What Really Makes Muslims Leave Islam

As someone who has left Islam before (and come back) I value and appreciate Adil’s gentle and wise exploration of the reasons why some people leave Islam. Thank you Adil! 

What Really Makes Muslims Leave Islam

Which conversation topic is likeliest to cause the most exquisite discomfort amongst Muslims? ISIS? Dress codes? Whether our financial transactions are ‘Sharia compliant’ or not? Saudi Arabia? Allegedly Muslim Grooming gangs? All of the above and more can, and do. Often. However, the lofty first prize easily goes to the subject of Muslims leaving the faith. So much so, that it is discussed little in proportion to the immediate importance of the issue. Perhaps, we feel that bringing the topic into the open legitimises the concept or perhaps we feel that discussing apostasy makes us appear weak and defeatist. Regardless, the phenomenon is real, and almost certainly growing. As I Muslim, I do not believe that there exist ‘valid’ grounds for apostasy, but I have to accept that there are some that warrant empathy as opposed to ostracisation. I also agree with the reality of many of the reasons that Muslims who question Islam give, though I may disagree with the conclusions drawn from them.

This is the first of a series of articles where I discuss and reflect on some of the reasons for the rise of atheism and agnosticism in the Muslim communities in the West and worldwide. My hope is that Muslims can recognise these problems and avoid perpetuating one. Meanwhile, I hope that doubting Muslims will re-evaluate some of their reasons; though this article is no debunking exercise.

In no particular order whatsoever (here or in the grand scheme of this series), I discuss my first five reasons for why many Muslims start doubting Islam.

1.) The lack of Muslim representation in modern day science…and the overrepresentation of pseudoscience continues to make young Muslims insecure

The cumulative effect of the scientific abyss devoid of recent significant Muslim influence and the inept pseudoscience peddled by several prominent Muslim apologists is a huge source of insecurity amongst young Western Muslims. Whilst the quality of arguments one puts forward for a particular proposition do not logically determine the soundness of that proposition (i.e. the truth of Islam), should the arguments be dire, the psychological response of a human is to consider the proposition similarly improbable.

Thanks to certain prominent apologists (especially hailing from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent), there are several widespread unscientific facts which are now believed by a disproportionate amount of lay Muslims. This can be illustrated in the ‘why don’t Muslims eat pork’ discourse. According to certain ‘people of knowledge’ (and now lay Muslims) this is for reasons including but not limited to: ‘Pigs have an evil filthy nature, pigs eat tumours, pork has very little nutrition, pork contains a worm which will eat your eyeballs and is impervious to heat, and even that by eating pork you will inherit a pigs shameless nature, just like those Westerners.’

Whilst the older generation, or generally less scientifically literate Muslims might believe the above, one studying biology to A level or higher will correctly identify these arguments the hogwash that they are. They simply aren’t true. Granted, one could probably make a case for Pork being one of the less healthy meats, but the argument that Pork is forbidden for the very secular reasons above is very problematic anyway, not least because there is no Quranic evidence for such reasons. Would a prohibition on such grounds be eternally relevant? Why not eat free range organic pork instead of the revolting steroid bloating hormone infused ‘halal’ chicken that most Muslims happily consume? This whole line of reasoning (apart from generally being insulting; how would such an apologist give Dawah to a farmer who raises pigs in clean and excellent conditions?) smacks of insecurity; it implies that Islam has to satisfy secular criteria for it to be considered valid or true. Thus if the secular criteria is disprovable (and it easily is: pork is not always filthy and dangerous, yet many widely consumed ‘halal’ foods are), the Islamic ruling is irrelevant. This is but one example, and some might argue a trivial one, but I have seen firsthand that it is often allegedly trivial things which just ‘don’t make sense’ that sow seeds of doubt. Whether a core doctrine or a niche commandment, if something a Muslim believes is integral to Islam appears to make no sense, the crisis of faith is the same. A very simple explanation as to why Muslims don’t eat pork, without the huffing and posturing with fake science can be found here.

Whilst the ball is rolling, have I been merely unlucky or are young Muslims far more likely to say that plants feel pain then other people? Few if any plant biologists actually give the notion any credence but Muslims in my experience seem incredibly likely to think it! I am almost certain it comes from some Zakir Naik publication as an ‘argument’ that humans should eat meat (along with the outright insane argument that humans should eat beef otherwise cattle would over reproduce. This might just be the worst argument I have ever heard, and clearly shows no basic understanding of what agriculture is).   

Again, I re-iterate that just because the ‘Islamic scientific miracles’ movement is often argued atrociously, the logical conclusion is not that Islam is false, but what is implied? Worse, this movement, has spawned a huge atheist ‘debunking’ movement, which actually includes accurate take downs of some arguments put forth by Muslim apologists! True, debunking a Saudi funded unscientific apologist doesn’t make atheism true and Islam false, but how does it appear to a young and confused Muslim? It says ‘Atheist beats Muslim.’ That is not such a large mental jump to ‘Atheism beats Islam.’

