Leaving Islam



Reason and Faith


Enlightened freethinkers admit that logic has its limitation and that there are realities that cannot be scrutinized solely by logic. They also recognize the spiritual dimension of this universe and of human existence. This article acknowledges the limitations of logic and values the mystical approach as well as upholds the spiritual dimension of human beings.   However, it distinguishes between what is unreasonable and what is beyond reason. Those who cannot differentiate between what is “unreasonable” and what is “beyond reason”, take this admission as the pretext to force their irrational thinking into the arena of acceptability.  They confuse what can be termed as “arational” with what is “irrational”.

The difference between the two is obvious. What is “arational” or above the reason is what reason and science cannot define. It cannot be proven nor can it be disproved. Take the example of the survival of the soul after the death. There is no hard evidence to this belief,  but no scientific fact has disproved it either.

On the other hand there are things that are absolutely illogical, like the notion of God as a “being” that meddles in the affairs of this world and sends messengers of questionable moral and ethical values, providing us with a collection of obtuse gibberish that go against every fiber of our intelligence, science and logic, calling it a “miracle” and demanding us to submit our intelligence. And if we fail, the same god who claims to be merciful and compassionate threatens to roast us for eternity. This is illogical. 

The Quran is a book of errors. It is full of scientific heresies, historical incongruencies, mathematical mistakes  grammatical blunders and logical absurdities. The same can be said about the Bible.  Muslims and Christians are, simply put, fooling themselves in believing that since freethinkers admit that logic has its limitations and there are realities beyond logic, then religion falls into that category. That is confusing between “arational” and irrational, between what is beyond logic and what is contrary to logic. It is like saying, since science admits its limitation and acknowledges that there are many mysteries about the Earth that we still don’t know, then we should not dismiss the possibility that the Earth is flat. 

There are many things that we don’t know. But there are things that we have come to know and can reject them with certainty.  Admission of our ignorance of the things we don't know does not invalidate our knowledge of the things we know.

Some time ago I wrote a message in response to a Muslim friend that I would like to share it with you. It clarifies my views on logic and faith.


Your first argument was in favor of the existence of a "reality" "whether it is God, logic, set of laws or some other foundation for existence". You presented your case flawlessly and I do agree with you wholeheartedly. I always believed in the existence of a reality above this material world. I have repeatedly quoted Tielhard de Chardin who said we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. I applauded Plato for saying, this word is but a shadow of a higher reality, I agreed with Einstein who said, "God does not play dice" and like Buddha, I believe that there's a reality beyond the material world; which is uncreated. It pervades everything, but remains beyond the reach of human knowledge and understanding.

Your second argument was about the rationality of the existence of law. You proved beyond a shadow of doubt that, "an explanation of some phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of physics which are taken as given"

Again I agree with you one hundred percent. Time and again I have made references to the Single Principle underlying the creation. I believe that this universe is governed by a set of laws that are omnipresent, eternal and unchanging.

Then you made a mention of the incapacity of science and rational thinking to explain many mysteries of life like the purpose of creation. You clarified superbly that science, might provide answers to "how" but is not fit to provide answers to "why". 

I am compelled again to agree with you that the path to knowledge and  to enlightenment must be tread by two feet of reason and mysticism. Human beings would be lame without one or the other. True understanding can be achieved by discovering the world without and  by contemplating on the world within. The former is attained by scientific observation of the physical world and the latter is gained by meditation on spiritual world.  Meditation is not the same as prayers. The concept of meditation does not exist in Islam and is not taught in the Quran. Although Sufism, inspired by Hinduism, developed a mystical approach to understanding the reality, this concept is alien to Muhammad's version of Islam. No wonder the Sufis were viewed as heretics by mainstream Muslims.

