It would be factually wrong to say I believed in God throughout my short time as a Muslimah. I had never before truly been a believer in him. Even as a Christian child. I would be forced to pray many times a day and sing hymns until my voice hurt, but I didn’t understand them in their entirety. I was aware people believed in God , that Jesus was meant to be his son. But I never gave God much thought , and thought of him as a more legendary character . Someone who was supposed to exist. Not necessarily does exist. I didn’t fear or believe in him.
Even when I was taken to church I would become bored and restless. The constant chanting of hymns over and over drove my insane. I spent 5 years miming them until I was caught and told off. If we didn’t sing, the teachers would shout at us. I had my own illustrated bible. I would pore at the flaming bush and the depiction of Moses, the delicate vibrant stroke. I would be vaguely interested at the pictures of Jesus walking on water , but I don’t think for a second I ever believed. Even as a child. To me they were vaguely interesting stories.
I was forced to parrot hymns everyday for 11 years. Every day. I didn’t understand the context or their meaning at the time. But now with the knowledge I have, it’s disturbing to me. I remember 5 years old me singing happily and loudly :
Down came the rain in torrents
Down came the rain in torrents
And only 8 were saved
At the SPLISH SPLASH part all the children aged 4-11 would clap their hands. We loved it. It was a fun community atmosphere. Now I find it incredibly creepy knowing I was celebrating mass genocide of innocents. That I prayed to a God that was supposedly responsible for this.
I never believed prayers would work. To me, I would open my eyes as opposed to the injunction to keep them closed. I sang hymns and prayed to avoid being in trouble, not because I felt any sort of obligation to a divine being.
All my friends were God believing Christians. To them, it was so easy to believe in God. They couldn’t see how I possibly didn’t. When I finally voiced something I’d been thinking for a while, they reacted with horror.
I looked at them and said ‘I don’t believe God is real’. I was 9. They gave me wide eyes and said you’re going to be in trouble . From who? Why is not believing in God such a social taboo? I was isolated by them thereon. Even as children, religion moulded our minds heavily.
From then on, I abandoned religion. I considered it useless. I would refuse to sing hymns or pray and to attend church. The only thing I loved was the stained glass windows, which I still appreciate today.
I was a firm atheist until the age of 15. I believed in evolution and frequently ridiculed the idea of God. Then along came the one true religion. Islam.
I never believed when I converted. I thought of it as a peaceful way of life. I know. I was stupid and young. And being fed on a constant drip of taqqiya mixed with kitman. I believed Islam as more as a ethical and moral philosophy. I thought I had a free choice to believe what I wanted, with no divine vengeful God or the ghastly threat of an afterlife to punish me.
Imagine my shock after coming to half believe in Allah after hearing qua’ran , which I won’t deny , was very moving. It brought me to tears. I wanted to read the qua’ran.
Every page I saw, I couldn’t digest. Every page was full of hellfire. ‘Allah does not guide the zalimun (wrongdoers ). ‘There is a severe punishment for the zalimun ‘. And so it went on. We shall eat boiling pus, ever lasting torment. And I thought I had a choice. Poor deluded me.
Over the months, I mainly believed in the qua’ran as I fell for the scientific miracles propaganda , which I later found out were complete nonsense. Every time I’d feel my faith waning I’d remind myself of some scientific ‘miracle’. Such as : Big Bang was foretold in qua’ran . Now I’m going into propaganda mode. ‘How could an illiterate man in the desert possibly have known this 1400 years ago?’. The only possibility is qua’ran is from Allah. Subhannallah. 3 ticks and a gold star. As if you didn’t twist things to suit your own rhetoric narrative.
I doubted the whole idea of prayer. How was God supposed to hear me? How did mumbling words in Arabic which I didn’t even understand help solve my problems ? Why couldn’t Allah just understand English? Like Hitchens said, we are faced with the absurd notion God is a monoglot. How is me prostrating and cupping my hands helping ? It all felt like rudimentary movements. 5 day prayers are designed to stop you thinking and become just a slave. To stop using reason.
I also doubted where Allah came from. Surah al Ikhlas was the most thrusted into my face when I asked this. I was supposed to accept God was eternal and he wasn’t created. But this didn’t appeal to my mind. Surely if the creation is so complex as the creation .. Let’s use DNA as a proverbial example. Surely the creator would have to be infinitely more complex than his creation . Far too complex to just appear out of nowhere. He must be like the creation , and ‘necessitate’ a creator. This of course contradicts the notion he is uncreated. Would would not only prove religions wrong, it would trap God in an infinite regress.
My family realised I was forcing myself to believe in God. However, when I left Islam I still believed in God. Just that Allah wasn’t him. The Old Testament put an end to that. It was so appalling. So morally degenerate. And it just destroyed the idea of God. He was clearly a fabrication of the human mind. And I became atheist then on. It wasn’t a choice. It was the unavoidable result. I let the freedom free my body. I was no longer a slave to a fierce tribal deity or any 7th century cult. I became free. And I am so liberated. I never regret anything.