Please also visit a Muslim critique of the ‘science proves Islam’ movement here.

2.) Many Muslims have blatant political double standards which makes educated Muslims distrust their communities

Most if not all humans have some level of double standards when interpreting or discussing politics. Issues with some groups will cause more emotional gut reactions then others; some groups we have more personal empathy with, many people argue for ‘their side’ on principle, and others will argue against what they perceive to be the establishment on principle, others in favour of the underdog, and so forth.

I do not believe Muslims are necessarily more inconsistent than any other group. However, as many Muslims have some level of pan-Islamic identity (which say, an English Christian probably would not), combined with the current political realities in many Muslim majority countries, our double standards are being given more opportunity to surface. Unfortunately, this means that many politically educated Muslims start to lose trust in their community.

Israel. The most unoriginal example conceivable.  All but the most institutionalised ‘house Muslims’ in the West have very critical views on Israel, as do I.  But why? Is this because of the Qur’anic injunction to do justice, no matter who it is against? Is it because we cannot bear to tolerate any one nation brutally occupying another, stealing land and terrorising the population? Or could it be because the Palestinians are (mostly) the same identity group as us? If the plights of the Israelis and Palestinians were reversed would our responses be the same? Or would the vast majority of us be asserting that the ‘PDF’ is only defending Palestine, and has a right to do so (by flattening neighbourhoods filled with innocent people), that the Israeli resistance were using people as human shields (thus making bombing children acceptable), and that even if Palestine was getting ‘a little boisterous,’ that boycotting Palestine would be Islamophobic? Would we have a silent or complicit majority and only a couple of Muslim Noam Chomskys and Norman Finkelsteins criticising Palestine, and being labelled as sell outs of self hating Muslims for doing so?

Our blatant lack of consistent criticism of Muslim regimes suggests the answer. Even much of the Muslim discourse against morally depraved Muslim organisations or states, say Saudi Arabia  is done in a backhanded way i.e. ‘they are bad….but only for selling out to the West.’

Using a parallel methodology to the Islamophobic bigot (with the obvious difference), many Muslims will dismiss, disregard and make excuses for crimes carried out by Muslims. This does not always suggest covert approval, as some Islamophobes and certain ”counter extremist liberal secular non practicing cultural Muslims ”(or whatever they call themselves these days) claim, but it does show that many of us fail to be consistent.

Not for a moment do I advocate relenting from criticising Israel, or American foreign policy, or brutal secular dictators in the Islamic world, or the thinly veiled anti Muslim approach taken by our own Prime Minister (for UK readers). But when our criticism stops there, and we fail to proactively criticise say, the rights  of non Muslims in many ‘Muslim’ countries, we create a minority within our communities who either stay silent and resent the community for having a persecution complex, or who are vocal in their dissent and get at least partially ostracised. Either way it boils down to the same: people being further away from the people who practice Islam…potentially another step towards being further away from wanting to practice Islam. If the followers of any particular idea fail to be just and consistent on a widespread level, what does one deduce (wrongly but understandably) about the idea itself?

3.) Many Muslims want to escape the paradigm that all non Muslims are damned…but are browbeaten into believing that Islam unambiguously dictates this

How does one actually interact in a damned society? One which almost solely contains people destined for eternal damnation. With contempt because they are worse than worthless? With compassion because they need ‘help?’ Though of course, it seems likely that a few at most will be saved. How about just like anyone else, because you block out thoughts of their doom? Perhaps with apathy because you know there is no hope anyway?

Unfortunately, even though Islam does not claim that all non Muslims are damned, many Muslims are brought up to face the dilemma above. Non Muslims, they are told or implied are worthless, though this differs from the claims of Islamophobes who insist that most or many Muslims are actively taught to ‘hate’ non Muslims (whilst hypocritically preaching hate against the Muslim population). This problem may not stem largely from theology (though the Saudi funded Wahhabism which has permeated many Muslim establishments clearly doesn’t help), but in Europe at least, the desire for communities (from a particular province of their country of origin, often Mirpur in Pakistan for British Muslims) to remain compact and insular. Thus, outsiders, including the host population are considered unimportant at best, and can only be interacted with on a basic and necessary level. This insecurity and insularity makes views of damnationism and contempt for the host population more appealing, it also leads to other ghastly problems like perpetual cousin marriages, and unsurprisingly it makes some people miserable enough to want to ‘break free.’ Ponder that as you will.

