Knowing (Former Muslim)
Testimony of Leaving Islam
I was 15 when I converted to Islam from Christianity. I had friends that had helped me do it online. Islam seemed very convincing at the time. Those friends had told me that the Bible was corrupted, and that Jesus wasn't the son of God. It only took about two months until I was completely convinced that Islam was the one true religion.
Quickly, I learned how to pray and make wudu (washing in preparation for prayer), though I had to pray in secret so that my parents wouldn't see me. I always felt terrified that Allah wouldn't allow me into heaven because I wasn't able to wear a headscarf and pray when I was supposed to. I cried a lot fearing hell, before that I hadn't cried in over a year, so I felt this was seriously making me stressed. I regretted converting to Islam before the age of 18, when I was out of my mother's house. After a few months, I just stopped caring about the issues I had with not being able to pray and dress in a Muslim way. I knew Allah would understand on Judgment Day! I decided I would read the Qur'an, it took a while, but I finally finished it. I guess I must have not caught all of the things that didn't make much sense; ants talking, sun moving etc. I felt kind of disappointed that I never felt special while praying or reading the Qur'an like my Muslim friends did. "Oh well," I said, "maybe I'm not praying hard enough, or maybe it's because I'm reading the English version..."
About a year later, my faith in God really began to decrease. Not being under the influence of religion like I had been before, I could look at both the atheistic arguments and the Islamic arguments without a biased opinion. I watched a lot of religious debates, and it always seemed like Richard Dawkins or Dan Barker made more sense than the Muslim side. I've always thought evolution was true, so I didn't have to convince myself that the creation story was incorrect. Plus, my love of astronomy helped with my atheistic side. Also, a major part of my questioning of Islam was the history of the religion. Like how it has some Pagan origins, and also how the Kaaba used to be a Hindu temple for Lord Shiva. After researching about all of these things, I finally renounced Islam, and I've never felt better. Instead of agreeing with my online Muslim friends, I started debating with them! I actually made one of them question his faith, and he began to cry. I felt bad for doing that, but I still continue debating with him to this very day! We both love it. I've never actually came out to anyone as an atheist, they just think I'm a doubter. I think I'll wait to come out as atheist to my mother, and Muslim friends. I don't know how to do it yet.
I would like to thank WikiIslam, r/atheism, Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker, Karen Armstrong, and of course Christopher Hitchens for my journey of leaving religion. My friend Khalid is also to thank, because he strengthened my debating skills and demonstrated to me how Muslims believe, and why they believe it.
Well, that's my story. Much love from Canada!