Tehsin (former Muslim)
Testimony of Leaving Islam
I have always been a carefree Muslim since my childhood; influenced by both my parents.While my mother has always been deeply religious, my father was a non-practicing Muslim until 1997,when he performed the hajj - along with my mother and my grandmother. Since my childhood, neither I nor my siblings faced any kind of persuasion to pray or fast, as my father didn't care for that. Since I nurtured the habit of reading since the time I was very young,I developed a habit of free thinking as well.
However things changed dramatically after I enrolled in medical college. I became enthralled at the intricacies of human body and the superb precision with which it works. I became more and more convinced that without a highly intelligent Creator, this would not have been possible. Evolution did appeal to me, but I began to think that evolution alone did not accomplish the terrible feat of producing such an extraordinary machine. I began to talk,solely from my own initiatives,with Tableeg (Preachers) and became more and more convinced that Allah is our creator and we must pray - and that's what I did. I began praying five times a day, began fasting the whole of the month of Ramadan.
But my freethinking habit surfaced before long. I began to question: If Islam is the chosen faith, then why, in the contemporary world, did Muslims suffer so much? When I asked this to a tableeg, who was also a god friend of mine, he said, that the plight of Muslims proves that Islam is the right faith. I snapped back: "O.K, then why did the Jewish people suffer anti Semitism for centuries? Why do lower caste Hindus continue to suffer? And why do Muslims in Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia and Kosovo suffer? And why not the Muslims in Malaysia or Turkey?" The answer I got was: "Muslims throughout the world are not unified and they are not adhering to the faith properly." I said nothing, but in my mind I had the answer. When communism failed, its advocates said the same thing - that the people had failed to practice their dogma. I started to have an inkling that Islam is another dogma that does not satisfy all the needs of the contemporary world. The fact that Islam has been present in this world for 1400 years, and Muslims are still incapable of following it properly, this clearly shows that Islam is not an essentially adhereable faith.
Despite such confusion, I continued to pray and fast, and continued studying. My shock was enormous when I read the book "Ondhokarer eksho bochhor" (100 years in darkness) by Anisul Haque, a renowned writer in Bangladesh. This book is a novel about a mawlana (religious teacher) who has sex with his maid servant, and justifies that citing the Koran. I went through the verse (Qur'an 23:6) again and again, and could not believe my eyes. In this verse, two crimes have been encouraged. One is slavery and the another is rape. Having sex with a slave or a maid is nothing short of rape. By definition, rape means sex with a woman without her consent - or when consent is obtained by force, intimidation or impersonation. There is no question of consent of a slave or a maid. So, the Koran clearly advocates rape. The Koran advocates slavery as well. If you can have sex with countless slaves, why shouldn't you keep one?
I began studying the Bengali translation of the Koran. I began studying the history of Arabia. I was astonished to learn that pre-Islamic Arabia was quite a civilized society, contrary to the teaching in Islam - that Muhammad enlightened them. I also became skeptical about the claim that women were subject to torture and newborn female children were buried alive on any large scale. Women have always been subject to neglect in almost all societies, but the fact that in Arabia, 1400 years ago, a widow without any male guardian maintained her own business and was very rich is quite unique. It was beyond imagination in contemporary India or China. That woman was Khadija, Muhammad's first wife. Khadija's example shows that women were free in Arabia in those days too. The claim that Islam liberated women is nothing but a rhetoric.
And when I read the Bengali translation of the Koran, I became more and more disgusted with high degree of monotony and rubbish. All these things lead to my ultimate abandonment of my faith causing much trouble in my family. I have made a resolve. Although I am single, when I marry and have children, I will never teach them any religion. I will teach them how to think freely.