended to be a heavenly God. It is ridiculous to believe in the idol-god that he could be ever a heavenly God.
b) The Holy Quran
Muslims believe that the Quran is the most holy, inimitable, immutable, and comprehensive Holy Book. Every word in the Qur'an is from Allah, and no power on earth could ever change it. No book in the world, they assume, can be compared with the Quran. They think Quran is the book of justice and salvation of all problems. Its words are absolute, eternal, and are intact in the same way as it was revealed as divine messages 1,400 years ago. No one has the possession and power to change or erase its words or chapters because of the challenge of Allah (17:88).
Let us now discuss how the challenge of Allah, the Almighty, was countered by his own abrogated verses. There are strong evidences in Sahih Bukhari and Tirmizi that Allah could not honor his own words, because he had to replace his so-called immutable, divine, and most wise verses with other verses, or in many cases cancelled. My question is: “Why Allah, the wisest creator, needed to supersede his own verses? Why did he forget the previous verses?” Muslims’ answer to this question is: ”Because circumstances were changing through the period of revelations. It was necessary for a few verses to be abrogated, and a few to be replaced.”
The question again arises: “Why is it that those circumstances changed for only 23 years, in the life span of Muhammad, after he had claimed to be the prophet?”
Circumstances always change. Don't Muslims think that circumstances also changed since Muhammad’s time, and will continue to change? What shall we do now? Who will now abrogate such verses that clash with the present reality and in the future? When we raise such questions, the response from the Muslims is complete silence.
Another solid evidence by Muslim historians bear witness that the challenge of Allah was also turned down by his own devout follower Uthman bin Affan. Islamic history tells us that to prevent the misconceptions, variations and errors propagated by various groups of Muslims, Uthman, the third Caliph of Islam, burned the original text of the Holy Qur'an, keeping only the compilation ordered by him. Islamic historians write that, because of the uniformity in eloquence in rhetoric in Arabic among the tribes in Arabia, Islam was spreading rapidly worldwide. To clear all misconceptions among Muslims, and to save the ummah, therefore, Caliph Uthman made copies of his version of the Quran, and sent them to several regions. We may ask: why did not Allah reveal his verses in the same eloquence that are found today? Who gave authority to Uthman to burn the original Quran and to compile a new version?
It is also very interesting that when Uthman was elected as the caliph of Islam, he was about 70 or 72 years old. History shows us that Uthman had close relatives who belonged to Banu Umayya. This aged man was very easy to be tricked and manipulated. On the other hand, Amir Muaweeya, the son of Abu Suffian, was the governor of Syria. Islamic historians agree that on the day of conquest of Mecca, after Muhammad broke all the idols in front of the Quraish, many infidels among Abu Suffian and Amir Muaweeya embraced Islam, either by heart or by force. My conjecture is that Muaweeya and Abu Suffian never accepted Islam by heart, because they had no other option but to accept Islam. Thus, during the caliphate of Uthman, when Muaweeya was enjoying the governorship of Syria, he was very well aware that the old man Uthman cannot establish laws on his own. Uthman had to depend on his allies and kinsmen. Muaweeya had never forgotten his fellow men, killed by Muslims, and the desecration of their sacred idols by Muhammad. I think Muaweeya had been carrying this grudge against Islam since that day.. Elected as the governor of Syria, he was desperately waiting for the precise time to avenge the humiliation of his idols in the hands of Muslims. Therefore, it is quite natural to think that it was Muaweeya, in the behind, who had urged Uthman, to burn the original Quran.
The Sahabas (companions of Muhammad) also played an important role to preserve the Quran. Muslims claim that, many Sahabas, with their incredible memory, retained the Qur'an in their hearts: the divine verses were untouchable, and protected from the attack of infidels and outsiders. Most part of the Quran, according to Muslims, was revealed in Mecca, before Muhammad's migration to Medina. In the initial stages of revelation, vine or wine was not considered as the act of Satan.. We can easily assume that drinking alcohol was not a problem in the early age of Qur'an revelations. So, why later, Muhammad or Allah developed a great dislike for alcohol or vine? Even Muslims in Pakistan claim that Muhammad banned alcohol, because some Sahabas, including Ali (the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad), while in the state of drunkenness during prayer, uttered some inappropriate words that were not in conformity with Islam. So, it is logical to think that those Sahabas (companions of Muhammad), who routinely drank alcoholic drinks, did not deliver the divine messages properly. During the state of drunkenness they might have recited many verses differently from what Muhammad had revealed to them. Realizing this, the wisest and the mightiest Allah authorized Muhammad to abrogate and alter verses at his whims and fancies. Thus, we can say that not only many verses of the Qur'an had been abrogated, but many more verses have been changed by those, who were routinely vine drinkers.
