Peace4u (former Muslim)
My Testimony of Leaving Islam
I am from Germany who got into Islam because of the greatest thing in life called ´LOVE´. My love came from Tunisia and was obviously a Muslim. When we started our relationship I was already a little bit skeptical. I did not know much about Islam (just knew the 5 pillars, that alcohol and pork is not allowed, women have to cover their hair, no sex before marriage) and moreover I did not know HOW strict my boyfriend took his religion.
I was not raised in any religious way. My parents both left the church after their marriage and they did not baptize their children because they wanted us to choose by ourselves regarding what we believe. My boyfriend was confronted with an atheist. I realized that this was big problem to him, but I said that I could not help myself. I see so much misery in the whole world and I cannot understand why there should be a God. If there is any God why doesn´t He help the poor? My boyfriend tried his best to convince me that there must be a God who created all of us and everything. Our relationship went on anyway but from time to time I realized that he was criticizing my way of life. He wanted me to ´become better´. I am a person who does not smoke and hardly drinks any alcohol. When I met with him I never drank because I respected his wish that I should not drink when he is with me.
Very soon he was talking about big future with me - marriage and children! I was surprised. In my country it is not usual to marry that quickly. I was still a student, and he had not even started his studies yet, so why should we marry? I did not want to be married and still have to ask my parents for money! I told him that I do not want to get married before either he or I could earn enough money to provide for the other person. I then had to leave Germany for half a year because of my studies. When I was talking to him on the phone, I found out more about his dislike of my activities abroad. I was sharing a flat with a girl from France and an Arab man. I thought that he might be quite pleased to hear that I am living with another Muslim, so that this man could teach me something about his faith; but it was the other way around. My boyfriend wanted me to move out! I told him that it is quite normal to share a flat with the other gender, and there is nothing behind it. I was just looking for a flat and it happened by chance that I entered this one. He was angry but he knew that he can not do anything. The Muslim I lived with was quite an open minded Muslim. He did not really practice his religion. Although he said he would pray 5 times a day, I saw that his carpet hardly was moved from the living room. He is having a relationship with a non-Muslim women, eating at McDonald´s and I even saw him smoking once. I had good talks with him and when I told him about my boyfriend being Muslim he was eager to teach me about Islam. I listened to him. It was clear to me that I will inform myself about Islam because it was the religion of my boyfriend and I wanted to know what ´being a Muslim´ means.
I was really having a hard time abroad and the fight with my boyfriend on the phone went on and on. I tried to understand him. I left him alone. I am having fun with my friends in a foreign country and he is in Germany which still was a foreign land for him and he doesn't have any friends. As well he did not know much about German culture so my behaviour must have sounded really strange to him. I tried to convince him that I do not do anything bad (men, alcohol, drugs) and that he can trust me. But the fights went on. One day he told me that he is not going to touch me any more until we are married! This was big shock to me. I am not a sex-obsessed woman but I just could not understand why he first did not have any problem with this and then he changed? I was despaired. I thought this was the man of my life! I thought I make him happy and we will have great future , will enjoy time with our children. Is he really giving up our love because of his religion? What should I do? Is it stupid to leave someone because he/she doesn't want to touch you any more? Will I be able to suffer so much until marriage?
As I was not Christian there was another problem. How could I marry him? Mourad asked me why I do not want to become Muslim. This was another big shock for me. How can I convert to any kind of religion without knowing what this would mean? A close friend of mine from Egypt told me that I could marry him in the mosque as a Christian woman. So I asked my boyfriend if he could not just say that I was a Christian woman. I told my boyfriend that I feel closer to Christianity because I am living in a Christian country. So I guess that somehow I am more or less Christian (not with faith but with my behaviour, treatment of other people.)But he did not want to lie to the Iman. I could not force him to lie at such an important person. He told me that he would wait for me. If I do not want to convert now, he will wait for me. I have all the time in my life. He believes that there is just one love in his life and this is me and so he will wait. I was confused. Was this true love? What kind of religion is this which might destroy our relationship just because I did not have a stamp in my birth´s license which says that I was Christian. First time in my life I wished my parents had baptized me!