I do not and cannot deny the mystical experience of enlightenment since I personally had such experience. A few years ago, I went through great sufferings. At first I felt angry and saddened but then I resigned and accepted all my troubles as valuable lessons. I stopped struggling against the currents and peacefully looked forward to see where they take me. I came to be at peace with myself, with the world, with God and with all my problems. That was when, one day when I was taking a shower, suddenly the gates of all knowledge opened in front of me and I could see things I could not see with my eyes and learned realities beyond what I could ever have dreamed of. I found answers to questions I had never asked and gained insight into realities I never knew. In a moment that perhaps lasted for few seconds I was immersed into an ocean of understanding and experienced enlightenment. I heard no voices and  saw nothing, but my inner reality was connected to a higher reality. That experience lasted only for few seconds, but the effect of that changed my thoughts and my life forever. Later I learned many people, have had spiritual experiences like mine. Some seers have even developed a method to achieve this kind of enlightenment at will. That method is meditation. Meditation is quieting the chatter of the mind so that the higher reality can reflect in our consciousness, the same way the sky is reflected in a pond when the waters are still and the ripples are no more there.

Rudy Rucker expressed eloquently the experience that I cannot find words to explain. He wrote: "The central teaching of mysticism is this: 'Reality is ONE'. The practice of mysticism consists in finding ways to experience this unity directly. The One has variously been called the Good, the Cosmos, God, the Mind, the Void or the Absolute. No door in the labyrinthine castle of science opens directly onto the Absolute. But if one understands the maze well enough, it is possible to jump out of the system and experience the Absolute for oneself....But, ultimately, mystical knowledge is attained all at once or not at all. There is no gradual path....."

As you see I do believe in "ONE Reality". I call it "The Single Principle". It is just another name. But the Single Principle, as I see it, is not a being. It is a Non-Being. The non-being  is the mother of all beings. The Single Principle is not a thing; but that, dose not mean that It is nothing! The Principle is "HOW". How things happen, how they become. The creation is "WHAT". That is all there is; HOW and WHAT; the Principle and the process.

As you see there are more things that unite us and we can agree upon. Now let us talk about things that we do not agree on.

You wrote: "I had broken the bonds of fear, tradition, guilt and blind following long ago along with breaking many "Laws". Set to find my One, and trying to comprehend the "why", through the maze of intellect, I found myself coming to conclusions in line with a book recited 1400 years ago, the Quran. Had I not known the Quran well as a child, I would've never tied the two together." 

Can you please explain what did you find in the Quran that I failed to see? I read the Quran in Arabic and English (together) and found nothing of value, inspiring or enlightening. Through that book I came to know a confused man and a primitive deity unworthy to rule over the enlightened humanity. You may think that the Quran answered the " why" of creation, but is this answer correct? If you are satisfied by that answer, does it mean that it is true? Or is it because it corresponds to your understanding of "why," which has been formed by your Islamic upbringing? 

Let me clarify this point. We are raised by different cultures and influenced by certain notions of right and wrong based on our upbringing. When we hear a new idea, we compare it with our pre-cast mental mold. If it falls into our mental mold, we accept it as right otherwise we reject it. Since you were raised as a Muslim you have a preconception of right and wrong. When you analyze Islam, you compare it with your expectation of what truth should look like and naturally everything falls into place and you accept it as logical.

Let us see what is this mental mold that Islam has carved into our sub-conscience. I quote your own words.

"I have accepted that this Universe (and God knows what else is beyond) has a designer -Allah-.
I also accept that he created 'conscious' organisms (us, and God knows what else). Conscious of their existence (I think, therefore I am), and yet more importantly of their maker.
I have accepted that Allah establishes contact with us through many means including 'inspiration' of people worthy of such a task such as prophets including Muhammad PBUH.
I have accepted that the Quran is Allah's word.
Having accepted the above, I'm in no position to question anymore the actions or dictates of the 'Divine' communicated through his messengers (in our case Muhammad)"

Here you have given a list of the things that you have accepted without giving any reason why did you accept.

Why did you accept that this Universe has a designer? Can you prove it logically or you simply have chosen to believe it because it fits into your mental mold and upbringing? I do not agree that this universe has a designer. I see no proof for that. On the contrary the evidence point to the fact that the Universe is the product of natural laws.

Few weeks ago I received a message from a friend who argued, “How is it possible that this world has come to be without any intervention while one knows there has been a person walking on the snow when one sees his footprints?” 

