From Islam to Deism
I was a Muslim
since my birth in 1987. My teachers, family and everyone was very happy
with me, because I learned many chapters/verses of the Qur'an. I didn't
know what those verses even meant; I was just imitating or learning them
from my teacher. I was taught about Islam since I was very young. I had
been told many stories and miracles about the prophets of Islam. The
emotional stories usually attracted me and strengthened my faith in
Islam. They used to tell me about how people threw stones at the prophet
and how his grandchildren were martyred. They didn't even allow me to
have any doubts or questions about Islam. If I had to ask any doubtful
questions, they used to say I should not ask questions like that and
have doubts which can lead me to a wrong path.
I was a very good student in my school, and I used to get the highest grade in the exams every year. But once when I was very religious, I thought, If I pray to God, God will do anything for me. I started studying less in school courses and started studying more about Islam. It was very funny and annoying for me to pray every second of my life. For example, if I had to enter the mosque, I had to learn a verse to recite before I entered. I also recited a verse to start eating, a verse in the middle of eating and a verse to finish eating; a verse to read before going to the bathroom to protect me from ghosts or Satan; and a verse to leave the bathroom. I don't remember all of them, but there are a lot of verses to do things. I already had a natural desire to be perfect in everything, and I used to feel like "Be perfect, or do nothing.” But the praying didn't work. Lots of prayers and studying less resulted in a bad school exam score, and I had to bear my family's anger as a result. I stopped praying and fasting after that.
The most annoying thing in Islam for me is the prohibition against listening to music. I don't drink, but I love music. If I can't listen to music, my life becomes so boring and rough. And I heard I can't even put posters of my favorite celebrities on my room walls because there are demons in those photos, or something like that. So I kept removed the posters and stopped listening to music. Then I ignored Islam for a while, put up the posters and listened to the music, and the whole cycle would start again.
Here people focus on just reading the Arabic text of the Qur'an instead of trying to understand it. The scholars and imams of Islam are afraid that their followers will find teachings in the Qur'an against their sect or religion. So their argument is that you need a lot of Islamic knowledge before you start reading a translation of the Qur'an. It's very sensitive. So some people even don't dare to touch it. Even in my own house, it's placed in the topmost part of the closet and it's full of dust when I pick it up to read some verses about some doubts asked by non-Muslims--Qur'anic teachings which are against humanity. My family used to tell me, "Don't touch, until you are clean.” So every time before I touched it, I had to wash my face, nose, ears, neck, feet, arms, and hands.
My parents were not that religious, so they didn't like extremism in Islam. Here Islamic teachers beat children very badly. They torture them a lot. I remember my friend and I were very young. I was 8 years old, and he was even younger than me. He was not able to pronounce "R" correctly and was pronouncing it as "L" because of his young age or disability, so the teacher held his hair and was throwing him against the walls. I was so scared and told my parents that I don't want to be taught by this teacher, and there were almost same type of teachers everywhere. In the mosques, they had a wooden stick to beat students, or they used things like a pipe to throw at children. I remember when I went to a mosque, the teacher threw a wooden stick at a student to punish him. It almost hit me!
Finally, I told my parents that I wouldn't go to a mosque to learn how to read the Qur'an anymore, so they hired a teacher to teach me at home. He used to punish me at home too, but after seeing my father's anger, he stopped punishing me. I got brave enough to ask him questions, too. He said, “Your questions are stupid. You are already on a wrong path, and you'll put me in the wrong path too by asking me those questions.” I asked him, "Why do you believe in Allah?” He said, “It's my faith.” I asked, “What proof do you have?” He said, “This Qur'an.” Then I kept asking about the proofs, and he was confused and said, “Don't ever ask me questions about this again.” I asked him, “Why there are so many sects in Islam if Islam is a very true and good religion?” He had no answer.
Even though he tried to answer some of my questions by telling me some old stories, those stories weren't enough to satisfy me. Eventually, he warned my uncle, who is his friend, that he will not teach me the Qur'an if I ask him those questions. And everyone in my house and my uncle told me that I have to study the Qur'an and not to ask questions and to respect the teacher. So I finished reading the Arabic text of the Qur'an, and I did not ask questions. He asked me to read a bit of the Qur'an every day, so that I would not forget it. But I've never read it again after I finished the book.