So what happens once a young and confused Muslim goes to say, University and befriends non Muslim  who turn out to be kind and decent people; far more inclusive and understanding then his or her own family? Aside from the mental trauma of imagining these good and sincere people being eternally tortured (even though in fact, the nature, duration and inhabitants of hell is very much an open question), they are faced with the intellectual problem of (un)justice. Is it just that people should be damned almost by default, whilst Muslims, however despicable will end up in heaven?

Thanks to the abundance of Salafist websites, an internet search will probably reveal the Muslims worst fears. Non Muslims are indeed damned. And Hell is definitely eternal. And Hell is definitely literal fire. The authenticated hadiths about people leaving Hell are definitely only referring to Muslims.  Ultimately even the worst and most murderous Muslims will go to heaven. And Nelson Mandela is going to hell. And there is no debate about this. At all.

Of course, some Muslims will broaden their search, scrutinise their sources, and make a rigorous and scholarly investigation. Such people will find that according to many Muslim scholars past and present, that non Muslims (even ones who have heard of Islam), and not necessarily damned, or that whilst punishment in the afterlife should be taken with the utmost seriousness, the punishment may not be eternal; or that the Qur’an states that people will only be punished for what they have done, or that only the wicked will go to hell.

But will most Muslims do this? Many will simply remain confused, some will reluctantly believe in the ultra damnationist paradigm, but others will outright apostatise. For them, the emotional, spiritual and intellectual burden is too great, and they would rather simply not believe it. Once the desire not to believe manifests itself, it is doubtless easy to reinforce, and can be done so by visiting almost any atheist channel or website, of which there are thousands.

Young Muslims need to be taught theology responsibly; or at least given more chance to do so. Of course, many of the classical Muslim scholars did have very unforgiving salfvific views, but many of the greats were far more inclusive, and supported their views using scripture. The view that one’s own community is universally saved, and the others are universally damned, leads to either fanaticism or apostasy from within, and distrust or hostility from outside.

For more discussion on salvation, punishment and mercy, I recommend the hyperlinks below.

Gai Eaton: When Hell melts away

Hamza Yusuf: Who are the Kafir?  and   The fate of non Muslims

Timothy Winter: Is God merciful?  and Can non Muslims be saved?

Shabir Ally: The fate of non Muslims. Is Hell everlasting?   Is Hell just?  Disbelievers condemned to hell?  Who goes to Heaven?   More on who goes to Heaven

The Punishment of Hell

4.) The failure of Muslims to clearly be better human beings sheds doubt onto the effectiveness of Islam for many Muslims

If Islam is the ‘true’ religion (or the true-er one, depending how far you go on the pluralist spectrum), one thing you would probably expect is that its followers would be, broadly speaking ‘better’ then other people.  In the significant absence of this, the value that Islam actually has is questioned.

Truly, there are Muslims who do amazing things, and some polls, for instance suggesting that British Muslims are the most charitable community are most encouraging. However, we can’t claim that goodness or helpfulness is the first thing that comes to mind when the Muslim community is mentioned. What proportion of Muslims are members of amnesty international? How many Muslims work for environmental organisations? How many Muslims are in caring professions? A high proportion in medicine granted, though from personal experience I question how many really did it for altruistic reasons. How many foodbanks in the UK are run by Muslims? How many Muslims are ethical shoppers (ethical shopping by the way means assessing the environmental impact or detriment to human or animal wellbeing as a whole, not just boycotting Marks and Spencer because someone told you they support Israel)? The answer to all of the above is ‘some but very little.’ Probably no larger proportion then in any other community, and in some cases probably less.

