In early 2011, I learned one of my best friends from college had left Islam. We argued back and forth about it on another blog I used to manage that is currently inactive.
The following is an article I wrote in rebuttal to my friends comments about Islam and his reason for becoming an agnostic/atheist. The bold comments in quotations are word for word copies of several statements he made during this time. I hope you can follow along without too much difficulty, Inshallah.
This was a very difficult time in my life for several reasons so I’d rather not post the articles that led up to this one. But I really thought this was one of the best articles I’ve ever written.
It all comes down to one. We are all essentially one family, on one planet, descended from one woman, made from one rib of one man, created by one God.
And that God, the Creator, who has called Himself Allah, has sent us one message in His one book: Worship Him alone, as ONE God.
|[adsenseyu6]||—He knows us better than we know ourselves. His book, the Quran, is His communication to us. It is our guide to living according to His plan and attaining the ultimate success.The Quran speaks to our souls. It revives the dusty spirit and enlivens the dead heart. It frightens the evil and confounds the arrogant.|
The Quran guides the wayward soul and opens the miser’s heart. It is perfect justice for imperfect people.
Allah knows His creation. His book tells us how to live. Yet He did not force us to accept it. We can reject it entirely, or in bits and pieces, or accept it as the ultimate truth.
May Allah guide me to say what is best, in the best manner, at the best time.
The following is a collection of quotes from my ex-Muslim friend (notice, I did not say ex-friend). Each quote is followed by a verse from the Quran that matches or highlights his questioning, doubts, actions, and thought process.
These are not rebuttals of his arguments per se; instead they are proofs that Allah is very much familiar with the hearts of those that reject Islam.
However, my point was that it’s how capitalist system works and has worked for centuries. It’s going to be ups and downs, expansions and recessions, bubbles and busts.
Those who consume interest cannot stand except as one stand who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say: “Trade is like interest.” But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden interest. Baqarah verse 275.
Looking back, those were probably the first seeds of doubt and questioning in my mind regarding Islam and religion in general.
In their hearts is a disease, so Allah has increased their disease. Baqara verse 10.
At the same time, I was finding myself having difficulty concentrating during my prayers.
Woe unto those who pray; yet are heedless in their prayers. Ma’un verses 4-5.
Then there’s Heaven, which basically is described as a nice country house on a good sunny day, with fruits and food in abundance, a river nearby, and slaves or servants working for you. You don’t have to do anything in Heaven, just chill.
Am I the only one who thinks this is somewhat childish?
The hypocrites are apprehensive lest a surah be revealed about them, informing them of what is in their hearts. Say: “Mock indeed. Allah will expose that which you fear.” Tawba verse 64.
The side effect I was hoping backfired and it was a reverse of that. I was getting more and doubtful.
You might say that I should have asked these things at the Masjid. I don’t know why I didn’t. In part, I already looked up scholarly explanations and didn’t expect anything different. Also, the culture in the Masjids seemed to be not to question and cause trouble, unless you want to be ostracized or cast as suspicious nonbeliever. I didn’t dare question the Prophet himself and his actions, face-to-face with the Imam. Chicken? Maybe.
So if you are in doubt about that which we revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. Yunus verse 94.
Quran says that Allah knows whom he guides and where everyone will end up way before the fact. So Allah already predetermined who goes to Hell and who will be tortured, regardless of anything else. Ah, the irony.
By it He causes many to go astray, and many He leads into the straight path; but He causes none to stray except the defiantly disobedient.
I mean Swedes, Japanese, all Native Americans who lived and died before us, etc., are now in Hell, correct?. Why? Why be so sadistic?
A messenger was sent to every people. When their messenger comes before them, the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. Yunus verse 47.
I take great offense at being called a bigot without any reason.
They (the hypocrites) think that every shout is against them. Munafiqun, verse 4.
The scholars go on to state that Islam encouraged freeing of slaves. Why not ban slavery completely? It was not “encouraged” not to eat pork or drink alcohol, it was outright banned. What’s the difference?
Those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers say: “What does Allah mean by this?” Thus Allah leaves to stray whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases. Muddathir verse 31.
My gut feeling tells me that God, if He exists, is infinitely greater, gentler, and intellectually way more superior than the way he is portrayed in the 7th century Arab mythology.
Do you say about Allah that which you do not know? Yunus verse 28.
I decided to write this post after listening to a portion of a Bilal Philips lecture. Within it, he mentions how Islam is about the worship of ONE God. That got me thinking about how unique Islam is and how the Quran is a source of communication between Allah and His creation.
My reasons for putting up the above quotations were not to vilify or demean TS or anyone else’s personal beliefs.
However, over the past three weeks, TS’ comments may have brought doubt and confusion to the minds of some Muslims. I could have gone into each comment and posted my own response and argued back and forth with TS about Islam and the Quran. (Actually, I’m kinda tempted to do that, but I won’t).
Ultimately, I thought it would be better, wiser, and more effective to show that these comments are nothing new. Allah knew about them before and He has given sufficient answers to each of them.
Allah knows His creation better than we do. He knows what’s in our hearts and He knows how we think and how we behave and how we’re motivated. Hopefully, I’ve shown someone who may have doubts in their heart that following those doubts will only lead to misguidance.
I also noticed that a disproportionate number of the above quotes came from Surah Yunus. This was not intentional and I did not plan it that way. Afterwards, I read Surah Yunus to try to understand the overall theme of that chapter.
First, it should be noted that Surah Yunus was revealed in Mecca. Some of you may remember that being a big point in TS’ arguments. Interesting how so many of the verses that Allah gives us to counter these arguments came from a ‘poetic’ and ‘divine’ Meccan chapter.
Second, though the Surah is called “Jonah,” the word “Jonah” only appears once. Not sure why that is significant. Just thought I’d mention it.
Third, for those that love logic and science, there are some important verses in this Surah. Verse 5 mentions Allah’s creation of the sun and the moon. He describes the sun using the word “deeya” which means “illuminating” or “shining” or “giving off light.” And He describes the moon as “nooran” that is “having light.” We know that the sun actually does give off light, and the moon simply “has light” because it reflects the sun’s light.
And what I find most striking is the following verse:
“And mankind was not but ONE community, but then they differed. And were it not for a word from your Lord, it would have been judged between them about that which they differ.” Yunus verse 19.
And Allah knows best.