Things changed after my father's murder in 2005 by a mafia-type group. We changed our home, I got an Internet connection and got more time to stay on our computer without having to fear my father. In my country, the man is the most powerful person in the house. I improved my English by using the Internet, electronic chatting and making new friends around the globe. They are of every religion and from every country. I learned a lot of things from them.
Many times, I
watched a man on TV with a hat, coat and a tie. His name is Dr. Zakir
Naik. He satisfied me almost with his intelligent replies to most of my
religious questions. I changed my sect because of him from Berelwhi to
Wahhabi. He stopped people from worshiping graves, going to tombs,
making permanent graves and praying to prophets and saints. He impressed
me a lot, and then I again became religious. My family couldn't bear for
me to change my sect. I had to face a lot criticism from them. They
said, “If you follow the religion of your father and grandfather, you
must follow their sect of Islam too, because we are right and others are
I was watching a program on TV about the tensions between India and Pakistan, and an Indian soldier said, "Why is world against you? Why is everyone blaming Islam for terrorism? There must be wrong in your religion." And that statement made me think, Why we are criticized by people? Why in the world we are called terrorists? It's illogical to say that I'm right and all others are wrong.
My faith in Islam was getting weaker and weaker every day again. I started hating the Taliban because they were killing civilians here. I found that Islam is against many human rights or humanity. Just recently I was watching videos on YouTube and I found a video of Dr. Zakir Naik, who was my favorite scholar of Islam. I've watched almost all of his programs, but that video was posted by a man of another sect. He said Dr. Zakir Naik's sect is bad because he supported "Capital punishment in Islam for apostasy.” When I first heard this, I couldn't believe it. But later I investigated, and many told me that there is capital punishment for apostasy. I started wondering, How cruel is this religion? We don't even have a choice to choose a religion for ourselves, if we are born Muslims. I said to myself, I will no longer to be a member of this cruel religion. But I still feel like I believe in God. When I see the sun, moon and God's creatures, I start loving them, and I say to myself, 'There must be a Creator of all these beautiful things.' My heart told me that there is a God but he is not cruel. He must love us and understand our problems. Why would such a great God need our slavery? Why would he want us to pray to him all the time? It'll give him nothing if we strike our head multiple times on the floor. But if we want to show love to God, we must love his creatures, not to harm any of his things and start loving them as we're loving God.
I told this to my youngest uncle, who supported my beliefs in a new sect of Islam, but he couldn't bear me changing my religion. He said, “If I had a brick in my hand, I'd have smashed your head with it and you'd be bleeding. You are insulting our prophet by not believing in him. Listen to how great our prophet is, and now you're insulting him by rejecting his truth. Don't ever tell anyone about your belief, because everyone wishes to enter Paradise and they will enter Paradise by killing you, an apostate.” I was very scared because of his reaction to me, an apostate. I thought to myself, If my closest uncle feels that way, how will other people react? Now I have to lie to everyone here, saying that I'm a Muslim, in order to survive.
I wanted new teachings and a new way to live. I want to join an organization of people who think like me. So I asked my atheist American friend about it, and she told me to join Unitarian Universalism. I couldn't understand it; it was complicated. I saw and studied many things about Christianity and many Christians. I searched in Google: "I believe in God, but I don't believe in any religion." And there was a link to Yahoo Answers where somebody already asked that question. He was told that he's a Deist, and that's how I learned about Deism. I'm very impressed by it. I think that I've got what I was always searching for: freedom to think and to believe. No need to show artificial love to God by praying in the mosque. I can listen to my favorite music and do whatever I like. No fear of burning in hell. Now I'm thinking about myself and my society, and I will choose to live my life happily, enjoying it as much as I can. No tensions, no confusions anymore.
The survey shows a giant step forward for Deism in the fact that it actually uses the word "Deist" and for the very significant raw numbers it shows as representing the number of people who are Deists. In reality, the number of Deists is actually higher than the survey shows because the survey uses an outdated definition of Deist. For a more accurate definition please see our Deism Defined page.
Click here to read the actual survey. (It's in PDF)
One of the reasons the freethinker Giordano Bruno was tortured and murdered by being burned alive by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition was that he said the Universe is eternal and infinite which violates the superstitions in the Bible found in Genesis. This new study vindicates Bruno.
Obama supporters forget that when all is said and done, Obama is just another politician. This article shows he's proving that he is nothing but a politician by doing more than any other president to mix religion and government, especially through giving tax-dollars to religious organizations.