Typically, the values ascribed to the predominantly Muslim communities, are not brilliant. Family values at a push. Maybe a sense of community. But we are scraping the barrel here. Tightness. Insularity. Disorganised. Have only a care for their ‘in group.’ Of course, we can claim media bias of underreporting good things Muslims do, and over reporting instances of Muslims being especially unreasonable or belligerent. Such a bias categorically exists, and large sections of the media are indeed run by rampantly Islamophobic provocateurs. But let’s not kid ourselves; many excellent things that the Muslim community in Britain does are reported in the mainstream media, and were some of the negative stereotypes utterly and completely untrue, the gutter press would have a hard time fabricating them whilst retaining any credibility at all. Furthermore, it seems very unlikely that the Islamophobic wing of the rightwing media has any serious direct influence on young Muslims religious convictions, and most young Muslims have the sense to dismiss it. Many non Muslims too, see the right wing tabloids for the incoherent nonsense they are. Thus, instead of burying our heads in the sand and perpetuating the culture of blame (something else many of us have mastered), we should accept the empirical reality that our communities are not filled with paragons of virtue, or even people who measurably display finer human qualities then our non Muslim friends and neighbours. We must then put two and two together to realise that this will clearly lead to a crisis of faith for many Muslims. ‘Judge the religion, not its practitioners.’ Yes, I know; but if Muslims are failing to put the most basic Islamic concepts into practice like justice over kinship groups and helping their neighbours, what potency, one might ask, does Islam even have? This becomes even more emotionally and spiritually problematic if combined with the damnationist view that all of these Muslims, however wantonly ignorant are promised salvation, whilst even the best non Muslim neighbour is damned. I do believe that there are valid answers to these problems; that God judges people by different standards according to their upbringing, that non Muslims who are just unaware of the truth of Islam, or are given a distorted view of it (largely our fault not theirs), will be judged according to the choices they were given and their intentions. Also that non Muslims, even atheists still have a God given sense of morality, diminishing the intellectual problem of ‘why are they are good, or better than us Muslims, without specific religious writ?’ Finally, the failure of many Muslims to put basic Islamic and human values into practice does not stem from Islam not being clear enough, but the compartmental thinking of many of its practitioners. Such people may have a strong faith and observe rituals but be de facto secular when it comes to issues of morality and personal conduct; not even considering what Islam says, especially when there is any room for interpretation; commandments to be kind for instance are more commonly ignored then specific prohibitions on say, pork. This morally bankrupt approach is the fault of the person, perhaps their culture, but certainly not Islam. Not all Muslims find answers however, many of them see this as a reason to disregard and move on from their community. Their community and all that goes with it.

5.) The Marriage culture of Muslim communities is creating miserable relationships, preventing permissible ones, and creating dysfunctional young Muslims who are prime candidates for apostasy

Many Muslims acknowledge that there are problems with our ‘marriage culture.’ When I say ‘acknowledge,’ I mean of course:

‘Do nothing, agree in theory, but say that we have to be practical.’

‘Practical’ of course meaning considering skin colour, race or kinship group legitimate grounds to reject someone, accepting that marriages have to be obscene and vulgar displays of material wealth and fashion, that personality of an individual, or indeed happiness of the couple is of low importance, and so forth.

To put it bluntly, our current rules, unspoken rules and regulations for marriage are destroying the future of Islam in our community. ‘Well that escalated quickly,’ one might think, but I am right. Our  ‘marriage paradigms,’ regardless of whether we are talking the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or Arab communities amongst others, are going to destroy Islam in our societies piece by piece, unless something changes.

The way we approach love, marriage and relationships is preventing Muslims from forming functional and suitable relationships, sometimes none at all, as the increasing incidences of reported abuse, divorces, and single middle aged Muslims testifies. What happens when a Muslim ends up single, or in a dysfunctional relationship because of ‘cultural or Islamic’ reasons? They blame Islam. Even if a ridiculous or obscene rule (like the necessity of marrying someone from the same kinship group) is not overtly Islamic, the Muslim will still blame Islam if they have been brought up thinking it is at least compatible with Islam.

What happens when a young, intelligent Muslim girl correctly identifies all her proposed suitors as unattractive, sleazy young men who either slept around at University, or tried and failed because they didn’t have the social aptitude? Or equally bad, if they were hardline Wahabbis (sorry I mean, ‘followers of orthadox Islam,’ the preferred self conferred title of most modern puritans) who would make her wear a niqab and confine her to the house? Or potential wife beaters, unethical business men, bitter, career hating doctors who were forced into it by their parents, ones with controlling parents, the list goes on. What if that same Muslim girl met a boy on her course who was kind, helpful and decent, but wasn’t a Muslim?

Heart-warming and incredible stories exist, there have been ‘dream couples’ where one genuinely converts, sometimes practicing Islam better than their born Muslim spouse, but this is a rare reality. More often, the Muslim youth is browbeaten into doing what their parents want, and either blames Islam for it, or grows up to become a clone of their repressive and unfair parents. Either that, or they rebel, and have a relationship with the non Muslim. Can we not empathise with that, even at all? Most of us accept that our children will interact with non Muslims of the opposite sex whether at school or work. But despite them doing so for hundreds of hours, we refuse to accept the possibility that they may become romantically attached. Then we introduce our children to other Muslims of the opposite sex, and expect them to make a lifelong decision in minutes, and with serious constraints; like the presence of parents! If we don’t train our young men to be less well, ‘chavvy’ or judgemental, or downright ignorant, and more Muslim girls to be less materialistic, brattish, Machiavellian and gossip mongering, we are as good as begging for other young Muslims to prefer non Muslims. 

Throughout this section, I have broadly referred to bad marriage rules and approaches without being especially specific; this is because I have discussed many such ideas in detail in two previous articles which I urge readers to go through.

11 Problems With The Muslim Marriage Market

Even More Problems With The Muslim Marriage Market

I hope that my first article has given readers food for thought and as always I would love to see constructive critique of the ideas put forth here. Stay tuned for the next in the series and have a blessed day.