Time passed and was very painful to me. I did not know what to do. My head told me to break up but my heart did not want to give up this man. In all my despair I started to talk to God. I did it every morning and every evening. I asked him for help. I asked him to show my boyfriend that I just want to make him happy and that I do not care about his religion. I felt a lot better in 'praying' this way and it helped me to be optimistic. Then I visited him full of worry and not knowing how this visit would end. On the plane, destiny stepped in: I was sitting next to a 72-year-old man from Morocco. I could not believe it. The plane was not full at all and as much as I could see there were only 2 Muslims!
This man started to talk to me. I was surprised. I thought that men are not supposed to talk to women and in my case I was even a stranger! This man told me everything about his life. I did not ask him at all because I knew that in this culture it is not usual to talk about private things. He told me that he had a good wife who passed away and now he is married to a 28-year-old woman. He remained a widower for 3 months. He told me he could not be without a wife any longer. I was surprised, but he claimed that this woman WANTED to marry him and that this woman did not care about his age. He showed me a picture of her and the contract of their marriage. He told me that she wants to have children but after one he said that it is enough. He is old man and with the other wife he already has got 4 (?) children.
I thought that this is a poor woman. It must be hard to be so young and to know that you will just one child if you know you want more. Sometimes this man stopped talking and said that he should not talk to me. I was not angry with him. I started to read a magazine but he started to talk to me again. Then he even touched my hand. I did not know how to react. This had never happened in my life before! A foreign (old) man touches my hand! And he is Muslim! If his wife knew about it she would definitely like to kill me! I did not dare to take my hand out of his hand. He said it was a good day because he met me. I just smiled, not knowing what to say. Then he told me how a good wife should be: staying at home, no disco. Sometimes she can invite friends but not all the time, no cinema. I asked him what was wrong about going to cinema. He answered that we could rent a video tape and do not need to go to a place with lots of people. Then he proudly announced that 2 of his sons are married to German women who converted and they never went into disco or cinema. I did not answer. Everyone can do what he wants to do. I myself thought that I am sure that my boyfriend wants to go to disco and cinema with me!
Before we left the plane he said that he would like to introduce me to his family and he touched my hair. I felt uncomfortable but I did not want to be impolite. When we finally left the plane his behaviour changed a lot. I saw my boyfriend. I was nervous because I did not know if he is going to hug me or not. I noticed a red rose and thought that he could not be so cruel to give me the red rose without hugging me. But I really had no idea what was in his head. When this man from Morocco saw me saying ´Hello´ to my boyfriend he did not seem to be interested in introducing me to his family. I think he felt quite ashamed of what he did or said during the flight. (Now I guess that after wards he asked God several times for forgiveness!)
Back to my boyfriend and me: I got the red rose, I got a hug and I got a kiss. Once again I was confused. Why is he telling me that he is not going to touch me and I am suffering so much and now he is acting like normal man who is happy to see his girlfriend after such a long time? I could see that he is so happy to see me and I was more confused. Did he forget about all our fights? Did he forget about our problems? I did not know what to think. I did not know what was going to happen next, and I did not want to think about it. Well, we continued a more or less ´normal´ relationship for 1 week, but we both could not really enjoy it because I saw he was feeling really sad about committing so many sins with me and I was not happy to see him suffering.
He tried his best to introduce me to Islam. He gave me the so-called ´miracles of the Qu´ran´ to read and I was quite astonished. This sounded logical. As I had no idea about geography, physics or chemistry, I became somehow fascinated. I met with 2 families where the man is born-Muslim and the two women converted out of their own free will after a certain period. These families were happy families. I could see the love between the children and their mother and I wanted to have something like this as well. The older woman (35 years old, 2 children, converted 4 years ago) was such a nice person that I could not understand why many people think bad things about Islam?! She told me that most things you see in the news are not the true Islam. The true Islam means tolerance and peace and nothing else! The other woman (21 years, converted just few months ago) just started to inform herself better about Islam. She was not yet covering her hair but was eager to do it one day. She as well was very friendly and told me that I should not fear becoming a Muslim. I do not have to practice everything at once. I could do it step by step. God knows that some people need longer than others. All really welcomed me in a special warm way and I saw their happiness and was seeking for happiness like this with my boyfriend as well.
The most convincing factor which made me say the shahada was my boyfriend himself. He gave so much love to me. I never had experienced something like this before! When I was ill he was trying to cure me, making tea, washing my feet. He was angry when I cooked without him. He wanted to do everything with me. He was not like men who say that the women should take care of the household alone. He never complained about my outward appearance. He took me the way I was. He was 100% a gentleman and I knew he would never do anything to harm me. So if this great man follows Islam, how can it be a bad thing?
