Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A Summary of the Qur'anic Teaching on Salvation

By Callum Beck                          


The doctrine of salvation in the Qur’an is not easy to unravel. Some passages seem close to the Protestant idea that salvation is by ‘faith alone,’ others seem closer to the Catholic doctrine that salvation is by faith plus works. Some stress Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, others speak of an exact balance that will weigh our good deeds against our bad ones. Still others are very similar to the Calvinist doctrine that God predestines some to heaven and some to hell. Issues like intention (nia) and the intercession of the prophet(s) also come into the discussion. In trying to understand this doctrine I re-read through the entire Qur’an and catalogued every passage related to this topic. In May of 1995 I presented my conclusions to a group of Muslims at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, which was followed by a long and stimulating discussion on the topic. This article is a re-working of that talk.

The Qur'an suggests four pathways to salvation, belief, works, repentance and predestination. When discussing how one can be saved Muslims also will mention things like intention, the intercession of the prophets and a purgatory like state, but these are not really separate categories but fit under one or more of the above four. Our intentions will be taken into account when our works are weighed, the prophet’s intercession is part of Allah’s merciful actions, and the idea of spending a short term in hell is payment for our evil deeds.

The real important questions are how do all of these relate together, and which teachings(s) is (are) primary? At my talk in Montreal some of the Muslim respondents emphasized faith, others works and yet others Allah’s mercy, and a few felt one’s intentions were of paramount importance. None believed in predestination but this doctrine, historically, may be the most common position held by Muslims. Probably the average modern Muslim, however, would believe that salvation is by works, though some modern Muslim debaters, in response to the Christian affirmation of salvation by grace, are particularly starting to emphasize belief and repentance. From my study, however, it seems clear that the Qur'an puts works and/or predestination as the primary concept(s). Belief then, in effect, is the first and most important work, and repentance impacts the Balance as a work which removes some of the weight of our evil deeds. The issue then is this: Does Allah predetermine all of our actions or do we freely choose them? We will now discuss the Qur’anic teaching on each of these pathways in some detail.


The Qur’an teaches that only believers will be saved: “In the end we deliver Our messengers and those who believe: thus is it fitting on our part that we should deliver those who believe” (10:103; cf 33:43; 41:30; 47:11).1 Conversely, those who do not believe will be condemned: “Fear the fire which is prepared for those who reject faith” (3:131; cf 2:104).

This belief encompasses the five main articles of faith (iman) in Islam: “Any who denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement, have gone far, far astray (4:136; cf 2:136,177,285; 45:32-35; 57:21). Some would also add the doctrine of qadar (predestination) to this list: "There is no doubt that the belief in destiny is categorized as an article of faith in Ahadith. On the basis of these the basic articles of faith are six rather than five. Truly speaking, faith in predestination is a part of faith in Allah and has been described accordingly in the Holy Qur'an" (Mawdudi 94).

Some Qur’anic ayahs seem to teach that believers in other faiths will be saved. Surah 2:62, for example, asserts: “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabians, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness - their wage awaits them with their Lord” (Arberry; cf 2:111-112; 5:69). This, however, raises a problem. As part of what must be believed in order to be saved is the prophethood of Muhammad (2:137; 3:83-84; 4:135-137,150-152; 7:156-157), it would seem that even very pious people of other faiths could not be saved. Also if Christian belief in the Trinity implies that Christians are blasphemers (5:72), then surely they will be damned for this belief. So it would seem that the devout of other faiths must follow the pattern of Sura 5:83-85 and accept Muhammad as a prophet in order to be saved. Both Mawdudi (p 84) and Hamidullah agree with this conclusion (p 81). Surah 3:85 also can be read to support this idea – “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost” – though it could also be argued that the religion of Islam is more than just the religion delivered to Muhammad. Some Muslims resolve this dilemma by suggesting that pious believers of other religions who have not heard the call to Islam will be saved, while those who have heard and rejected it will be outside of the Pale.

Whatever conclusion one comes to on that issue, one thing seems beyond dispute – belief by itself is not enough for one to be saved but it must be accompanied by repentance and good works: “Soon, then, will they face destruction – except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness” (19:60; cf 23:109; 25:70); and “to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness has Allah promised forgiveness” (5:9; cf 7:42; 18:30). One Muslim scholar correctly observed that “there are very few cases in the Qur'an where belief alone has been mentioned, and even in these cases we can most often, on deeper reflection, discover an implicit reference to the moral and practical obligations that genuine faith must entail” (Ahmed 22). Even so, some Muslims affirm that as long as they believe in Allah and His messenger they will be saved, and some Hadith support this concept. Even Mawdudi seems to adhere to it, while noting that without works one could never become a complete Muslim (pp 19-20, 95). It does not appear to be a Qur'anic idea, however, for the Book almost always connects belief with good works and/or repentance. Ahmed thoroughly condemns this false concept when he asserts:

A false notion has taken hold of the great majority of Muslims, that salvation depends on the mere utterance of the declaration of faith, that the mere verbal confession of ‘faith’ is sufficient for salvation, and any practical application of it to his life is an additional goodness which will elevate him to higher stages (p 41).

Belief, by itself, is thus not sufficient to ensure salvation, but it is essential. Belief is the necessary pre-condition to make works and repentance efficacious. If one does not believe in Allah one is not likely to ask His pardon. Likewise if one truly believes in the Day of Judgement and the Balance, it can hardly help but inspire him to do good works (cf II Peter 3:11-12). Belief can also be conceived of as the first righteous deed, and a work upon which Allah mercifully increases the weight of our good works.


The Qur'an teaches that all our deeds, good or evil, will be weighed in a balance, and our eternal destiny is based on whether or not our good deeds outweigh our bad ones. Life is a test to determine whether we are fit for Paradise or not:

If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. Such days (of varying fortunes) we give to men and men by turns: that Allah may know those that believe ... Allah's object also is to purge those that are true in Faith and to deprive of blessing those that resist Faith. Did ye think that you would enter heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard and remained steadfast (3:140-142; cf 2:143; 5:94; 8:27-28).

Those who perform good deeds will be rewarded with heaven (3:195), the wicked will be punished in hell (43:74-77).

These good deeds are described in general terms as obeying Allah and His Messenger (24:47-56), and doing deeds of righteousness (2:277). They include deeds of ritual purity, specifically performing the six pillars – recitation, prayer and zakat (2:110), fasting (33:35), the pilgrimage (2:196-200) and Jihad (9:111; 22:58-59). Dying in a Jihad is probably the only work that guarantees the salvation of a believer. They also include deeds of moral purity:

For Muslim men and women -
For believing men and women,
For devout men and women,
For true men and women,
For men and women who are patient and constant,
For men and women who humble themselves,
For men and women who give in charity,
For men and women who fast,
For men and women who guard their chastity, and
For men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,
For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward (33:35).

Other passages which bespeak of the need for moral deeds of righteousness include 3:134; 25:63-75; and 90:11-16.