It is true that footprints on the snow do not happen by themselves. There must be someone who made them. But who made the snow? Perhaps 1400 years ago, the less educated people would have taught that God makes the snow. But now we know that snow is the product of natural phenomena. It is formed by the effect of the Sun on the oceans, the winds, the temperature, etc. Snow has no creator. It is formed by natural laws. So are the mountains! Who made the mountains? Mountains are formed by earthquakes, winds, rains, eruptions, erosions and other natural factors. Who made the rivers? Did god design the course of the rivers, or are they shaped by the topography of the land they pass through? The same happens in other planets. Also the planets themselves, the Sun and the stars, the galaxies and the entire universe are products of natural laws. The same can be said about the living beings. Creatures evolve, in harmony with their environment. As Darwin found out, a single species would evolve into two distinct sub species that would eventually become completely different species when separated from each other for a long period of time by some geographic barrier. In evolution we can witness the law or the Principle underlying the creation but we cannot see any hand of god at work. So your original notion of ONE REALITY is logical, but your assumption of a personal god as the creator is not.

You also accepted that this God has created conscious organisms, conscious of their existence and of their maker. That is not true. If by “conscious organism” you are alluding to human beings, not all conscious humans agree that this universe has a “maker”.  What you call “awareness” of a maker is actually an imagination. There is nothing but our imagination that could make us believe of the existence of a “maker”.  Many children believe in Santa Clause. This is not called awareness but imagination.

You have also accepted to believe that this imaginary maker makes contact with you through some inspired holy individuals.  How do you know that these individuals were inspired and not impostors? Do you have any hard evidence, except their own claim that they are inspired? Were these individuals more holy than the rest of the people? Although their followers believe that they were, the historic fact about them proves that they were not. The history of the life of Muhammad, e.g., portray him as a very unholy person. The prophet is shown as a man unable to control his anger, his sexual impulses and his greed. He is described as a ruthless and violent man who killed innocent people simply because they wanted to have the freedom to believe in the religion of their forefathers. As for the words of these "inspired" individuals, they are full of errors and inconsistencies. How one could possibly conclude that the Bible or the Quran are inspired?

You also forgot to say that according to Islam (and other Semitic religions) the purpose of god in sending these messengers is to make himself known and demand to be worshiped.

As science has absolutely proven, we are not being created (in a single act) but evolved through billions of years of evolution. We are conscience of ourselves since we became homo sapience. That is less than one hundred thousand years ago. And as the Bible and the Quran narrate, this god revealed himself to humans only about 6000 years ago. There are a few questions in respect to this hypothesis. Why God is so much in need to be recognized that he created this entire universe and put in it “conscious people” to know him and to worship him? Does he feel lonely? Why He NEEDs to be worshiped? Why he wants to be known? Why this is so important to him that he would even burn us eternally in the blazing hell fire if we fail to recognize him and believe in his messenger? And finally what was he doing for those billions of years when humans were not evolved enough to know him and to worship him?

You wrote "Allah establishes contact with us through… 'inspiration' of people worthy of such a task such as prophets including Muhammad PBUH."

Do you have any solid evidence for this claim? What extra proof you have for the prophethood of Muhammad that David Koresh, e.g. did not have for his claim? Why accept Muhammad and not hundreds and thousands of other charismatic but mentally insane individuals who, every year, rise and claim to be messengers of God? Was Muhammad's character an indication of his superiority over the rest of mankind? Was he more compassionate than others? Was he more respectful towards the women, more tolerant towards the minorities, more forgiving of his enemies? Was he a moral man? Was he an ethical man?  Both of us know that the answer to all these questions is no. Then, why Muhammad? Why should we follow a man whose life was anything but holy? 

Finally, you wrote, "I have accepted that the Quran is Allah's word". And again my question is why? Isn't the Quran full of errors? Aren't enough scientific facts that demonstrate that the Quran is mistaken in hundreds of its assertions? Is the message of the Quran ethical? Is it a book that promotes noble and humanitarian values? Again, as you and I know, none of that is true. The Quran is a collection of absurd and illogical jumbo mumbo. To claim that this book is the word of God is an insult to God and to human intelligence. 

So tell me why Islam? Why Muhammad? And, why the Quran? As you see, you have CHOSEN to believe in Islam, not because it is true but because it fits into your idea of truth. You have come to your conclusion and based your faith on something that is illogical and inhumane simply because it fits into your mental mold and preconceived notion of the truth. In that case you should not criticize the members of other cults who have CHOSEN their baseless religions entirely on emotional grounds, just as you have chosen Islam.

By  Ali Sina 




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