Shoikot Chawdhury (former Muslim)
How I became an Atheist
When I was a boy of six years old, it was a great surprise to me that how I came in being as this matter was unknown to me. I asked my father about my origin. My father explained that he found me in a pond where I was swimming for saving my life. This answer did not satisfy me. I went to my mother. My mother assured me that Allah threw me freely from sky and she caught me immediately in her hand. But it was not satisfactory also. Already I had known that Allah is a great something who has tremendous power. He can do everything. I could not conceive why he sent me in such a risky way. A lot of questions raised in my mind. Thus, I was an ordinary child like others but was not too much naughty. I searched all surprising things from my environment. I observed the movement of ants and various insects and flying of birds. Different beasts and trees enchanted me. I used to look at the moon and stars, and surprised a lot. I used to think deeply about everything what was close to me.
I should remember here, my father was a great friend to me. I asked again and again about various things to my father and he answered all of the questions very patiently and never tries to stop my questioning. I am very much grateful to him for this characteristic of him. Later he changed when I left religion. My parents were pious Muslims. They sent me to mosque to make me learnt Quran, hadith and Islamic rules and regulations. I lost most of my valuable time of childhood in learning and practicing religious activities. As I was very soft minded child, my parents, relatives, imam of mosque was able to create an illusive world in my mind where I clearly saw the Allah, havens, hells, angels etc. Eventually I became pious and strict Muslim though sometimes many things of Islam appeared to me questionable. Later I understood the danger of childhood indoctrination.
In my childhood, I was a great book lover. I read books where ever I got it. I read all of the books of my father’s collection. Most of these books was novels and Islamic. Those books made me blundered a lot. The books related freethinking was not available to me. So I met my curiosity to reading religious books. As far as I remember, I was very curious in nature. I used to think about various things. Often I thought about the nature of Allah, religion, belief system and life of prophet. I could think deeply about any interesting thing for long time continuously- I was exceptional from other boys in this perspective. In my adolescent period I started to think about religion in different angles. I started to write a diary where I wrote my questions, remarks and opinions. Some are rewritten here -
- Who is the creator of Allah? If everything must have cause then God must have a cause. But what is it? According to believers, God designed the universe and us. So who is the designer of such a prominent God? If everything must need designer then God must need a designer.
- How can I believe in the existence of Allah when there is no acceptable logic in favor of it? The burden of proof of the existence of Allah is on the believers shoulder but so far they completely fail to do so. Even for being suspicious- logic is needed. Suppose, we would not be suspicious about the existence of a horse which can fly or having a second head of us. I did not get any logic for even being suspicious that there may be a God.
- If I would like to believe in existence of Allah, I have to understand him completely. Without understanding or observing him, how can I say he is the creator or there is no creator other than him? There may another creator or creators who did not inform us (because may be it is not necessary for him). If there is a God that never indicates that any particular religion should be true or God sent any religion or prophet for us. But most of the people think that there is a God means it is necessary that a particular religion is true. A weak thinker can reject religion even after believing in God also.
- What is the exact nature of Allah? Islam says that Allah is incorporeal but He is omnipotent, omniscient. A conscious supernatural being but it has no shape at all and it is interacting with mankind is nothing but an absurd, illogical, insane, intelligible, unconceivable above all an idiotic concept. This incorporeal Allah was appeared to me as ‘a great zero’.
- Why all of the characteristics (he has 99 characteristics) of Allah is available in mankind. He has no characteristics which is not available in human (in weaker form), but why? What is the use of these nice names or characteristics since He is free from human like weakness? Considering these problems, I try to say against the biblical verse ‘God created men in his own image’ that –Men created God in his own image.
- How can I be sure that Allah is very kind since there are a lot of disasters like flood, tsunami, hurricane, epidemic, and massacre? How can I be sure that he is worship- able or he needs worship? What is the use of worship to him since He is omnipotent? Why is He so fond of flattery? If God is benevolent so what is the use of evil here on the world. Where God hide when we fall in extreme danger. Every year a lot of people die from hunger, malnutrition. Sometimes people die in the spot of pilgrimage. A God who will cause eternal damnation to most of the men and women for not to obey him is nothing but a very dangerous, monstrous, cruel and insane being. This type of God has no right to be considered as kind and worship-able.