Islamic history tells us about Abdullah bin Sa’d, one of the scribes of Muhammad from Mecca. After Muhammad migrated to Medina he retained Abdullah to write the Quranic verses as dictated to Muhammad by Allah. During a “divine inspiration session”, Abdullah discovered the fraudulence of Muhammad, and hastily returned to Mecca. Abdullah was convinced that Muhammad was an imposter, that Allah had never sent any divine messages to Muhammad. Muhammad never forgave Abdullah. When Muhammad invaded Mecca he ordered Abdullah bin Sa’d be killed, along with other pagans who had annoyed Muhammad in the past. We may wonder why a person, who was the writer of divine law and sacred verses, had to be killed by the Prophet of Islam. According to various sources, Abdullah bin Sa’d was a wise and knowledgeable man in Mecca. It was his habit, whenever prophet of Islam asked him to write such verse on anything, he -- with his wisdom, knowledge, and ability -- used to suggest Muhammad changes to verses revealed by Allah. Regardless, Muhammad gave importance to the wisdom of Abdullah bin Sa’d over to the wisdom of Almighty Allah. It was when Abdullah boasted to Muhammad’s other disciples about it that he got into troubles and fled to Mecca to save his life. That was why, on the day of the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad wanted him to be killed. It was Abdullah’s good luck that Uthman b. Affan was his foster brother and saved his life. Thus, we may conclude that a talented man, with profound intellect, imagination and ability had constructed the Qur'an.
Contradictions in the Holy Quran, is another lengthy topic, which I do not wish to discuss in this article. Suffice it to say, numerous contr adictions in the verses of the Holy Quran have been discovered and more will be found in the future.
e) The character and deeds of the Holy Prophet of Islam
Muslims present the character of Muhammad as exemplary. He is considered the most honest, pious, humble, incorruptible, righteous, balanced, genius, and Rehmat ulil Alimeen (a mercy for whole Universe)…and so on—it is an endless list.
Let us discuss his character and deeds sourced from impeccable Islamic sources, such as ahadith (Muhammad's traditions) and sira (Muhammad's biography).
(1) Muhammad, Aisha and their dating: Muhammad's first wife was Khadija, an influential and rich trader of Mecca. It is true that Muhammad did not marry any other women until Khadija's death. He was very devoted to her, a rich woman in the Quraish tribe, through the rest of her life, until she died in 619 CE. Immediately after Khadija’s death, Muhammad started a chain of marriages. She first married Sauda, a widowed woman. Soon he added Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakar, the first caliph of Islam, to his harem. Narrations from Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic hadith compilation, gives us evidence that Aisha was only six years old when Muhammad, 50 or 51, married her. When Aisha was nine, she had her first night with Muhammad, then 53 or 54.
Was it a love affair between Aisha and Muhammad? Muslims claim that, when Muhammad consummated Aisha at the age of nine, she had already attained puberty. But this claim is baseless and week, because many traditions from different ahadith prove that after consummation of her first night with Muhammad, Aisha still played with her dolls. We know that a girl, shortly before her puberty, will quit playing with dolls; otherwise, she is considered a retard.
Today, this kind of marriage with forty to or fifty years of age difference is considered highly contemptible and condemnable, especially in Western countries. Even in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, parents would not give their six or nine-year-old daughters in the hands of a fifty plus-year-old man. This tradition may still exist partially in some backward remote villages, but to the vast majority of Pakistanis, this custom is not acceptable. Muslims defend by saying that this practice was followed in the primitive age in Arabia. What this Muslim claim means is that Muhammad’s Sunnah to consummate his marriage with Aisha at the age of nine was admirable in Muhammad's time, but in the 21st century, this tradition is not a civilized way of life. In other words, Muslims themselves prove that Muhammad’s actions and character do not bear hallmark of perfection for all time.
(2) Muhammad’s grabbing of his daughter-in-law: Zainab, a young and beautiful woman, was one of Muhammad’s many wives. She was formerly married to Zaid bin Harith, Khadija’s former slave and a black, whom pagan Muhammad had freed and adopted as his son. This relation tells us that Zainab was the daughter-in-law of Muhammad before he married her. The story goes that one day Muhammad went to visit Zaid at his home. Zaid was not at home. After Zainab informed him of the same from inside the house, Muhammad still peeped into the house to catch a glimpse of a scantily-dressed Zainab inside. According to Tabari and Ibn Sa’d, the posture of a half-naked Zainab highly aroused Muhammad, so much so, that he started praising his Lord and mumbled some words that Allah, aware of all his intentions, could understand. He had to rush to one of his wife, another Zainab, to sleep immediately in order to cool down his arousal.