I asked him if it is enough for him that I do believe in God and in the existence of the prophet and that I can not guarantee him that I will ever practice Islam. He was so happy about my shahada that he did not care. A Few days later we married. For me this was quite an uncomfortable marriage. I did not see the Imam who married me to my boyfriend. There were also 3-4 testimonials who I did not see. They were in one room and I was in front of the door which was open a little bit so that I could hear what the Imam was saying. This was my marriage. Of course I informed myself before that this marriage would not be recognized in my country and I told my boyfriend that, for me, this marriage would be like an engagement and not like an official marriage. I just did it so that he does not commit any more sin with me. I wanted to to show him that I really hope to marry him one day officially. He agreed.
My present for marriage was the Qu´ran. I knew he would give it to me. I did not feel comfortable because I knew that his aim was to make me become a real Muslim woman. After our marriage, it was no better. I thought that now everything would be fine, and there would be no more discussions. But once again I was wrong. He wanted to be a good husband, and each day he wanted to talk with me about Islam and asked what I read in the Qu´ran. I did not want him to inform me each day about Islam. My head was hurting and I just wanted to stop the conversations about religion. He feared that he might die before I know the most important things so he wanted to teach me. He told me that he does not want me to go to hell and therefore he asked me to hurry up a bit. I did not think much about this hell which was mentioned in the Qu´ran.
How could God create something like this if he loves all people on earth? Why are there these 'houris' in paradise if the wife follows the husband anyway? Why is there nothing like this for the women? Why are there palaces for us to live in? I do not need a palace! A normal house, even flat or just something would please me! My husband did not understand why I was asking so many questions. He said that these are the words of God so I should not ask too much. This is just the way it is. He claimed that the houris are just for men who did not have any wife in their lives. But what about the women who did not have husband? No answer. I should not ask about these small details. I should first inform myself about the basics. But I wanted to know about the details as well! How can I believe that a book is 100% true if there are these tiny things which disturb my mind? I was given a book about the prophet.
I felt really bad when I read about Muhammad's marriage to this small Aisha. Why did he marry her? My husband said that she wanted to marry him! How can a young girl decide to marry someone who could be her grandpa? How could she know what a marriage means to her? I was told that women at that time matured much earlier than they do nowadays. Why did the prophet marry so many women? He took care of many widows who nobody would have taken care of if he had not shown that it is possible to marry widows! Because of his marriage he caused peace between different tribes. He was always had an answer for me but they did not please me. As my husband tried to follow the Sunnah, I decided that I would never follow this man Muhammad. In my eyes, he was just a normal man and his only duty was to bring the Qu´ran to us, but not all the stupid rules like "How to use the toilet", "how to sleep", "how to greet" etc.. I always thought that religion was there to help you in your life but not to rule your life! The more I read about the prophet, and finished the Qu´ran, the less I believed that Islam was my way to become happy.
I tried my best to follow my husband. I loved him so much and I was hoping that I will wake up one day and find that Islam is in my heart; and we would be happy until we die. But I could not switch off my brain. I stopped drinking any kind of alcohol, I bought 'halal' meat. Every morning and evening I recited the last 3 surahs from the Qu´ran by heart, every Thursday evening I read a special Surah because my husband told me this was good. I did and did and did, but I did not feel anything. I still felt love for my husband, but not for this ´holy book'. When I came back to Germany, I felt that I needed to have a serious talk with my husband. I could continue to live like this. I want HIM and NOT his religion. He can do whatever he wants to do, but I will not follow a book that tells me how to live my life. If he wants to stay with me, he has to accept me the way I am and the way that I think. I visited him and was sure I would have to break up with him because I knew that he would not step back about his religion. But once again it did not work. He was trying so hard to convince me that he just wants the best for me, and that he wants to come to paradise with me. I asked him how he can believe that only Muslims will enter to paradise? He said: "Because it is written in the Qu´ran!". Great answer! I showed him a verse which states that Jews and Christians will also be able to enter paradise, but I was informed that this verse just includes the people who lived BEFORE the Qu´ran was sent down. Whatever I said he, found any answer and I was tired of arguing. I felt so sorry for him.