On Judgement Day all our good and evil deeds will be manifested (3:30; 6:60). Allah will bring out the Book in which all our good and evil deeds have been recorded (18:49; 54:52-53). Each person's prophet (16:89) and one's own body (36:65) will also testify against the wicked. The righteous one will receive his book in his right hand, the wicked in his left (69:19,25). All of our deeds will then be placed on the Balance:

The balance that day will be true (to a nicety): those whose scale (of good) will be heavy, will prosper. Those whose scales will be light, will find their souls in perdition, for that they wrongfully treated Our Signs (7:8-9).

We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgement, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account) (21:47; cf 23:102-103; 101:6-9).

Yusuf Ali's comment on this last verse is most apropos: “Not the smallest action, word, thought, motive, or predilection but must come into the account of Allah” Each good and evil deed will receive its just reward or punishment (3:185; 45:21-22).

In spite of what appears to be a very exact reckoning of every deed and motive, certain passages suggest that Allah in His mercy will tilt the balance to one side or the other. Good deeds will often be rewarded more than their worth, up to 10 times as much (4:40; 6:160; 39:33-35; 64:17). Evil deeds may also be weighted more than their worth (25:69; 41:27), though some passages say they will only receive their due punishment (6:160; 28:84). See Yusuf Ali's attempt to reconcile this conflict (notes 1019 & 3129). Other factors also affect the balance. Good deeds can erase bad deeds (2:271; 39:33-35), and sincere repentance seems to be capable of wiping out evil deeds.

All this raises a lot of questions. As repentance is generally effective only if accompanied by good works (19:60), and as Allah accepts only the repentance of the righteous, he whose balance is heavy, then what has priority: works or repentance? Does one work and then confidently await his reward of mercy, or does one pray for mercy in order to make his balance heavy? Or is repentance simply another work? Discussion on this is continued in the next section and the conclusion. One thing is clear, the Qur'an teaches that man can pull himself up by his own bootstraps, that he can save himself by his works (66:6; 91:7-10).


The Qur'an is full of references to Allah's mercy, forgiveness and compassion. This is evident in the names of Allah. Each Sura, save #9, begins with the phrase: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful (ar Rahman) and the Compassionate (ar Rahim).” The former name is also used 56 other times, though surprisingly it is often used in a context of judgement (19:69; 25:26). The later is used another 115 times, almost always in conjunction with another attribute expressing Allah's mercy (e.g., 72 times it is used with the oft Forgiving). The verbal form rahima is used 148 times. Other names of Allah also manifest his merciful nature, including the oft Forgiving (over 200 times); the Pardoning (16); the Clement or Forbearing (11); He who turns toward the repentant believer (28); the Kind to the believers (11); and the Relenting.

It also comes through clearly in the specific things that are said about the mercy of Allah. Allah is declared to be "the most merciful [or best] of the merciful" (7:151; 12:64,92; 23:109,118, cf 7:155), is said to have prescribed mercy for Himself (6:12,54), and His mercy embraces all things (7:156; 40:7). While He is full of mercy, it is important to note that for the guilty He only has wrath (6:147; 33:43). That Allah forgives sins is repeatedly stated in the Qur'an: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Turn ye to your Lord and bow to His (will) before the penalty comes on you” (39:53-54; cf 2:285-286; 3:133; 9:104; 40:3; 42:25; 71:10; 85:14).

But what sins will Allah forgive? Some, like the preceding one, and Surah 4:116 suggest all of them. This includes homosexuality (4:16), theft (5:39), and the great sins of apostasy (3:89,127-129), shirk (2:51-54; 25:68-71), waging war against Allah (5:33-34), and missing prayers/ lust (19:59-60). Other passages suggest some sins are unforgivable (42:30,34). This includes the intentional murder of a believer (4:93), other intentional sins (4:17; 6:145), repeated sin (3:135; 4:18; 5:95), and the great ones (4:31; 42:37; 53:32) of apostasy (9:83; 18:57-58) and shirk (22:31). Believers are not even to pray for the idolaters (9:113; 63:6).

In order to receive Allah's Mercy the believer must seek it (3:133), ask for it (71:10), repent or turn to Allah (39:17,54), believe (5:36-37), make amends (2:160), change his or her behaviour (3:135; 5:39), obey Allah and Muhammad (3:31-32, 132), and do good deeds (3:193-195; 35:7). Repentance that is coerced (5:33-34), made on one's deathbed (4:18) or sought on the Day of Judgement (23:106-108) is not acceptable.

The basic picture in the Qur'an is that Allah simply blots out our sin without any payment, expiation or atonement being made (3:195). If there is to be a payment made for sins it is done by the sinner and not Allah (2:54,177; 2:271; 4:16; 4:92; 5:89,95; 24:2; 42:40-43; 58:2-4). Some Muslims believe that all sins must be punished and therefore everyone will go to hell and be punished there for sins that were not punished here. The basis for this belief can be found in the Qur'an (3:185; 19:71), but is even more prominent in the Hadith which deal with the bridgeSeerat that crosses over hell, and over which everyone must pass. Sura 7:44-51 has also been interpreted by some to be a type of purgatory, but only for those whose good and bad deeds are evenly balanced. While most passages in the Qur'an teach the eternality of heaven (3:198; 4:57; 25:15; 50:34) and hell (10:52; 32:14; 41:28; 43:74) some suggest that they are not eternal but last only as long as God wills (6:128; 11:107-108; cf Yusuf Ali, nn 1608 & 1609).

For the Christian salvation is totally by grace, through faith, from beginning to end (Ephesians 2:8-9; I John 1:9). Some Muslims also hold to this idea and it does have some support in the Qur'an (17:57 - even those nearest Allah hope for His mercy) and the Hadith. Muhammad said that “without the mercy of God no one can attain salvation by virtue of his action.” His companions then asked, “Not even you, O messenger of God?” He replied, “Not even I. God will, however, cover me with His mercy” (cited by Geisler 126).

This doctrine, while attractive, seems to fly whole in the face of the concept of the Balance, and even opens up the Muslim to the charge he often lays before Christians – to wit, if works cannot save then what is to keep one from sinning? So we raise the question again, are works or mercy primary in the Qur'anic doctrine of salvation? One is probably most faithful to Qur'anic thought to give the primacy to works and to conceive of repentance as being basically a work. Allah's mercy is manifested first in providing a path to salvation (good works) and knowledge of how to attain it via his prophets. Second, it is seen in His providential care for human beings, especially the believers. Third, he accepts our repentance as a work which lightens the balance of our evil deeds. And fourth, He increases the weight of the pious believer's good works.

All of the foregoing, however, takes on a whole different aspect in the light of what follows. For, if predestination is conceived as being the primary factor in salvation then our belief, good works and repentance are totally the result of the sovereign decision of Allah.