After Zainab informed Zaid of Muhammad’s actions and his mumblings, Zainab understood Muhammad’s longings for her, and divorced her to pave way for Muhammad to fulfill his lust for her. On this occasion Allah revealed verse 33:37. It is clear from this verse that the companions of Muhammad in Medina objected to his act of marrying his adopted son's wife. Being an unacceptable custom among the Arabs, it was a reasonable objection. To confront this objection, however, Allah sent down divine messages in the form of warning of his wrath upon those, who make trouble for his beloved prophet.
The marriage between Zaid and Zainab was arranged by Muhammad himself. How come, a marriage that is convened by prophet himself was dissolved? Why Muhammad, the foreteller of the advent of Imam Mehdi and the Day of Judgment, did not perceive the divine conclusion of the marriage between him and Zainab in the first place? Where was Allah, the knower of the past and future, who would prevent marriage between Zaid and Zainab? I know Muslims will claim that Muhammad knew only what Allah told him. This is an absurd claim; it further supports my reason to disdain Islam.
To learn more about the affair of Muhammad and Zainab, please visit this page.
(3) Maria the Copt, the sweetheart and sex-slave of Muhammad: Maria, a Coptic Christian slave-girl, was another sweetheart of Muhammad. She became the sex-slave of the Prophet of Islam. According to Islamic sources, she was a very attractive young girl and Muhammad was more attracted to her than to any of his wives. One day, Muhammad tried to send Hafsa (one of his wives) away, by telling that her father (Umar) wanted to see her. As Hafsa went out leaving Muhammad alone with Maria in her house, the Prophet of Islam started to give glad tidings to Maria that if she made the Prophet happy, Allah would make her happy too, and she will never be miserable in her life and hereafter. As Maria heard this, she smiled and looked at the Prophet. This gesture of the former filled Muhammad's heart and mind with love, passion and desire for her.
Hafsa retuned rather quickly, annoyed that Muhammad had told her a lie. She entered her room, to discover that the lustful Prophet of Islam deeply engaged in sex with Maria, and she started shouted at the Prophet. He did not expect Hafsa to return so soon. While the proud young and beautiful Maria was giggling on this scene, argument started between Muhammad and Hafsa. Muhammad tried his best to assuage Hafsa and keep her mouth shut. But Hafsa, as courageous and petulant as her father (Umar), rebuked Muhammad for his deception and the evil deed. Soon, Hafsa shared this story with Aisha, and they tried to tease the prophet of Islam by saying that his mouth stank of home-made alcoholic drink. Muslims try to defend Muhammad by claiming it was the smell of honey as Muhammad loved honey. Accordingly, after this affair, Muhammad never drank honey. We should note that honey does not stink. It was, perhaps, the ‘honey’ that flowed between Maria’s legs that might have caused Muhammad's mouth to stink.
Later on, Hafsa and his other wives banded together to deny sex to Muhammad. But Allah---always eager and happy to see Muhammad’s every desire fulfill and defend his every action, however, vile---revealed verses to defend his beloved prophet to confront the allegations of his wives.
To know more about this sordid act of Muhammad, please visit this page.
(4) Muhammad’s followers jubilation on the massacre of Banu Quraiza: The plunder of Khyber and the massacre of Banu Quraiza (a Jewish tribe of Medina) is another glorious feature of Islam. Soon after the battle of the Trench in 627 CE, in which the Meccans had besieged Muslims at Medina, they annihilated the entire Quraiza tribe. Amidst cheers from his fanatic followers, Muhammad beheaded all the Banu Quraiza adult men, and sold their women and children as slaves to raise money to buy war implements. Without any credible evidence, Muhammad alleged that the Banu Quraiza was in conspiracy with Quraish in during the battle, although they remained neutral during the whole battle.
Islamic history tells us that shortly after migrating to Medina, the Prophet of Islam and his followers adopted looting and plundering trade-caravans for making a living. Holy Quran also depicts this abhorrent policy in a number of verses. Muhammad’s depicted it as a holy war sanctioned by Allah, but this notorious act was not acceptable to some groups in Medina, who refused to join Muhammad in his so-called holy war mission. An attempt to plunder a Meccan caravan led to the first battle of Badr in 624. After this battle, a series of other battles followed in the form of aggressive barbarism by Muslims.
