I was brought up in a family of generations and generations of Muslims, who lived and died as Muslims. Our family was a huge, religious family who was all in contact with each other all the time according to the Islamic way of life. My aunts and cousins wear the Niqab and Jilbab with their abaya while the males sport a beard and preach Islam. Yeah, that is my family. Many of the males have gone to the Islamic Madrasas and one of them is also in the Islamic Council in our country.They have accepted Allah and devoted their life to Deen while I was not religious.
Since I was a child, I have always questioned a lot of things about Islam and it’s concepts, but I was never given an answer for it. I was disciplined for asking questions that would be against my religion, and some told it was Shaitan that was fuelling curiosity to my innocent mind. My parents were embarrassed because of me.
One of my favorite cousins told me to accept Allah and put my trust on him.
I was a Muslim, praying only in front of my parents and fasting only because my mother stopped annoying me with eating. It became a part of life, with me stop caring about it and blindly going with their trend. I went on with life and studies with all these questions in my mind, and I finished my O/L’s.
That is when my life changed. My mother knowing me well, paid to attend a workshop for young Muslim women. I didn’t want to go there, but she forced me into going. During those three days, I learnt a lot about Islam and how much Islam respected women. I was amazed by the religion and started praying for real. I knew I wouldn’t change my life so quickly so I took baby steps. When my father asked me to wear the abaya then, I agreed to him and started wearing it with honor. I stopped talking to my cousin brothers except in front of my parents. Everything went well.
At the previously mentioned workshop, they connected us with a group of young women according to their place to one person. We were to attend their place once a week and discuss Islam. I loved the empowering energy there and went without failure. Our leader wanted us to learn the Quran on our own while we discuss it there too. That worked well for me, I love reading and learning everything.
As months passed away, I started questioning more things. Now, I knew a lot of things but I couldn’t stop questioning. I ignored them as much as possible, accepting it to be Shaitan’s way to weaken my Iman.
I told myself, I didn’t know enough of the religion and I kept learning.
Slowly as I learnt, my Iman weakened, I found many things that were unfair to mankind. I stopped going for the class thinking all the discussion there has started to make me feel overwhelmed. By the time, I went back to school for my A/L’s, I’m in doubt.
Life changes as we learn more and get matured about things.
When at school, I regretted my choice of wearing the abaya. Not immediately, but after a year or so in school. My school was a Muslim girls school so I had to wear hijab there too, but I couldn’t stop wondering what I could have done if not for this hijab covering me from everyone. I told my parents and that didn’t go well. So I wore it every day with hatred. During those two years, things started getting more violent around me. My mind never at rest, kept me awake during nights with a lot of questions.
Finishing my A/L’s, I came back to the reality of an Islamic family. I have read a lot during my A/L’s (actually I preferred reading nonstudying materials to my school books). I found many things that contradict things that were taught to me at the class and by my elder cousins. This time, I didn’t keep my questions away. I asked them out loud and was ignored by everyone. I started getting cynical and get violent with my feelings. The whole family decided that my outspoken personality is not good and stopped letting the little ones to converse with me. I was cool with it because it meant fewer people in my life. I kept on reading and writing (my biggest passion) while things happened around me, and finally decided I can’t do this religion thing anymore.
I’m done with religion.
That was what I said to myself.
There were more things that happened during each of these times, I will get to them while reasoning out and admitting the reason that made me #exMuslimbecause