While few Muslims in the West today really believe in the doctrine of predestination, historically it has been at the core of Islamic theology. This is in accordance with the Qur’an which teaches that everything which happens is by the will of Allah (3:145; 6:59; 7:188; 9:51). This implies that our salvation is therefore also by the will of Allah.

The Qur’an affirms that Allah predestines some people to go to heaven and some to hell, as the following passages demonstrate:

My sincere counsel will not profit you, [even] if I desire to counsel you sincerely, if God desires to pervert you (11:34 - Arberry; cf 4:88; 5:41; 39:23,37).

Allah sets on the right path whom He pleases (2:272; cf 7:178; 14:4; 76:31).

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. Whether you show what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah calls you to account for it. He forgives whom He pleases, and punishes whom He pleases. For Allah has power over all things (2:284; cf 5:18,40; 39:38).

Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell (7:179).

In accordance with the last verse above Surah 42:44,46 teaches us that there are some people whom Allah “leads astray.” Yusuf Ali translates the Arabic term adhallâ here as “leaves astray” but his “... translation is inaccurate and has obviously been adopted with a view to placing the blame for going astray on the human beings concerned” (Sherif 107). His bias is clearly seen by comparing his translation here with the same word when applied to Satan in Surahs 22:4 & 36:62. His bias is likewise apparent in his translation of aghwa (compare 11:34 with 28:63 & 37:32).

The Qur’an also teaches that Allah predestines our wills: “Let any who will keep it [the prophet's admonition] in remembrance! But none will keep it in remembrance except as Allah wills” (74:55-6); “Whosoever will, let him take a (straight) path to his Lord. But ye will not, except as Allah wills” (76:29-30); “It is not but a reminder unto all beings, for whosoever of you would go straight; but will ye shall not, unless God wills, the Lord of all Being” (81:28-9 - Arberry). Allah also predestines whether we will believe or not (10:99-100; 58:22).

Belief in predestination does not preclude man's ability to will, nor for his being responsible for all that he does:

If Allah had so willed, He could make you all one people: but he [leads astray] whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall surely be called to account for all your actions (16:93).

Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe and him who will reject (it): ... And what is there to keep men back from believing, now that guidance has come to them, nor from praying for forgiveness from their Lord (18:29,55).

All the many passages in the Qur'an which speak of belief, good works and repentance, such as “I shall ordain my mercy for those who do right, ..., and who believe in our signs” (7:156), along with man's responsibility to choose the good, together imply that Allah has given man a free will. Even some passages that on the surface seem to teach predestination in actual fact do not. Allah, for example, is said to lead the rebellious astray only indirectly by the preaching of His word (2:26; 9:124-127), much as God hardened Pharaoh's heart in the Bible. Also Satan (22:4) and our own evil desires (18:28) lead us astray.

Muslim attempts to resolve the conflict between predestination and responsibility are varied. Some emphasize one concept and deny the other. In the early centuries of Islam the Mu`tazili's focussed on the free will verses while the orthodox focussed on the predestinarian ones. The problem with this approach is that it fails to deal justly with the Qur'anic teachings, which seem to treat both concepts as equally true without making much attempt to reconcile them. Some Muslims, therefore, take the approach of Muhammad Hamidullah in his book Introduction to Islam:

God on the celestial level wills all, but man does not know what he has willed for him. His duty is not to despair but to continue to seek to do good. If he fails the concept of predestination consoles [57:22-23] ... But success or failure (even to do good works) has no connection to salvation, because God judges by intention and effort (p 121).

The problem with this is that God chooses whether you will want to seek good or not, He even wills your despair. Still Muslims can live comfortably with this as a mystery, much as Christians who believe in predestination do.

Another possible way to reconcile these diverging positions is to say God predestines the path of salvation but not the individuals who will walk on it. It is God's choice is to save the righteous and send the wicked to hell, but each person decides by their actions which destination they will arrive at. God then uses the preaching of His message and trials to cause the wicked to go astray and the righteous to go in the right path. I know of no Muslim who takes this tack, but I think there is at least some basis for it in the Qur'an (see two paragraphs above). It does, however, seem to contradict the many passages that suggest that God does predetermine what each individual will choose. Moreover, it is philosophically unacceptable to many Muslims, for it seems to limit God's sovereignty and suggests that man has the power to create (meaning he is like God after all – 28:68).

Most western Muslims today simply affirm the free will of men, and avoid any thought of predestination almost entirely. This approach is unacceptable, however, because the three main sources of Islamic faith affirm qadar. Many passages of the Qur'an, as we have seen, clearly do. The Hadith repeatedly and consistently do, most dramatically in this passage from the Mishkat:

Verily Allah created Adam and then rubbed his back with His right hand and took out a progeny from him and said: "I created these for Paradise and with the actions of the inmates of Paradise which they will do." Afterwards he rubbed his back with his left hand and took out a progeny from him and said: "I created these for Hell and with the actions of the inmates of Hell which they will do." (Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Vol. 3, p. 107)

Finally, the consensus of the Islamic world for centuries, the ijma, consistently affirmed qadar as one of the foundational and essential beliefs of Islam. Mawdudi was correct when he affirmed that “faith in predestination is a part of faith in Allah and has been described accordingly in the Holy Qur'an” (Mawdudi 94).


From my reading of the Qur’an it seems clear that it puts the Balance and/or Predestination as the two foundational concepts in Qur'anic soteriology, asserting that man is saved by his good deeds outweighing his evil deeds, and/or by the will of Allah as He sovereignly and freely chooses whom He will guide and whom He will lead astray. The tension between these two concepts is obvious. The first places the responsibility for obtaining salvation on each individual person, while the second implies that the responsibility for who shall be saved is entirely in God's hands. As both, however, are clearly affirmed in the three main sources of Islamic doctrine, both must be accepted by all Muslims as true, a mystery which cannot rationally be explained, which Allah alone understands. Many orthodox Muslims assent to this and instruct us further that: “it is one of Allah's secrets, do not talk about it” (Jeffery 154). Both truths are affirmed and speculation as to how they can be reconciled is condemned.

As noted earlier some Muslims propose another foundational concept, that of right belief alone. In other words being a Muslim will guarantee Paradise for the believer. I agree with Dr Ahmad, however, that this is a pernicious and unscriptural doctrine. It could only be made palatable if the concept of purgatory is included, so that the sins of the slack believer would be punished. The whole doctrine of purgatory in Islam, however, is on shaky ground. So it is probably more accurate to see faith, whether it be chosen, gifted or both, as the necessary ground of good works or as being the first and essential work of those who would enter Paradise.