Recommended reading:

Islam and the Destiny of Man (Gai Eaton)

Losing my religion: A cry for help (Jeffrey Lang)

The Message of the Quran (Muhammad Asad; this is a Quran with extensive commentary)

Islam and the fate of others: The salvation question (Dr Mohammad Hassan Khalil)

Hanafi Principles of testing Hadith (Shaykh Atabek Shukurov)



Categories: Islam

46 replies

  1. Salam.

    Good post. I think we should do more in Science, but true Science, you find some spectacular things. The miraculous of water is one, if it didn’t exist in the most unique form neither would we (water should be gas at room temperature).

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  2. ‘water should be gas at room temperature’? Really? I have a glass of water at room temperature here and it is still in liquid form.

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  3. 1.) Zakir Naik is a clear Kafir. And I also think that people like Hamza Tzrotis (or whatever) are very near to disbelief. They have harmed the religion so much.

    2.) A Muslim is not the same as a non-Muslim. There are no double standards when everyone is treated according to the rights Islam gives. Muslims and non-Muslims do not have the same rights. But anyway most of the violence in Muslim countries is between Muslims themselves. The workers Saudi Arabia treats so bad are usually Muslims.
    This is no good point.

    3.) I do not want to say anything about hell and it’s eternity. This is a very sensitive topic. But it is a clear deception by the author to imply that only Salafis have this belief. Why do you need this lie author Adil? Why don’t you cite some classical Ashari and Maturidi scholars?

    4.) AI is an anti-Islamic organisation. You cannot promote that Muslims should be members of it. A Muslim may support some issues of Greenpeace but not all of them.
    The morality of atheists is a logical dilemma. A rationalist Muslim should criticize this morality and not praise it. There we see again how wide away the teachings from the new pseudo-Maturidi movement led by Atabek Shukurov is from real Maturidi rationalist Islam.

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  4. Yeah, water should be a gas – but because of hydrogen bonding and a few other things it is a liquid at room temperature, unlike most things in the world with the same bonding (covalent bonds). Which is cool because we need this to live, and if someone wants to improve Islamic + Secular Science they could perhaps talk about the other beauties of water relating it to Qur’an 21:30 etc (not as a scientific miracle, but just a Sign).

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  5. Wow…what an excellent article and I did not even read it….I just glanced at the titles of the subsections…it seems to hit the mark.

    I am not saying I agree with everything…still need to read it and there might be a few gray areas that cannot be fully resolved…but yes, thanks Adil!

    This is a much needed conversation. I hope you write a book on this Adil.

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  6. Paul would u say sunny is a bigot because he seemed to say some very bigoted things

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  7. All Takfir is in accordance to Sunni Islam. You can look it up here sunnianswers.wordpress.com.

    @Omar, no the article is not good. I explained why.

    And science is good but most Muslims become apostates after they study natural sciences. For example there is this Turkish Mahmut Connors who is I think an astrophysicist.

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  8. Robert Wells

    LOL that’s the funniest thing I have heard all day: you Bobby boy, a troll, a bigot, a xenophobic Islamophobe, have the cheek to criticise Sunny.

    Matthew 7: 1-4 comes to mind.

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  9. So u didn’t find anything he said to be bigoted?

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  10. Declaring someone a non-Muslim is not bigotry. I’m not bigoted

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  11. I actually disagree with #1…about the aspect of pseudoscience…I don’t deny that overzealous Muslims may at time employ pseudoscience regarding science and the Qur’an but in my judgement as someone who focuses on scientific issues for a living, and particularly how to ensure a medical study is scientifically rigorous, the Qur’an is truly amazing when it comes to science…some 10% of the Qur’an deals with science and although the Qur’an is not that large, it interestingly addresses seemingly all major phenomena the a general person experiences….

    The harmony of the Qur’an with the phenomena it describes is staggering…at times the Qur’an is talking about the evolution, a few times even in general terms the mechanism of certain phenomena…the key understanding that is required is that it is an accumulating evidence.

    Any one verse describing a phenomena is not necessarily a miracle because many times, the verse can have multiple meanings…but taking all these numerous verses together is a staggering accumulative evidence.

    However, I do agree that it should not be placed as front and center….but it should not be neglected…indeed it shows that a person of the 7th century can not write such a book.

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  12. Sunny wrote…

    “Declaring someone a non-Muslim is not bigotry. I’m not bigoted”

    My response: That wasn’t the statement I was referring too, I was actually referring to this.. “A Muslim is not the same as a non-Muslim. There are no double standards when everyone is treated according to the rights Islam gives. Muslims and non-Muslims do not have the same rights. ” Thats actually what Apartheid governments say.

    Paul do you think that statement is bigoted?