- When evolution is explaining nicely our origin, why should we go to God? If we are special creature of God, why we have so similarities with Gorillas, Monkeys and other animals. We can be special for ourselves but not for the nature or universe as they are materials being like us. I realized that the earth is friendly to the living beings and all the materials for evolving the living beings were available here so all living beings including us evolved here through the process of evolution. If the environment of the earth as well as the universe was not friendly to life it can be said simply that there would no life possible here. Some of the process of evolution and formation of life is not explained clearly yet. As a rationalist, I shall allow myself to wait to know these things and never take a conclusion irrationally. There is no logical way to consider ourselves special and perfect in universal perspective.
- Suppose there is a God. Then should God punish me after death since I researched a lot about God and religion and found no reason to accept it? If God is considerate being, He will never punish the rationalists rather He will punish the blind believers who accepted religion readily.
- Most of the Muslims are Muslim because they born in a Muslim family. They accept Islam without researching or understanding Islam or other religions. Like that, peoples born in non-Muslim families are not accepting Islam rather they are accepting their parents’ religion. In this way, doing same thing some are going to heaven forever after death and others are going to hell forever. How Allah can be so inconsiderate? I could not accept such an illogical concept which is a basic belief of Islam and some other religions.
- How can I be sure that Quran is the speech of Allah and Mohammed was a prophet? Quran was appeared to me as sheer nonsense and Mohammed appeared to me as a hypocrite like other preachers of religions. Mohammed married more than twelve times and kept more than one wife at a time. He was so lewd that he married wife of his adopted son Jaid Bin Harith though then Mohammed had several wives. How he married Ayesha when she was only six years old? Mohammed instituted the exploitation of women. I found women very free before the establishment of Islam in Arab. He caused massacre of the tribe banu khoraija. I cried several times when I read this heart-rending incident from a book. He was responsible for a lot of assassinations. He truly became a captain of bandit after his flight to medina. He destroyed all of the idles inside kaaba to establish his tyranny which is a great crime in modern standard.
- Obviously Quran is a book and a book writer must be a man. If a man claim that a book is written or sent by God then it will be laughable besides it is this man’s duty to prove the claim. Muslims often raise the arguments to prove the Quran as divine that ‘nobody can write such a prominent book, so it is sent from God’. If we read Quran attentively than we can understand easily the merit of their argument. Besides ‘nobody can write such a prominent book’ is abnormal, illogical, unacceptable and childish claim. We should follow – Muhammad took 23 years to write the Quran accompanying with others which is not compatible at all with modern science.
I wrote a lot of things regarding religion in my diary which is hard to mention all here. I debated with many Islamic scholars. They usually asked me – So who created you? What is the explanation of all still unexplained things?
I made a simple answer. Nobody created me, I came from my parents. My birth was completely dependant on them. In broader sense, I came in being through the process of evolution.
We have to wait to getting the right explanation of all still unexplained things. Now-a-days we know many things accurately because scientists provided this knowledge to us. Scientist is human like us. They are not omniscient or supernatural something. So they need time for explaining the things which are still unexplained. Before being able to explaining appropriately any unexplained matter in scientific way – I will simply say ‘I do not know’ or ‘I can not explain it’ or ‘I can explain this much’. ‘I do not know’ never means or proves there is a God. Now if anyone brings God here, it is his burden to prove this. I followed that necessity of God to explaining the phenomenon of the universe is becoming less useful day by day. The God-explanation of anything is completely useless in our practical life. Some questioned me –Can you make the moon or the sun (or other natural thing)? If not how you dare not to believe in God?
These type of question appeared to me laughable. I answered them – The denial of the existence of God never necessarily means that I am the God. Then I was a boy of eighteen years old. I found no reason to keep my faith. I became an atheist and left religion forever. It is a surprise to me that, I did not read any book or article which is against my religious belief before leaving Islam.
I remain book lover. Immediately after being atheist I started to search the books in new effort on freethinking, religion, evolution, philosophy, science, psychology etc. and found some of them. I started to read religious scriptures in new point of view. I collected and read several books of Aroj Ali Matubbor, Humayon Azad, Ahmed Sharif, Taslima Nasrin, Probir Ghosh, Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell and others which enlightened me. I found some websites such as wikiislam, answering-islam, mukto-mona , faithfreedom, talkorigins etc. which were helped me a lot. Still I am with these websites.
I am very happy that I could leave religious belief. Thank you.