Some western Muslims suggest another approach as the foundational concept, that Allah forgives anyone who confesses the Shahadah and sincerely repents. It seems to me, however, that as important as confession, repentance and Allah's mercy are in the Qur'anic view of how to obtain salvation, they are not foundational concepts. For Allah will only forgive either those whom He chooses to, or those whose balance is heavy. In other words the repentant sinner can only hope to receive God's mercy if his confession and repentance gives him enough weight to tip the balance in his favor (or, alternatively, if God wills that it should save him). Once the balance is heavy on the side of good deeds then God can forgive the sins he committed. The Qur'an perceives confession of sin and repentance as primarily being good deeds, which with a lot of other good deeds can be used to make one's balance heavy. They are never simply the prerequisite human conditions that allow God to freely bestow his mercy on a sinful human heart. A Muslim could never sing, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy mercy I cling.” Or, if he did he would be thinking of salvation in terms of God's sovereign choice and not on the basis of works. In sum, belief is pictured as the foundational and most important work, while repentance impacts the Balance of Deeds as effectively being a work which graciously removes some of the weight of our evil deeds.

Perhaps the main difference in the Christian and Muslim doctrines of salvation is that the latter is a religion of guidance and the former one of redemption. The great Pakistani scholar, Mawdudi, commented: “Because of His infinite mercy, God sent special men to mankind. He sent these men to show man the right way of living” (p 21). The Christian formulation of this would run something like: “Because of His infinite mercy, God sent His Son to mankind. He sent this God/Man to save men so they could live right. To be the sacrifice which would permit God to blot out all our sins, and enable us to be clean so that we could dwell eternally with our Holy God.” This is the gospel that we must preach to our Muslim neighbours. God is not in the business simply of instructing the cripple to walk but of healing and enabling him or her to walk.

Ahmed, Dr Israr. The Way to Salvation in the Light of Surah Al-Asr. Bombay: Islamic Research Foundation, n.d.
Geisler, Norman and Saleeb, Abdul. Answering Islam. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993.
Hamidullah, Muhammad. Introduction to Islam.
Jeffery, Arthur. Ed. Islam: Muhammad and His Religion. New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1958.
Mawdudi, Abul A`la. Towards Understanding Islam. New York: ICNA, 1986.
Faruq Sherif. Guidelines to the Contents of the Qur'an. London: Ithaca Press, 1985.

1 All numbered references are to the Qur’an, the numbering system followed being that employed by Yusuf Ali. If you are using a different translation and cannot find a passage, generally it will be within a few verses of the reference I have given. Qur'anic quotations are taken primarily from Yusuf Ali’s translation but occasionally also from Arberry (the latter will be noted). I have occasionally taken liberties in modernizing the archaic English sometimes used in these translations (e.g., denieth, hast). Also I have generally changed the poetic versification into a straight prose format.



Pinar's Testimony

I pray that the Lord Jesus will use all that I am and all that He has done in my life to touch the lives of all the believers and unbelievers who read this testimony. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

My Muslim Background

I was born in a big city in Turkey, to a modern family, who lived their Muslim faith in a secular way. They advised me not to worry too much about God and religion but just know that God loves me and that I love him and He will protect me and everything will be great. They advised me to focus on my studies and do my best and leave the rest to God. They also told me that He is everywhere and that I am walking in Him. So I was walking around, full of joy, thinking to myself, God loves me and I am swimming in God, which is love and I loved him with all my life.

I had a lot of atheist and agnostic friends, and when they asked me how I know God exists, I told them I could feel His presence. My life was a bundle of love and blessings…

Up until I decided to really check what it means to be a Muslim and what does the Kur’an say. I was 18 years old, and I had just graduated high school, when I decided to read the Kur’an and see what my wonderful God, full of love, has to say in the Holy Book. As you can imagine I was disappointed. The book was the worst horror book I have ever read. Every night my heart was racing and I was filled with terror. I said to myself, if that is what God is, I am an atheist. And I rejected the Lord of the universe just like my atheist friends… Then my life changed, I lost my peace, joy, and love, my relationships started to shatter; even though I managed to look successful on the outside, I was a huge mess… But I did not want anything to do with the God of the Kur’an. I could not lie to people and claim, I am a Muslim when I did not believe in more than half of the Holy Book.

First Time in Church

During that time God was working in my life. He arranged me to meet a friend, and this person said, he will take me to the best place he knows to rest, and much to my surprise that was a church. After that day, I kept on going to churches. I have gone to house churches, catholic, protestant, etc, you name it I went. But I was not a Christian, I just liked the experience since every time when I was feeling heavily burdened, I went to church and each time God touched my heart. It is amazing how many Christians God sent my way. A lot of my best friends were Christians; I would say at least 30 friends witnessed to me in Turkey alone but none of them could convince me of following Jesus due to what I was taught growing up. I just could not shake the pressure of the culture and the fear of blasphemy against God. If someone told me when I first entered the church that within 11 years I will be a Christian, I would never have believed him or her!

Introduction to NEW AGE

Then I graduated from college in Turkey and came to United States for further studies, but instead of growing closer to God, I became introduced to New Age and Yoga mainly for relaxation purposes and also in order to regain the inner peace that I had lost when I rejected God. I got deep into it, saw so many miracles as well as a counterfeit peace and joy so that this replaced the hopelessness and emptiness in me – at times. I was on a roller coaster: peace, no peace, peace, no peace! But supernatural things were happening daily so my best friend told me that she thinks that I got linked with a Ginny! She was right, I was linked with the wrong spirit but I thought it was the Lord and I was getting close to God again! It was clear to Christians that it was a counterfeit, but it was not clear to me; I was blinded. But God used even the Guru to work in my heart since he was sharing about Jesus and the New Testament all the time and encouraging us to go to church and worship. Why? Because he claimed He is Jesus re-incarnate.

I started going to church again, but I looked at the teaching as wrong and I kept away from Christians. The mere sight of the cross was appalling me. I was taught in this New Age group that I should focus on the positive. I could not understand how Christians made an icon of something so negative. I believed the New Age philosophy of everything being God and there is no separation between creation and creator and that Jesus was just an enlightened master showing us how to remember our Divine nature. I was way off, but I thought I was right.

Jesus comes to me in a dream

And yet, God had not given up on me! When I was not even looking for him, he came to me and changed my life. He had sent many workers to pave the way, but nothing worked. Then He came Himself to me in a dream!!! I was in a church one day and a preacher came up to me and said: “Why are you always alone and keep to yourself, let me pray over you and for your unsaved friends, for them to have miracles, wonders, ministering angels, visions and dreams and that the Lord will reveal Himself to them.” After the prayer, I went home and immediately I felt sleepy. I slept and immediately Jesus was there. I was praying in a circle of believers and Jesus was amidst of us. He was covered with a prayer shawl but we were in Him. His presence was covering all of us. We were soaked with His Love, Joy, Power, Compassion and Peace that passes all understanding. I woke up immediately after the dream and His Presence was still in the room. I did not want to leave the room and I fell in love with Him… I wanted to share this love and my testimony with everyone. He did a lot of miracles and visions in my life. But this time the source was right. It was the Lord, not the wise man (the guru who could be compared to the magicians of the Pharaoh which competed with Moses).  It took me a while to stop the meditation but with the Lord’s help I was delivered. This was the Grace of the Lord and all glory belongs to Him.