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  13. Paul, the article does not have your reason for leaving Islam… Remember you thought Islam was to hard and you disagreed with the Quran.

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  14. Robert, the Qur’an does not say anywhere that Muslims and non-Muslims do not have the same rights….it does refer to minorities who had sided with pagans in trying to destroy Islam, that they should pay a small tax as being in a protectorate (while they were exempt from the charity tax that Muslims were obligated to pay).

    Historically they did not have the same rights but that all the differences are not necessarily religiously sanctioned.

    What I mean is that the question to ask is if Prophet Muhammad was here today, would he have wanted the non-Muslims to have had different rights in Muslim states? I don’t think so…the Prophet was sent as a mercy to the worlds as the Qur’an says…he would probably say that the non-Muslims should pay something to compensate for them not paying the charity tax …he would do that since he would be best in following the Qur’an that was revealed to him…but it is not clear to me that if a state is functioning as a parliamentary democracy and cleanly, transparently, and fairly…it is not clear to me that he (may God Almighty bless him) would dismantle all such Muslim states.

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  15. @Robert, according to biblical law Gentiles do not have the same rights as Jews. And I do not think that according to traditional Christian interpretations Christians and disbelievers have the same rights. The US Constitution is not a Christian-based law btw. So all three book religions support Apartheid laws.

    But when I said this thing I meant something particularly. I did not mean that Muslims could treat non-Muslims like they are not human. Every human shares some cental rights irrespective of belief. I spoke about the right for sovereignty. The right for sovereignty is something only Muslims have. That is basically the inequality in rights I meant.

    @Omer, Indonesia is an unislamic state. I hope that’s enough as an answer.

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  16. Interesting article with some good points.

    On another note, why do morons like showing up in this site’s comment sections?

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  17. I’ve decided to not really comment on this site anymore but just wanted to take time out to say well done for an interesting article Adil. Very honest and thorough, I can appreciate that these issues are never easy to deal with but it is much needed in the Islamic community today otherwise as you said it will crumble in the future.

    Also, Sunny you are wrong about the biblical laws. Check these passages for example:

    Exodus 22:21 – “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

    Leviticus 19:33-34 – 33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself,for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
    It’s just a shame that this isn’t being practised more in Israel especially in regards to Palestinians and African Hebrews.

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  18. I don’t know, just a bit tired of it now. But if there’s ever anything I really feel like commenting on, you may hear from me again.
    Peace

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  19. Thank you for your kind words marvin 🙂

    Some interesting comments above which i intend to reply to upon leaving work 🙂

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  20. Hello Sunny. I suspect you are trolling but on the unfortunate off chance you are for real I’ll address the points.

    1.) ”Zakir Naik is a clear Kafir etc.”

    Since when? And how do you know? Has he said or done anything to suggest that he knowingly rejects God beyond reasonable doubt? No. And I dont even like Dr Naik. Also, what benefit do you get even for ‘correctly’ takfiring someone? Very little. What harm comes from wrongly making takfir on someone? Lots.

    2.) ”A Muslim is not the same as a non-Muslim etc.”

    Omer addressed this point far better than I could. There is no reason to suggest that Islam mandates or even implicitly suggests that non Muslims should be second class citizens. Perhaps as Omer said, were the Prophet running an (actual) Islamic state, he would say that non Muslim citizens should pay some sort of equivalent tax to the compulsory one Muslims have to pay anyway.

    3.) ”I do not want to say anything about hell and it’s eternity. This is a very sensitive topic. But it is a clear deception by the author to imply that only Salafis have this belief. Why do you need this lie author Adil? Why don’t you cite some classical Ashari and Maturidi scholars?”

    I didnt imply that only Salafis have this belief. I simply said that many confused Muslims end up finding websites which are salafist ones, which confirm their worst fears about the afterlife and damnation. Thats it.

    4.) ”AI is an anti-Islamic organisation. You cannot promote that Muslims should be members of it. A Muslim may support some issues of Greenpeace but not all of them.
    The morality of atheists is a logical dilemma. A rationalist Muslim should criticize this morality and not praise it. There we see again how wide away the teachings from the new pseudo-Maturidi movement led by Atabek Shukurov is from real Maturidi rationalist Islam.”

    What part of amnesty internationals manifesto is anti Islamic? AI actually campaigns in favour of allowing Muslims to wear items of clothing they deem Islamic like the niqab. Read what they say about guantanamo bay, burmese bhuddist extremists and the israeli defence forces; if they were anti Islamic, chances are they wouldnt be attacking such organisations.

