I have been a practising Muslim since I was a
little boy. My parents are what British newspapers would call practising
moderate Muslims, as were their parents. I grew up aspiring to devote my
life to Islam by becoming a religious scholar. This ambition seriously
affected my social and work life, which is something I deeply regret now.
My greatest regret is how Islam affected my academic life. Up till age 16
I was a good student and earned good grades. At 16 I was influenced by
Muslims following the Salafi interpretation of Islam. Itís at this time
when my interest in studying dropped. I spent most of my time reading
Islamic books and going to Islamic lectures, even at the expense of
missing my college classes. I completed my course with poor grades but
somehow got into university to study law. After one year of law school I
was persuaded by friends to drop out and transfer to another university to
pursue Arabic language studies with the hope of eventually studying in
Madina University in Saudi Arabia. I studied Arabic at university for 3
years including a year studying in an Arab country. Throughout this time
my circle of friends changed to one who practised a very orthodox Salafi
interpretation of Islam. It did not allow co-education. Since this was
unavoidable at university, I left. Even though I only had one year of
studying before graduation!
I left Islam in March 2003 when I was 24, about a year after leaving uni.
Since I dropped out of uni I had more time to study Islam. To my horror I
came across certain things in the Quran and Sunna which shook my belief in
the Quran as a divine book and Muhammad as a prophet. Firstly, Allahís
saying in the Quran that husbands should beat their wives if they are
disobedient. Islamic scholars say that beating is a last resort and that
the beating should be done in a way that does not cause injury. That
doesnít make it any better though, a beating is a beating! Secondly,
Muhammad having sex with Aisha when she was just nine years old.
Apologetics say that she had started menstruating so it was ok. But the
authentic hadiths show that she was still a child psychologically because
she was still playing with dolls. In my view, Muhammad was a paedophile.
These were the two main reasons why I left Islam.
Since my apostacy I have shaved off my long beard which I have had since I
was 16. It deeply shocked my family and friends to see me clean shaven and
no longer praying and reading the Quran regularly so I can imagine their
reaction if I tell them I am no longer a Muslim! That is why I am going to
keep my apostacy secret from them. At the moment they think I am still a
Muslim but just not practising. Since my apostacy I have re-examined my
beliefs about everything. I still hold on to many of the good things I
have learnt such as honesty, being just, kind, polite, respect for elders,
giving to charity etc. However, I have discarded all the evil and
intolerant teachings of Islam and I am re-reading the Quran and Sunna with
a very critical eye. Now I am just concentrating on being a good human
being and making a positive contribution towards society.
I was very happy to find this website and others like it. Itís very
comforting to know that I am not alone. Iíd be more than happy for other
ex-Muslims to contact me if they so wish.
Ben Rukhsana (pseudonym)