I finally became born again by the sinners prayer (this is a prayer which demands a recognition of one’s sin, and genuine repentance from it, it is a prayer for forgiveness and for Jesus to be the Lord of one’s life) after a month of the vision of Jesus.  I accepted Jesus as the Son of God, Savior, the Lamb of God and Lord of my life. It happened as follows, one day I was praying to the Lord to fill the emptiness of my heart and I received a phone call from a Christian friend of mine. When I went to her house she had a Turkish Christian over. The Lord used that Turkish Christian to help me say the prayer in the United States. It happened so spontaneously I saw compassion and love of the Lord on this Turkish Christian woman and she asked me if I would want to be Christ-like and I said yes, and she told me to come to her car and in the car, I repeated after her the sinners’ prayer and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and I asked Jesus to come to my heart and I asked Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life.  As I prayed the prayer, I started crying and I felt being cleansed and I felt my heart being filled with the love of Christ. I still had trials and sad days after the prayer but I had Jesus with me. Also something else happened after the prayer, I had a strange thirst to read the Bible. I tried to read the Bible before but it did not make sense and I could not understand it. I started reading mostly the New Testament and I also had a strange passionate love for Jesus Christ and I wanted to share him with everyone I interacted with. Jesus started to change my life as well by showing me stuff to change in my life. I was reading the Bible and changing my life accordingly. Before I was trying to be a good person also, but I did not have a clear guide to determine what is right and wrong and accordingly I was sinning in some areas without even acknowledging that I was sinning. The Lord started changing everything. Even though I stopped doing some FUN things I used to do before, I now had more joy than ever and people were recognizing the change. The change was not immediate but it was more gradual. The Lord is still working in my life and changing my heart and my life. The Lord is able and wonderful.

Jesus changes my life

Jesus replaced hopelessness and emptiness with his peace and joy. I feel like a new creation in Him. I feel like a new Pinar. He started to work in my heart, helps me forgive and love many people. He also did many other miracles in my life, including financial miracles, one of which is for example I wanted a new computer but did not tell anybody, within one month, I received a new computer through the gifts of neighbors in Turkey, who told my parents that it just came to their hearts. Another time I was praying and looked up at the sky and it was written by a plane, “God Loves You”, it increased my joy. Another time I was looking for a full-time job and it was in a field which there was a hiring freeze and I received the job within two weeks; and in the job, I had a Christian mentor and many others in the department was Christians. Another time I was praying for more Christian fellowship in my life and within two weeks, the Lord caused me to meet one American and three Turkish Christian friends. There were many other small signs, miracles and wonders happening every day, but the major miracle happened when I was baptized by the Holy Spirit.

It happened approximately after 5 months I received Jesus, I was going on a small weekend trip by myself to a familiar destination and usually when I went on a trip, I usually play music but this time something prompted me to pray and worship God because of His goodness and the joy he put in my life. While I was worshiping, and worshiping, I felt overwhelmed by peace and joy and happiness. I was entering places and people were opening doors for me, the music I like the most was playing, even in the tolls, they gave me a rare coin for change. I still keep the coin to remember that day. I also felt so free, I was delivered from all kinds of fears and I felt free, I felt truly like a child of God and I felt tremendous faith that he will always provide, protect and oversee.

Not all my days were magical as above, I had trials also, but I had the power of God with me; I was not alone to go through the trials like before. I have now guidance, a personal relationship with the living God, direction and purpose in my life. He improved my relationship with my family and friends. After receiving his love, it is easier to spread that love to others.

He is also doing other small signs and wonders everyday and showing his love to me.

If you are seeking the true God and Savior, pray, seek with all your heart and you will find Him. In Him you will find the supernatural, peace, miracles, spirituality, guidance – whatever you need!

May God save all the Turkish people!

God Bless You, Pinar

Source: http://answering-islam.org/testimonies/pinar.html


The Position of Women in Islam

By Angela Arafat                    

The role of women in the world over has been dramatically changing in the past century in ways that have left some women wondering what their place really is. In the West women often work, have families and juggle numerous other activities in their efforts to feel like they have an identity of their own and can be good mothers. Then there are those who do not work outside the home, and can be sometimes insecure in their position or sometimes condescending towards those who do work. This entanglement of where we as women belong and find our identities is brought about by the rapid change of our place in society, our opportunities for education, and the huge cultural shift that began with the woman’s right to vote and then slammed into place with the raising of the generation of the “baby boomers” whose mothers had to work during the World Wars. Now we in the West see ourselves as established in having a good position with rights and opportunities on all sides. We can choose what we want, to be full time mothers, or CEO’s of major companies, and we look out into the world and see that not all of the world has changed with us and we worry that we have left some of our ‘sisters’ behind in the dark ages. But have we left them behind or are they content with their dynamic as our grandmothers were before the World Wars?

This question is only exacerbated by the vision of seeing the women of Islam covered from head to toe often in dark colored robes. This seems to our Western eyes as some kind of imprisonment, a symbol of oppression and darkness. France, whose government is struggling to know how to deal with the largest Muslim population in Europe, has called for bans of these head coverings, citing both the symbolism of oppression and national security. Many countries in Europe have begun to raise similar issues. In the States, we look at them and think that in a generation or two these things will fade, knowing how all of our families lost so much of their “Old World” practices as we melted into the Melting Pot of America. But then we look at communities like Dearborn, MI,1) and we begin to doubt that ideal. Having walked the streets there myself, I can see why. We have the idea that we know that our ways are wonderful, and of course they will just love them. We forget how much culture and time honored traditions stand in the way. And is it really as wonderful as we make it out to be? Many Muslim women look at the Western woman and shake their heads. They see our struggle to do everything that men traditionally do, as well as what women traditionally do and watch out juggling acts with dismay. It is because of this that I think that we as Christians especially need to re-focus our attention to what it is that really matters. The veil or the dress code, or ‘the woman in the workplace’ is not what is vital. What is vital is that every woman be able to come before God and know that He loves them. We don’t have to compel our cultural ideas onto the Eastern world, in fact maybe we can and should learn something from them. Don’t get me wrong, I think that we should stand against the practices that are simply barbaric in nature, such as the circumcision of young girls, honor killings and the like. We do need to seek that every woman knows the Lord as a loving Father and has a safe living environment.

Women in Islam grow with the knowledge that they have a heavy burden of the family honor upon them. They also know that they are expected to fail in the eyes of Allah. The Hadith (traditional sayings in Islam) says that most of the hell-dwellers are women. They are spoken of as being full of seduction and a way to be a distraction to man’s service to Allah. There are many descriptions of what the after life will be like for the believing Muslim man in the Quran and other teachings, but what is said for the place of the believing woman is only that of a life of subjugation to her husband’s sexual pleasure. The Quran states, “Ask the unbelievers if it is true that Allah has daughters, while they themselves choose sons ... Would He choose daughters instead of sons?” While he is speaking of the culture that indeed did hope for sons to inherit, and on occasion were known to bury their girl babies alive, it still reflects at attitude that pervades in Islam to this day. Allah has little interest in women and prefers men. Within the Muslim world a woman is not expected to come to daily prayer worship, but expected to pray at home. Her relationship with Allah is not really a strong issue within her community, only that she is being the example of a “good wife”. Her morality and reputation is how well she and her family will be treated. If her reputation as a moral woman is cast into doubt so too is her husband’s ability as a man. This is also true for the daughters of the home reflecting on their father.