    Sure, atheistic morality should be critiqued (and it often is by atheists who are basically more consistent then humanist atheists), because it has no real rational basis if the atheistic worldview is true. However, that doesnt mean that atheists who do good things are insincere and don’t, as human beings deserve the credit for their actions

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  21. We also need to look at the laws for Gentiles the Jewish scholars have deduced. They are quite Apartheid-like.
    We as Muslims do not want to treat other people bad. When I said this about different rights I basically meant the right for sovereignty. That is something Adil and his boss deny. They say everyone has the right for sovereignty.

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  22. Thank you for the answer Adil. I agree with you more or less regarding the first three points.
    Only about AI I have to say that the human rights they are defending differ from the human rights Islam defines. AI is very consequent in criticizing every abuse of the human rights layed down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is something Muslims can benefit from when abused and we are appreciating AI for it’s persistence in what they believe in. But the Shariah goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in many points and AI is criticzing the Shariah for those.

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  23. debunking scientific miracles arguments doesn’t imply for us “young” exmuslims that atheism beats islam, but rather that the major plausible argument for believing that a book from the late bronze age is of a divine nature it has to contain miracles, specially when you realize how many books claim to be from god (guru granth sahib, the mormon bible and tens of other holy books) and how many men claimed being prophets and succeeding in fooling millions from zoroaster to
    the other miracles of islam ( jesus walking on water and stuff) are also dismissable when you realize for example how many people from the modern age believe in some miracles in other non abrahamic religions, let alone people from 7th century arabia, the foolishness of arabian bedouins is palpable when measuring how many people followed the prophets that rose after the death of muhammad (before being fighted by the 4 califes)

    to conclude all you said don’t push muslims to leave islam, it just pushes them to look at the core of the faith. most of muslims who don’t are the one who say that there is some real pure islam under all this pile of rubble.

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  24. Whilst you make valid points, these are not the major things that make apostates leave Islam. What turns believing Muslims into apostates for the most part is the hatred inherent in the religion, the homophobia, the manufactured offences, the violent fundamentalist ‘values’, the overt misogyny, and a couple of things inherent with Islam itself, rather than external factors with society at large…the cult of death, the glorification of death, the disregard for actual life – all very dangerous concepts. What turns people away from Islam, for the most part – is Islam itself.

    Please address them as well, will you?

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    • Vulcan Fury

      I cannot speak for Adil, but as an English convert to Islam, I do not recognise your description of Islam.

      Ill leave Adalu to reply but I want to comment on just one allegation against Islam: ‘homophobia’. I happen to be gay myself, but I accept the boundaries set by the Creator for permissible sexual behaviour, namely heterosexual marriage. I do my best to live my life accordingly. In general I have found Muslims to be remarkably free of prejudice against homosexuals. The Divine Law prohibits homosexual sexual acts and is not concerned with inclinations or feelings which are not sinful.

      The Islamic tradition’s position is shared by traditional Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, Sikhs etc. and is clearly taught in the Torah, the New Testament and of course the Quran.

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  25. *yawn* how original. I might reply fully when ive got some time to waste. Like Paul I dont recognise your description of Islam either. Even if your description was correct (and it isnt), those reasons are not the reasons most apostates cite (apart from celebrity ex muslims who cynically embelish or even fabricate their back stories for fame and cash like aayan hirsi ali). Of all the people i know who were born (usually nominally at best) Muslim but no longer see themselves as such, none of them actually consider Islam to be inherantly savage or violent. Most of them would likely identify you as a know nothing Islamophobe and not an impartial critic too. Some may see it as “archaic and outdated” but thats thanks to the stupidity of Muslims, not Islam itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Gosh! Does the Quran also say to make life hell on Earth already?

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  27. @Adil – far from it, not an Islamaphobe at all. I’m the sort of agnostic Muslim you still find lurking around the farthest confines of the faith (no, ‘misguided muslim brother’ is not the word). I must admit I’m only a few pushes from leaving it altogether. I come from a Muslim background, and have been a practising Muslim most of my life. Whatever is turning me against Islam, is most of Islam itself. External factors come into play, but not as much as you emphasize them – its mostly disagreements with the Quran and Hadith itself. It takes a long time to come to terms with a fiction that you’ve been taught to somehow accept as the ‘one true doctrine’…and I’m just gradually making that distinction.

    All I called for is for you to be intellectually honest about Islam.

    @Paul Williams – It was during my time in England that I started having my first doubts about Islam; back in Pakistan I had a few but I mostly quashed themselves within me loudly. As I grew up, the problems with Islam and the “muslim community” became vastly visible (which would complement Adil’s points about external factors). When I moved to North America, I found myself alone with time on my hand to actually go back and study the religion – of which I’m drawing to the conclusions you should be aware of. You would agree that if you were to move into a highly islamacized country like somewhere in the middle east, that you would not be accepted and feel safe as you do in a secular society right?

