Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims
Reasons I Could Not Become a Muslim
The reason why I looked into Islam was the age-old reason of becoming involved with a Muslim man (very westernized and liberal - a lovely person by the way, we're not together anymore but still get on well).
- He never pushed me to take up his religion, but remarked one day that if that if he ever married a westerner, to be acceptable to his family, she would have to 'convert', although he himself wasn't bothered if it was in name only.
- I couldn't do it in name only - I didn't want to feel like a fraud. Spiritual matters are very close to my heart and I would have to either convert sincerely or not at all.
- So I tried to look into the religion to see if there was something there that I could accept. I've always felt in tune with Buddhist ways of thinking, and I was shocked by the concept of hell and punishment for the unbelievers in the Quran. On the plus side though, I was assured that the Quran is less harsh and makes more sense in Arabic. I was also impressed by some of the "scientific" statements in the Quran - support for the big bang and the expanding universe (although the bit about seven heavens and the stars being in the lowest one confused me a bit). I persevered, reading everything I could, I especially tried to find a translation of the Quran that came close to the "beautiful and gentle" Arabic original I'd been told about. I found the commentary of Abdullah Yusuf Ali inspiring, I read about Sufism, the stories of converts especially the book "Struggling to Surrender" by Jeffrey Lang.
- I very much wanted to believe, I could see the "pure spiritual state" that some people have as a result and and I wanted to be part of that. But I still had questions that wouldn't go away. If God is compassionate, why would he torture people in Hell for eternity simply because they don't believe in Him? I never got a satisfactory answer. The final straw came when I read: "Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeedl" (Q.4: 48). So being serial killer is a lesser sin and being polytheist such as a Hindu is the worst evil of all? At this point I thought enough is enough, I can't accept this. Once I had the courage to admit this to myself, I felt a sense of relief. It has however taken me several months disentangle myself from Islamic thinking without feeling guilty about being a Western Colonialist Muslim-basher and without being afraid for my soul.
This letter was sent to Ali Sina, founder of Faith Freedom