Muhammad’s wives were known for their bickering and jealousies. Only his first wife and daughter are really held in a high esteem in the religious sense. Khadija, his first wife is held in esteem because she believed in her husband, lifted him up in the community socially and is considered one of the first of the believers. She died before he began to take multiple wives, reflecting how important she was to him as well. While Aisha, his well known youngest wife, 2) became a prominent figure after his death, even riding into the wars that followed his death with a sword, was not known to be particularly religious. Fatima, his daughter, holds a special place for many Muslim women but her real impact on the history of Islam came after her father’s death. She was the only one of Muhammad’s children to bear children, and was the daughter of the beloved Khadija. Shi’a scholars say she is his only daughter 3) , but Sunni believe her to be the fourth after Zaynab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum. She is revered by all Muslims to some extent for her support of her father and held as an example.

Marriage customs vary a great deal throughout the Muslim world, some are traditions held onto from time forgotten, and others are more modern in their make. Most include what we might call a dowry. This dowry is often in the form of jewelry that will be bestowed on the bride at engagement or in wedding itself. This dowry remains the woman’s possession through out her marriage, and even in times of extreme poverty the husband will have no ability to ask for this dowry wealth. Women may, on occasion, volunteer this wealth in order to help the family, but it is her right to keep it under any circumstance. Women often also come with their own inheritance from their families when they join in marriage or after the death of a parent. This inheritance also stays in her possession, and allows her to wield a certain amount of power within her new family. Marriages rarely take place out of class systems. A woman who marries down will always face a certain amount of disgrace within the community, thus her family will do their best to find a mate who is on the same class level or higher than theirs so as to protect her from dishonor. While many Muslim countries have women in high positions within the society, all Muslim countries are convinced that the woman’s real realm is that of the home. Her abilities to raise an honorable family, keep an image of status within the community, her outward respect for her husband, these are the critical foundations of what a woman is in the Eastern community. How those are defined differs from region to region, but the standard remains the same. A young lady who is not taught the basics of housekeeping is not looked upon with high regard. Within a strict Muslim home a man is given permission (not required) to marry up to four wives, with the provision that he provide equally for them. This law puts women in the position of competition with one another on a whole new level. The woman who is the first wife has the place of honor, however, she also faces the shame of having a husband who continued to look for new wives, hinting that she wasn’t sufficient. In communities where this practice is common place the women take this relationship as a fact of life, but none look upon it with eagerness and deep down reject it. 4)There is also Quranic law that permits a husband to beat his wife. (Many translations try to re-word this text, but the tradition of the story 5) that begat the text and the Arabic word used are not to be misunderstood.) A woman, according to the Quran is to be obedient to her husband in all things, as men are superior to women. While this may or may not be practiced throughout the Muslim world, it is the granting of permission that is at issue. That Allah would allow, nay encourage, the humiliation and beating of the wife is simply inexcusable.

While many of us Western women could stand to take a lesson from our Eastern neighbors in taking real delight in the privilege of running a home, finding our joy in lifting up our husbands, and knowing that our identity as a mother is badge of honor enough, the fact remains that Christian women have the knowledge that God is really eager to lift us up as His beloved daughters. That we have a personal relationship with our Lord and knowledge that in Christ He showed us His warm regard. Our place of honor in Him is not based on our ability to build up an image of righteousness, but resting in Him. We are regarded as daughters of the Most High and when we cry, laugh, sing, or sigh we have His ear. Our status is not born of what class we were born into, how many children we are able to bear, or even how well we obey our husbands, but born in His love. Our place in eternity is on equal ground, in Christ there is no male or female.

Many of the ancient cultures practiced certain laws of cleanliness in order to prevent contagion and promote hygiene in their groups. These laws were put up in order to protect the populace from illnesses, but were often brought into practice by religious command of God or gods depending on the group. Muhammad saw these laws as excellent and brought many of the ancient practices of cleansing oneself before prayer times, after intercourse, and around the meals into the traditions of Islam. The concept of what is haram (forbidden حرام) or halal (lawful حلال ) is integrated into the Muslim society. (Of note: a woman’s area in the home is referred to as the haramlek الحرملك, and women as a group are called the harem حريم .) These rules govern a great deal in the Muslim society, from eating and drinking, to sexual relations and many other aspects of their lives. Muhammad also brought the ancient idea that a woman was unclean before Allah while she was experiencing her menstruation. He states in the Quran, “They ask you about menstruation: say, "It is harmful; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by Allah. Allah loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean." Traditionally, the Muslim woman is not to come to prayers or touch the Quran (the holy text of Islam) because of this verse. In the initial portion one sees instruction for a man to avoid his wife sexually during the time of menstruation, but then finishes with a reference to how Allah loves those who are clean, thus the Muslim woman has been seen as unclean during her time of menstruation. Her own bodily functions have brought her to a place where she is dirty before her Allah. A Muslim woman is not to touch her husband after he has done his cleansing rituals for prayer, while he is to greet and shake hands with the men.

Within the Eastern culture, aside from Islam there are standards that hold a tighter grip on the people than that of the law, and those standards are those of honor and shame. This concept cannot be stressed enough to the Western world, where people have very different ideas about shame and honor. This has been in practice for centuries and is very common within tribal societies as a way of dealing with societal problems. Even the Old Testament reflects these ideas; shame is a common theme in the texts. 6) A child in this society isn’t so much taught “right and wrong” as what is shameful and what isn’t. These emotions are what motivates everyone in the Eastern culture to behave within what the society norms are, but they really set a very strict standard for the woman within.