As stated before, soon after the battle of the Trench, Muhammad attacked the Banu Quraiza Jews, killed their men, enslaved their women and children, and divided their wealth and property amongst Muslims.
My question is:
Why were all men and adult boys of Banu Quraiza massacred in a dreadful way?
Was it because the Jews did not aid Muhammad in the battle of the Trench?
Was it because they conspired with the Quraish against the prophet of Islam?”
If these reasons are valid, why did not Muhammad massacred all men of the Quraish on the day of conquest of Mecca?
Who were the archenemies of Islam and Muhammad?
I know Muslims will simply reply that the Quraish were spared because they took pledge on the hand of Muhammad, but the Jews of Banu Quraiza did not. I consider this argument false. The reason is that the Quraish were the family members of Muhammad, whereas the Banu Quraiza Jews were not. Had the Quraish been different tribe from Muhammad, I can say with certainty that they, given their lasting enmity of Muhammad, would have met worse fate than that of what happened to Banu Quraiza. The Quraish brought many inflictions on Muhammad and his followers before and after their migration to Medina. It is widely known that the Prophet of Islam was by nature, a vindictive person. In spite of that, Muhammad spared the Quraish. This is a glaring example of injustice of the prophet of Islam.
(6) Muhammad's confusion on facing the qiblas: Muslims claim that Kaaba (Muslim’s holy shrine in Mecca) was built by Abraham (the father of Ishmael and Isaac). According to them, Allah ordered Abraham to build a sanctuary for Allah, and warned him against idol worshipping. Hence, today, Muslims face the Kaaba during their prayers. Many Muslims in Pakistan claim that the system of five daily prayers was ordained on Muslims when Muhammad undertook the journey of Miraj (a night journey to seven skies). Before Miraj, compulsory prayers were not ordained.
Ibn Ishaq tells us that in the early days of Islam, Muhammad and the handful of his followers started offering prayers facing the Kaaba. Later, in Medina, the Prophet of Islam and his companions started offering their prayers facing Masjid-e-Aqsa (a Jewish temple at Jerusalem) abandoning the Kaaba. Again, after the 18th month of migration, Allah sent his divine messages, allowing his beloved prophet to turn his face back to the Kaaba. So, while Muhammad and his companions were attentive in prayers, Muhammad turned his face from the Masjid al-Aqsa to the Kaaba.
We may ask: Why qiblas (facing towards shrine) were switched to Masjid-e-Aqsa and back to Kaaba if it was predestined that Abraham was the builder of the Kaaba?
This incidence proves that Muhammad was uncertain that the Kaaba was ever built by Abraham. If it was, this is a big sin on the part of Muhammad for turning his face away from Allah’s true shrine of Kabaa. Today’s Muslims should realize it that the Kaaba was once an old sanctuary for idols, and the idolaters had built Kaaba.
(7) Muhammad violated the treaty of Hudaibiya: Apparently, the treaty of Hudaybya was a peace treaty between the Quraish of Mecca and the Muslims of Medina. Feeling homesick and nostalgic after six or seven years away from their home and center of spirituality, Muslims in Medina probably were disintegrating. They became tired of Muhammad's harangue and false promises of prosperity and divine bliss. They had had enough of Muhammad. Muhammad realized that, to enthuse his crestfallen followers, he had to engage in warfare, to attack Mecca and take control of it. Consequently, he adopted deception and pretension to ascend to power. The treaty of Hudaibiya is an example of such trickery by Muhammad. The treaty of Hudaybya was a peace pact for the Quraish, but not for Muhammad. Even before this treaty was signed Muhammad had already devised a plan to invade Mecca. Muslims claim that the Quraish violated the treaty. From Jarir Tabri resources, it is clear that it was Muhammad who had violated that treaty.
Allah, Islam, and Muhammad as I see as an Ex-Muslim
The evidences cited above shows that the prophet of Islam was a coward, who always adopted a way to attack his opponent from back, and kill them in ambush. To Muhammad and his Allah, every promise and word of honor was meaningless. He was the only untrustworthy Prophet in the history of mankind who could do anything, beyond the limits, to make his own created Allah happier. This prophet was indeed a miscreant, a criminal, a womanizer, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and so on…
Just because I have left Islam, it does not mean I have converted to other religions like Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism. I consider myself an atheist. To me, all religions were made by men, and I do not consider any prophet or prophets as pious and righteous. They all were myths, designed to trick and convert the gullible people. I do not believe in the hereafter or whatever has been told in ancient myths and creeds. However, I still believe in reincarnation, but not in sprightly form but in genetic form. As genetics travels and will travel through generations, we are reborn in this world, albeit in a composite form, through our future generations.