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  28. Some interesting points vulcanfury which ill reply to when i get time. Btw i didnt call you an Islamophobe, i just pointed out that even people who no longer consider themselves muslim would take issue with the whole “islam is synonymous with violence and mysogeny etc” rhetoric, and yes, even call it silly and Islamophobic. I recommend that you have a search for the books i recommended above. Intellectual honesty and all that 🙂

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  29. In some of my following articles i will be reflecting on problems many Muslims have with the hadiths and doubts/questions including moral ones with parts of the quran, and various translations and commentaries. Stay tuned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This is an interesting and thought provoking post. I’m an atheist myself but was brought up in a muslim household. While I also struggled with a number of the points you make, what did it for me was the cognitive dissonance of two completely different realities. On the one hand, we have our lives here on this planet bounded by all of the laws of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and so on that keep us grounded in our reality. Then there is the universe of religion where supernatural occurrences don’t just happen, but are a normal part of life – gods, angels, devils, jinns, heaven, hell, the eternal soul, and the list goes on. While these explanations might have been fine for much of human history, this kind of story-telling doesn’t cut it anymore. We know now how humans have evolved over millions of years, and every new piece of bone we find in the Earth backs up that theory and not the Adam/Eve version of it. We know there was never a global flood because anthropological evidence shows civilizations at work at the same time it was supposed to have taken place. There has never been medical evidence of a soul despite billions of deaths and millions of autopsies. Jinns, who are supposed to be made of smokeless fire or light have never been identified in any image taken in the infrared, ultraviolet or any other electromagnetic spectrum. If you believe the black stone in Mecca is from heaven, then take a small piece of it and put it into a mass spectrometer to identify the mass and types of chemicals in there and compare it against the compositions of other rocks to prove it is unlike anything we have ever encountered. I can go on for quite some time with this, but I think you get the picture.

    If religion is to be taken with any grain of salt, it must now stand up to independent scientific scrutiny and inquiry just like any other academic arena where all claims are independently peer reviewed and critiqued. I’m not just talking about Islam. This must be a litmus test for anyone claiming supernatural credibility. But until it does, they’re just stories from a primitive time when people, just like you and me, pondered the same questions we do today – where did we come from, what are we doing here, and what will happen to us when we die? We ask these same questions today, but now there is a method for getting answers that do stand up to scrutiny. And if they don’t, we go back and try again until a better theory emerges. But to think that all of the answers are written in a single book that is never wrong is the height of human arrogance and hubris.

    For me, it was never about god preferring muslims over non-muslims, how parents marry off their kids, or geo-political issues like Israel. Rather, it’s the extreme unlikelihood of a deity existing in the first place that has the power to create an entire universe filled with everything from galaxies down to subatomic particles, but utterly fail time and time again to do something as simple as get his own creation to realize he even exists without resorting to a lot of mental acrobats.

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  31. You are totally right Khan. All these apologetic Muslims try to change religion to make it fit into Western morality. But the biggest problem is that they cannot believe in God. They are not convinced of His existence and they cannot accept that He commands stoning adulterers, killing apostates etc.. Therefore they change the religious rules. But they forget to answer real doubts about religion based on science like the ones you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. khan

    The possibilities of a god if you think of it rationally is very minimal. It’s just illogical to most people to think that God is only with the Muslims while others believe God is with the Christians. Each of which still have firm belief and personal experiences of their truthfulness. Islam has such a wide perspective that u could be ISIS and u could be Irshad Manji who I believe calls herself a muslim. I don’t believe in the scientific miracles nor the linguistic ones in the Quran, both easily debunked by just using the mind. It might not make sense to an ordinary man, but u could surly come out muslim, or at least a believer in a god (even Russell Brand does).

    Lets take another scenario into perspective. What if god wanted us to think of religion at one period of time differently to another. Personally, I’m 18 years old and I’m still looking for truth, I’m still muslim and I make my five daily prayers. However, I do not believe the following (note, according to the quran)

    1. Mary was a virgin.
    2. jesus is in the sky
    3. apostates should be killed in islam
    4. adulterers stoned
    5. disbelievers burn for eternity
    6. jinn can possess people
    7. I’m doubting the cutting of the thieves hand because of the arabic sentence (although, we will let this go)

    I could discuss other things as well, and provide firm proof of the above statements from the quran. For me, the most convincing argument for not leaving islam is that there is no other alternative. Although it is weak and although everybody wishes it was clear, well it isn’t and there is no point of disbelieving in something weak because at the end of the day, we’re all searching for truth and I don’t believe atheism is the right way forward.

    A godless society is empty of love or community

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Trackbacks

  1. What Really Makes Muslims Leave Islam | Asharis: Assemble
  2. What Really Makes Muslims Leave Islam – part 2! | Blogging Theology
  3. What Really Makes Muslims Leave Islam – Part 2 | Asharis: Assemble

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