Then Islam arises in the sixth century and Muhammad sets new standards of shame on women. Asbagh bin Nubatah quotes Imam 'Ali as follows: "Almighty God has created the sexual desire in ten parts; then He gave nine parts to women and one to men. And if the Almighty God had not given the women equal parts of shyness..." (Wasa'il, vol. 14, p. 40) This translation to English makes the Arabic word (`awrâ عورة) into the English word of shyness, but the real root and core meaning of this Arabic word is of shame. (The term`awrâ has several connotations within Arabic, the root of the word is awr عور and means defectiveness, blemish or weakness, but is used to also describe nakedness or shame. Awrat عورات is used to say woman or femininity.) That Allah has provided nine parts of sexual desire to women, and only one to men, but somehow balanced this sexual desire overload by putting nine parts of shame on them reflects how women were seen by the prophet of Islam, and reveals how women must see themselves as full of shame. Her shame was created by Allah, and must be hidden from the eyes of the world, whereas in Christianity we see that only mankind’s sins brought shame onto the human forms that God created. 7) This strange concept is a difficult one to understand, since Muslim men are often excused their sexual lusts and behaviors while the women of Islam are to be held as examples of modesty and propriety. Allah apparently created a confusion here, by giving women an extra nine doses of sexuality, but then puts her in shame of it. Her sexuality is something for her to be ashamed of at all times, and to be hidden. The veil of the Muslim woman is one of covering the creation that Allah gave her that is not only filled with sexual desires but also with shame. Everything in their lives is monitored for shameful behavior, from their dress to their voice tones. 8) Gestures that a girl might see on TV or in school that she imitates might be the very things that bring shame on her, and therefore harsh rebuke, e.g. winking, provocative walk, etc. Everything that she does is weighed with the scale of shame. This shame inundates her life, and comes with a feeling of guilt. This constant burden of shame weighs a Muslim woman’s every action. One Hadith states “All of a woman is Awrah. When she leaves her home, Satan looks at her. 9) The knowledge that Satan looks at her while out of her home leaves her feeling exposed and sullied. A Muslim woman cannot come to Allah to pray without being fully covered, hiding her shame-nakedness.

While the Eastern-Islamic societies lean heavily on shame as a motivator for behavior we are taught in Christ that we have nothing to be ashamed of before Him. Hebrews 12:1-3 says it beautifully, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Jesus bore our shame on the cross, bared both physically 10) and spiritually, so that we might lay aside all encumbrances of shame and sin and live our lives with our eyes on Him full of joy. We know that we can come to the Lord in all times. He is our Daddy (Abba آبا ), who wants to hear from us and longs for relationship with us. What innocent little girl climbs into her father’s lap and worries about if she is indecent? She knows he has held her in infancy and kissed her dirty cheeks, so also do we as God’s little girls have no concerns for our appearances knowing He has loved us through all our mistakes and messes. 11) Our ability to come to Him with a child’s heart, ask His forgiveness for our sins, and then sit with Him in the comfort of a Daddy’s arms is incredibly precious. Thus as Christians we should seek to snatch women from the bonds of Islam that burden her with shame, a sense of not belonging and show her our Daddy so that she too can come to Him and be comforted as a daughter of the King!

My friend, please feel free to write me.

1) In the 2000 census, Arab American comprised 30% of Dearborn's population; many have been in the city for generations. More Iraqi’s have been arriving as refugees from the continued war in their country since 2003. The majority of recent Arab immigrants are Muslim. There are sections of the community in which all the billboards are in Arabic, and a high percentage of the women are covered with the traditional Hijab.
2) It is argued that Aisha may have been as old as nine when Muhammad took her as his wife, but texts also suggest that she may have been as young as six. It is clear that she was the youngest of his many wives, and arguably a pre-pubescent one at that.
3) “The Prophet of Islam had only one daughter named Fatima. Her mother Khadija had two other daughters from her two earlier marriages.” as quoted from The Story of Hazrat Fatima(SA), daughter of the Holy Prophet
4) Curiously, even Muhammad had issues with this custom when it came to his own daughter. Fatima’s husband Ali wanted to marry a second and had to come to Muhammad with the question, and was told “Fatima is a part of me and whoever offends her offends me”. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol 2. C-G, Fatima, p. 843
5) The traditional story that brought about the text of the beating of the wife, goes something like this: A woman comes to Muhammad bruised and bleeding, pleading for him to have mercy on her from her husband’s beatings. Initially, he responds with mercy, but then is given the revelation that indeed a beating for punishment is required after other methods of punishment have been used. The progression of the punishment is evident, as he instructs them to first rebuke, then if the disobedience continues, to remove them from the privilege of the marriage bed, if the disobedience continue still, then to beat them. Some English versions bring up “lightly” or “with a feather” but this does not reflect the actual Arabic text.
6) “A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.” Proverbs 13:5 and “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4 are excellent examples of how shame regulated the early Jewish people as well.
7) “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24 And later in 3:11 we see God’s response to their sudden shame, “And He said, "Who told you that you were naked?"”
8) “O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner” Al-Ahzaab 33:32. While this instruction was given to the wives of Muhammad, these examples are held to be the highest standards for women. There are differences of opinion as to whether or not a woman should even be allowed to quote the Quran in a mixed sex setting.
9) This Hadith is reported by Imām At-Tirmidhi in his Sunan. Another version is available at Narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, #5599
10) “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.” John 19: 23 The tunic was the undergarment worn, and when they took that Christ was naked upon the cross.
11) And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness." Mark 7:18-22

Source: http://answering-islam.org/authors/arafat/position.html


Soon-to-be Ex Muslimah ‎

Dear Sir/Madam,

Brothers and sisters of the world, I would like you to read my story and questions and I would love to hear your comments and particularly from other ex Muslimahs who have questioned the same things. I just feel this religion has so many things that don’t make any logical sense at all. How can one follow something blindly and not ask why??
Mr Ali Sina, I commend you for what you are doing. I really do.

Please tell me why it is that I can’t pray whilst menstruating?? I am too unclean to pray? Yet, I am told I can still make du’a, yet what is du’a if not prayer?? Basically telling me that even if I were to ritualistically wash myself (make wudu) I am not clean enough to pray yet tells me I can pray directly to God inside my head without prostration? How does that make sense exactly?? What is the whole point of the wudu then? At all? Also, I am not supposed to touch the Quran during my period?? Or to visit a Mosque. What kind of God would differentiate between a male and female when they want to be close to God? This is not only ludicrious but it shows extreme favouritism towards men, thus enhancing the belief that Islam teaches that men are better than women. Also, have you seen the size of the ladies prayer areas in a mosque?? Tiny and cramped!!! Why would God teach people this ?? God loves all.
That Dogs have jinns within them?? WHAT??? We are all of God’s creatures. Dogs are the types of animals that are so well suited to be a domestic pet because of their natural affinity towards human beings. They have brought so much love and solace to humans over the years. How on earth would our God tell man to not keep a dog or that they are unclean or that a jinn resides in them or that we cannot pray near them or where they are kept? This is preposterous. I can understand the fact that we maybe should not eat pigs because they eat other animals and possibly excrement as well, that doesn’t sound too apealing, however fish and sea creatures eat other fish but they are deemed halal? How is this fair?

How can I follow a religion that teaches me to view other followers of faiths with such disdain, thus allowing me to start feeling supreme to the other children of God? That is utterly disgraceful. I found myself starting to slip into, instead out of, hate and anger, only this time it was directed at non-Muslims. I used to love all people equally and all of civilisation, yes there were people that irrated me and I didn’t agree with but I never did think it would be okay to kill and wipe them out, or to coerce them into believing in Islam….this again is a ludicrous suggestion.

