As-salaamu ‘alaykum. :beard:
My name is Abdul Quddus and, primarily but not necessarily, I am requesting responses from Muslims. I’m writing in all sincerity and honesty. Any personal views and experiences would be appreciated. Like most reverts to Islaam, I was raised in a Judeo-Christian milieu wherein anthropomorphism and polytheism were abound in mainstream belief. As a youth, I rebelled against these innovations and preferred the standpoint of atheism. However, after discovering the Qur’aan, I became instantly captivated by the message of tawheed. Not just by the Oneness of Allaah (swt), but also the Uniqueness of Allaah (swt). I became a devout Muslim and fundamentalist. There was nothing wrong with strictly adhering to the “fundamentals” of my religion, I would boastfully remark. Eventually, a fundamental aspect of Islaam became problematic for me.
Here are my questions: How have you, as a practicing Muslim, dealt with the distinguishing characteristics of Allaah (swt) in light of Soorah al-Ikhlaas? Specifically, I’m referring to His Shin, His Eye, His Face, His Right and Left Hand, His Finger, His Foot, His Throne, etc. By far, these characteristics have been difficult to accept. Secondly, how do you approach the apparently pernicious nature of Hellfire proclaimed in the Qur’aan? If this struggle pertains to your experience, how have you coped when you confronted the questionable subject matter in your religion?
Surprisingly, the greatest obstacle to becoming a better Muslim was something within my Qur’aan. Perhaps, in all fairness, the problem is within my mind only. I still remember the day I read of The Shin in one particular ayaah. The apparent cruelty to be meted out upon disbelievers in Hellfire is quite disturbing to me. I couldn’t believe in jinn or the story of Nuh. It’s strange how just the disbelief in jinn makes one a kaafir. Devastatingly, this hasn’t only affected my ‘ibaadah but my very status as a Muslim. In 2004, I became an apostate of Islaam. Have any practicing Muslims gone through this? How did you survive? To get a more detailed account of my conversion and experience, you’re welcome to read my testimony at http://khalas.wordpress.com
titled Journey Through Islam.
One would think, as a former Muslim, that I’d casually assimilate well with ex-Muslims. However, my views do not homogenize with most apostates. Basically, perhaps eighty percent of those who have left the deen fall into either atheism or Christianity. One group of ex-Muslims that I most disagree with are the Christians, probably because they have an axe to grind with Islaam. Many of them are resentful of their experiences and become hatemongering polemics. They attack Islaam as if the deen has not an atom of wholesomeness or usefulness. Even I myself cannot fathom how a proper Muslim can suddenly abandon tawheed for man-worship. Speaking as an ethical atheist, I find atheism lacking a moral compass. The atheist ex-Muslim community is far from communal. It’s lonely. Like cats, they’re far too intelligent and independent to come together and would rather choose to roam.
Many of my friends – most of whom are Muslim – claim that my understanding and knowledge needs to be corrected. If I re-revert back to Islaam, I’d most likely become an extremist pushing my fellow brothers into the masjid and campaigning for the implementation of sharee’ah in my society. It’s so cliche, I know. But if you truly believe in something, why settle for mediocrity? I’d appreciate any advice, opinion, correction, or even admonishment. I’m expressing myself to you all in hopes that someone cares to offer constructive criticism.