I’m trying to procrastinate, and I’ve wanted to write this for a while while, I’ll try to keep this short and organized.
Why did you leave Islam?
Honestly, it was western culture influence in the end of the day, clashing with my own cultural influence (at the time, I thought it was clashing with Islam). Whenever I had questions about Islam, or Allah, if Islam was the right religion, I was told “go pray, shaytan is talking, not you”. I would go pray, and still have these questions. This would happen even in Ramadan, when shaytan is supposed to be locked away. What was their excuse now, I thought. I figured that nobody had these answers and just stopped caring. That’s the scary part, I didn’t really notice when I stopped having faith, I just didn’t care anymore and wanted to live my life free of restrictions.
Okay, but that’ll never happen to me
Inshallah. But let me tell you, I not only thought I was the exception, I knew I was the exception, even though I knew everybody thought they were the exception. I would literally wake my mom up to pray, I would go to the mosque, I would explain the answers to the questions I had to people asking me (albeit, in a manner that was unsatisfactory to myself)
So why did you decide to revert?
Like most people, something happened that made me question existence. My initial thoughts were, hey , you’re a bit shaken up, but if you start reverting back to Islam, it just proves that you’re doing it because you’re scared and don’t actually believe. Its not genuine, and you’re not thinking rationally and coming from a place of weakness. I’m only saying this because I try to analyse everything from a completely unbiased standpoint. The most important thing you can maintain in your personal journey is to be aware of your complexes and biases, and to constantly assess them.
So what convinced you ultimately to revert
There were way too many things to really type out. Reflection. Reflection. Reflection. Reflection. Reflection. That, education and asking to be guided, are the only things you really can do. My journey was my own, and what convinced me, likely won’t convince you. There are tons of great resources online, and great people who are willing to help. I am not really one of them, as I don’t think I am educated enough to help anyone as of yet.
One thing I will say however, is to set a limit to how much proof you need, before taking a next step. For example, if you asked me whats 1 + 1? I would say 2. You say why? Well that’s how addition works by definition, if you have one apple and get another, you have 2. You say, okay but why does it work like that? Then I would show some proofs explaining why it works. Then you ask, okay but why do those proofs work? You see where I am going with this? I know its hard to set a limit of acceptable proof, and you will hunger for more depending on the person you are, but that’s your journey.
Honestly, r/exmuslim Subreddit played a big role here. Its painfully clear that some of the people on that sub are so bitter about being forced to live an Islamic life that they lash out trying to prove why its wrong. Thinking absolutely rationally, the only way that sub would make sense, is if it was purely a support group for people who left Islam. Which it definitely can be sometimes, but often is not. Those are their biases, their archetypes, their own demons they have to face. Do people naturally actually hate Islam there, or do they just hate their experience with it so much that they actively speak out against it? If they truly were atheists, why are they so obsessed with defacing Islam? It is an act of spite/anger or rational informative conductive speech? If it was the latter, why even bother talking about something that’s so horrible, instead of just forgetting about it? Are you that good of a person that its your mission to warn others? Do you really care about warning others? Why try to save people like those who made your life so miserable? Was your life really that miserable? Was this because of Islam or your parents? Do you really think social pressure will ever go away? Are you really free now or do you just feel free? Are you being controlled by your subconscious emotional thoughts, or thinking clearly? Wait what? no, only Muslims are the ones being controlled. Again, why do you think this, is this true, and are you really free?
The point I am trying to make, is you have to question why you really are thinking/acting the way you are. It is often not a thing that you decide rationally. If you consider all this while reflecting, and make your decision, then that’s your choice. In the end of the day, I find that when you break things down to their very core, you can argue both sides successfully. But one side will be more convincing than the other.
So what role did R/islam Subreddit play?
Since I just talked about ex-Muslim, its only fair I talk about Islam. Its clear on here that many of you who visit are exactly the type of people who made me leave Islam in the first place. Some of you never questioned your faith a single day in your life. Again, you should reflect and ask yourself why, is it because Islam is so deeply rooted in your self identity that you won’t even consider anything else? Is this true faith and belief, or are you just doing what you’re told? Are you free? etc etc. I feel as if this process would make you only a stronger Muslim in the end of the day.
However the positives are that you guys are very well learned and give great references and resources to back up everything you’re saying. I think this sub is a great place for current Muslims, very educational; and after all that’s what its meant to be. However, its also the first place many non-Muslims who are interested in Islam look. So I think you should be aware of that at all times.
I was actually surprised at the lack of support I got from this community, though. Most people don’t reply to their PMs, and I can’t stress this too much, because its not your job to be emotional support or knowledge experts. However, if just one person said “hey, I’ve been through what you’re about to go through, Allah is with you, and everything will be okay” I think it would’ve made my life 100x easier 8 months ago when I started looking into Islam.
I wanted to say a lot more, but I really should study, and I doubt people will read much more if I type more.