One day after we were married, he was calling his family and told them that he had married me. We were talking about visiting them, and they were so happy for him. They all wished us the best and were eager to see me. I had only told my Egyptian friend and my best girlfriend about this marriage. Never in my life could I have told my parents about this! My parents were not against my boyfriend, they just said (like many others) that I should be careful; but they never said anything against him. My father even joked one day that if we marry, we will have to buy some flight tickets for his family. There were other reasons which made me feel guilty: He is having problems getting another visa in Germany. He passed his German test which is necessary to be allowed to study in Germany, but he did not get a place to study. So he has to wait another 6 months. With this status he is not allowed to work, but he has to work to pay his rent and food! His family can not give him any more money. His elder brother gave him all he had and the others are all more or less poor people. So I thought if I leave him, I will take away everything htat makes him happy.
I went home to my family but could not find a solution to the problem. I was sure that did not want to become a Muslim, and I do not want my children to be taught those stupid things I read in the Qu´ran and the Sunnah. I was hoping that his best friend could change my husband. This one is married to a European woman who is an Atheist! I talked to him and he said that my husband has changed a lot in Germany. In his home country he was not that religious at all. He promised to talk to him for me, but my husband got angry. He is the way he is we have to accept this! He is not going to change! He is on the right path! He just wants the best for us, but we want to have fun fun fun! It did not help. We broke up. I was asked to visit him for the divorce, but I said that I would not visit him so that there are 2 witnessing me telling me that he is getting divorced! I regard myself as divorced and he can tell all his people about it. But I will not take this shame to be insulted in front of foreign people.
I entered Islam because of love and I left it because Islam did not give my love a chance. Still my ex-husband is trying to get me back. He fears so much about me going to hell. He tells me that he is not going to marry any other woman. He asks me to study Islam again; more about the TRUE Islam. When I confront him with articles, or bad things about the prophet´s life he tells me that this is not true. I was hoping that I could help him to live a better life. I did not have anything against these 5 pillars. I thought he could practice his religion this way and that´s it. But he wants more and I now see that being a Muslim does not only mean to follow those 5 pillars.
At the very beginning of our relationship he said that we just have to tolerate the other person. This sounded really good to me. He said that he would raise his children in the Muslim way but at the age of 18, they can choose themselves what they want to do. He said our children will be happy because they will have the Islamic celebrations as well as Christmas and Easter. It sounded perfect to me. He would accept me and my culture and my family and I would accept him and his culture and faith. But then I had to found out that this religion is controlling your whole life.
My husband changed a lot from first month up until now, 12 months later. Now he will not celebrate Christmas, because he was taught that it is wrong to follow un-Islamic traditions. How can any religion control your everyday life that much? There are always people who call themselves ´scientists´ and who answer stupid questions like "Am I allowed to visit an ill not-Muslim colleague at hospital?". I wonder myself how someone can ask such a ridiculous question?
I ask myself how many Muslims leave their land to live in the western world if they are afraid of non-believers!? I could not live in a land and walk around with the ´knowledge´ that all those people will all go to hell.
- Why should music be forbidden?
- Why can I not swim with my children in the ocean?
- Why should I not be allowed to pray because of my bleeding which actually God gave to me?
- Why do not the man have to cover their hair?
- Why am I not allowed to pray barefoot where on the other hand the man is even allowed to pray with naked back and feet?
I was so happy to find this website and a German one where I could see that there are Muslims who think like I do. I did not expect to find any Muslim who says that he/she left Islam! I am so happy to read all those testimonies and I have great respect for those who really practiced Islam but found out that this can not be the will of God. For me it was easier because I was raised to think and to criticize and I live in a so-called free country. But even I was somehow brainwashed and blinded by the love of my husband. I remember being abroad with my studies and I was walking around and looking at all these people and asking myself: Will they really will go to hell? My husband told me that God loves me because HE made me meet him so that Islam comes to me. And it was my duty now to tell my family and friends about Islam. This is a great excuse to explain why so many Muslim men are married to European women: They all want to save them from hell! Really nice, but what happens to the poor European men who are not allowed to marry Muslim women as long as they do not convert to Islam?
I would love to hug you all and to encourage you to keep on the new path that you have chosen! I hope that each of you can enjoy this new life and that no one of you misses anything from Islam! I found out that all the things I liked in Islam (respect for parents, not betraying anyone, helping the poor) you will find in any good society in the world. Important is not the faith a person has got, but her/ his heart!
Take care all of you!