How can I follow a religion that teaches men that it’s okay to marry and have sex with a 9 year old child??(even 13 years old!) I have a daughter and it makes me sick to my stomach that if she were to grow up in the Islamic faith that I would at some point have to give her up for marriage whilst she was still a child? Whether girls have periods from a young age or not, is not indicative that they should be married off to a 40 year old man. It’s a sick thought that the prophet Muhammad at his old age carried out this same act. And if I didn’t give her up for marriage if requested, that I would be disobeying the wishes of prophet Muhammad and ultimately, Allah.
I don’t agree that as soon as a child has a period she is of childbearing age. Her body is getting her prepared for adulthood. I cannot follow this train of thought.

That I must walk around covering my hair at all times and, all of a sudden in my life (as a revert) am unable to hug my cousins and uncles nor to ever touch them again?? What? These are people that grew up with me as a father/brother and some of whom are blood. I cannot live in my home with curtains closed, blinds drawn in the summer heat because I fear if they are open, neighbours may look in and see my hair? What, am I to walk around my own house in the heat with my head covered as well??? Some may say, but the heat you are experiencing is nothing compared with the fire of hell for committing sins…. What kind of a rule is this? I cannot understand that men seeing my hair is such a sin and I cannot live within my own four walls as a prisoner. Why did God give us the seasons, the sunshine, the wind and the rain if we are forbidden to feel it on our skin and the wind in our hair? Oh, sorry, I mean, if you are FEMALE that is !!! IT is proven that a lack of Vitamin D from the sun is responsible for many immune system problems and the body’s inability to absorb other vitamins and minerals. Are you telling me that God asked Muhammad to tell the world this, what, did he want women to suffer with their health??? Did he not think about the colder climate countries that get little sunshine as it is? Oh, yes and what about the colder climates where there is little darkness through summer and are expected to fast for up to 22 hours a day during Ramadan????? The answers I have been given are that the brothers and sisters who ‘do’ fast etc within this climate will be given extra rewards for their suffering..ie. suffering=reward! What is this silly ruling………..How can a Mother be expected to do this when she has little children, how can she be forced to be weak from between 14-22 hours a day when she has little kids to run around after in the heat of the sun?? What ???? This is ludicrous. Such sexism!!!

That I must awaken in the middle of the night to get up, wash myself, pray and then somehow get back to sleep and manage my life with lack of sleep (because apparently praying is so much better than sleeping…). I have a baby also. When my baby decides she wants to nap or sleep and it’s prayer time, I can’t just leave the baby to scream and howl for me so I can go and make wudu before the sunsets, lest I be commiting a sin of not praying on time. It is exhausting enough being a mother so I must also sleep when the baby sleeps otherwise I would get next to no sleep. How can this be right, when I personally, get extremely sick and rundown if I don’t sleep well. How can this be beneficial to my life? But ah, yes, I can pray through du’a…..again, my whole point, then what is the point of formal praying/making wudu, when we can talk to Allah directly anyway.

And also……what is the whole point of following a religion that tells you that, alas, on one day or thirty days of the year, all your sinning can be wiped out if you fast and pray.
Basically, I can do pretty much as I wish, as long as I carry out the fasts. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There are so many rules about, oh if you do this then all your sins will be washed away…. what???? If you have a baby, you get this many sins washed away for this amount of time so on and so on….so stupid and illogical. How’s about just be good, follow your God consciousness…that which we have all been born with. What’s right and what’s wrong. Our internal guide. Not that which is written in a book. God is within us all. How is any muslim supposed to learn and remember every single rule and the contradictory ones??What…….head spinning all over the place trying to keep up with it all!!

What about being taught that it’s wrong to listen to music. I have never heard so much rubbish in my life. Why is it so then, that my baby daughter just loves music and singing..her head turns the minute she hears music and she smiles and laughs. That is not evil, nor is it anything else, other than deep pleasure and joy (oh but the Muslims would probably answer that it’s the Shaytan telling her to laugh).
What a pleasure music brings to people’s ears and hearts. It is so comforting, can help release emotions, can help dealing with tragedy, can help to make you happy, can help to ease your pain and suffering (in the same way that praying to a universal God can). How can anyone say music is in any way damaging? Maybe certain types are (heavy thrash metal or thumping techno music perhaps ;-D ). I have read that prophet Muhammad frequently had women singing at weddings and gatherings. How is that bad? Yet another case of hypocrisy, I ask?

How can I live with myself if being a Muslim, I am aware that others of my faith will willfully kill and slaughter people in the name of God? What God is that, I ask? It’s not the God I know, the God I trust, the God that has brought me to where I am today. My parents taught me it’s wrong to hurt others, to steal, to Kill another human….whether religious or not, we all know it is just plain WRONG!!! No God of our universe would teach that. God takes our lives when he is ready to. Whether that is at the hands of an evil person or an illness, it’s not up to us, I know that. But at least we all know that if we take another person’s life it is wrong. We are NOT God! God should teach love and to worship God from within yourself, not necessarily within some structured organisation!!

Why is it that the Muslims must follow what is written in a book?? Why? Why then I ask, are we given brains from which to expand, nurture and develop as we grow? What would be the point of free thinking – take a parent/ child for instance that are brought up with no religion, no book to follow, only gut instinct and intuition and the need for food and water. They don’t have any issues and problems, only to survive and be good. Ihave seen it happen in many island civilisations!! No Quran in sight. Are you telling me these people will go to hell?

My final point is this….. how can this religion teach that non Muslim people that who are good, have been good their whole life, will burn in hell because they didn’t ‘re’-vert to Islam??? So you are telling me that those who are born into Islam and are bad people will automatically go to heaven??? And those caring loving types will be banished to hellfire for using their God given caring instinct??? What?? This is RIDICULOUS!! Any fool can see that! I refuse to believe that because my parents are not Muslims and have been good people their whole entire life right up to their old age now who, even now, depsite the fact that I recently became a Muslim, STILL will do anything for me, help me, be there for me??/ Yet I am supposed to believe they will go to hell and I, to heaven? Absolutely ludicrous.

I therefore have to say that after my first year as a Muslim, I now cannot see how I can proceed any further, after learning all of the above, mostly through my own internal ‘red light’ bleeping at me constantly and of reading and probing further. I feel I was mislead, mis-sold and my only regret now is that I met my partner who roped me into this situation and I was too weak and too stupid to realise what I was doing. However had I not met him I would not have my beautiful daughter. I only pray that we can get on with our lives away from him, without fearing for our lives. I hope and pray to my universal God for forgiveness, for the feelings of hatred I had developed for my non-Muslim bretheren and sisterhood. I pray he forgives me for this sorry episode in my life and for strength for mine and my daughter’s future, to get away from the evil ways I have been introduced to. Thank you for reading.

signed, Soon-to-be Ex Muslimah

Source: http://www.faithfreedom.org/features/letters/soon-to-be-ex-muslimah/