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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ghadir Leb

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  1. I came back late to this thread. I will try to reply to your responses one by one, however many responses didn't even tackle the issue at hand, or just assumed (or acted as if) I had a different "problem" and went on to tackle that imagined problem, instead of properly understanding what I said. I will mention that when I reply to responses that did this. Also you are free to quote me and reply but I want to keep it clear that I don't feel like I will ever come back to Islam again - and I don't want to waste anyone's time. I will reply to each response out of courtesy but I understand if you wished to stop replying or engaging in the conversation.
  2. I thought it didn't got approved and just came here finding all this replies. I am not sure if you all will get notifications if I just posted a normal reply without quoting your specific text, but I will do that instead of quoting specific texts. I will probably not be saying anything that you haven't heard before, and this got really long so sorry for that: 1) Why I no longer see Quran as the true word of God? Because of the usual 'challenges'. Why the Quran concerns itself with the intimate details of the life of prophet Muhammad? Why does it mention many trivial things [you can eat at so and so house], or why does it mention very complex 'laws' for very specific events that will never happen again in the future [Al-Ma'idah 106 - 107]? This is without mentioning all the uncomfortable ethical things, such as a man is allowed to beat his wife as a form of punishment, and if a slave kills a slave then he is to be killed, but if a free man kills a slave then he is not to be killed, and same goes for if a man kills a woman [the obvious and universally accepted meaning of Al-Bakara 178]. Also, challenges such as: "try to come up with an Ayah like ones from this Quran", which the Quran poses to the disbelievers, are very illogical. On what basis can something be considered "same as the Ayahs of the Quran"? Why is it so hard to come up with? When someone creates a text that sounds similar to the Quran [and many have, it's not hard to do], Muslims will start laughing at them and saying "look how dumb it sounds", when they can't in fact pinpoint why this newly created text didn't meet the requirements of the challenge. Because whatever you come up with, Muslims can say "it doesn't sound like the Quran" - the challenge is built to always succeed. Also, why does the Quran repeat the stories of the earlier 'prophets' and presents them as though they are real history, when we can today see how those stories were mainly derived from ancient mythology and were repurposed for the message of the 'one true God' (Judaism did this, Christianity followed, and Islam just copied the whole thing). Why did an all knowledgeable God put those stories there when those stories contain contradictions with science, when He knew that people in the future will notice those contradictions? (Why does He causes us doubts on purpose and then tells us that we should fight these doubts? That doesn't seem very wise to me). Example of contradictions with science: Adam. We most probably now that humanity never started from one single man and woman, but rather from evolution [if you are going to tell me that evolution is just a theory I'd rather you not reply]. My previous mental gymnastics: that it was a story meant to deliver a message about the nature of the human beings, not a story intended to present a true account of events that happened at the start of humanity. However, never at one point in the history of Muslims, and never in one single Hadith, did any Imam say that this was simply a story told for a message - instead, all narrations speak of it as it really happened, and therefore religious Muslims today find it very hard to accept Evolution. And evolution is not only important in the field of Biology, but also to understanding humans in general (anthropology, psychology, politics, you name it). Now imagine how much the average Muslim is 'missing' in terms of knowledge when they deny such a theory. They miss insights in all those fields [this also relates to #4 below]. Another example: Nuh (Noah). My previous mental gymnastics: the Quran never did say that the flood happened all over the earth [which is scientifically disproven] - rather, it just mentioned a great flood [in contrast with Jewish/Christian texts that kind of say it happened all over the world]. And since there is archeological evidence of a huge flood happening in the Mesopotamia in early history, this is what the Quran must have meant. [Still in the mental gymnastics:] The early mythologies [Gilgamesh] must just be a retelling of a great story from a pagan point of view; meaning that even if Gilgamesh mentioned the story, it doesn't mean that the Abrahamic religions 'copied it' - it just means that the Abrahamic religions were retelling it as it truly happened. However, there are the additional details: It is understood that Noah took one pair of animals of each species - Quran never said it was all the species in the world, maybe it was just the species in the area - and it is widely accepted that he did that in order to 'preserve' them from the flood. This is where once again we are hit hard by evolution: it is extremely improbable that sexually reproducing species can repopulate with only two starting organisms of that species [rather, they will probably drive themselves into extinction]. See the video below if you're interested. This huge improbability for only one species will be almost impossible when we talk about multiple species. Now the God of the Abrahamic religions seems to not understand how His own 'creation' works [I say 'creation' here based on the assumption that God created all living beings through evolution]. He seems to think that people will find it wise that Noah took in one pair of each animal [and people living 2000 years ago will indeed find it wise]. However, future human beings [we] will find it absurd and unscientific, and God doesn't seem to be aware of how much humans will learn in the future. 2) Why are the Imams not Infallible? (+ The Issue with Hadiths and fatwas) There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of Hadith Sahih concerning the Imams that is usually never told to the general Shia audiences. If you speak Arabic then maybe it would be useful for you to visit the Facebook profile of a guy with a weird name called ميثاق العسر. Following his page was the 'straw that broke the back of the camel' for me. I will not go into details but I for sure no longer see the Imams as infallible people with extremely high knowledge, they were just people that lived in accordance with their time, had limited knowledge, were perhaps trying to be good people since they belong to Prophet Muhammad line and had an image to keep. Everything else (about the fact that there are 12 Imams, etc, was constructed later). The whole Mazhab is a human construct [just like the whole of Islam is]. And some of the Hadith that is usually kept away from the public eye tends to be really ugly (example: the ones concerning women slaves). And then: what's up with women slaves not needing to wear hijab? Also (unrelated): what's up with Shia Islam allowing Mut'aa marriage, but then Shia Islam itself follows a social establishment that views those women as 'whores' if they did it? Meaning, if any woman in society today were to do it based on how the laws describe it, she will be viewed as a 'loose woman' by the rest of society. You might say that it's because the society doesn't apply Islam as it should. But this is laughable, because the rest of Islam mention very restrictive rules for women appearance and sexual behavior, and puts a lot of emphasis on modesty and not trying to 'seduce' men. So it already establishes these social norms about what a 'good woman' is, and then introduces a very contradictory law, expecting society to just accept it. You either build a society that will focus on women being very virtuous and modest, or you build a society where women have a certain level of sexual freedom without them having to be 'shamed' for that sexual freedom. But Shia Islam does this mumbo jumbo thing where it seems to say that a woman of virtue will only have sex within 'normal' marriage, while a woman that wants to go down the "Mut'aa" road can do that, but she will no longer be considered a woman of virtue. Which is so f**ed up on so many levels. It is one of many many examples of how the whole 'ethical' system of Islam is based on tribal values ("my women" are to be closeted and hidden, or else I will feel shame, and I am free to do with the "women of others" as I please if the others weren't successful in hiding and closeting their own women, and they are to feel shame because now their women are whores). I am sure some of you will tell me: the Hadiths are not to always be trusted and many narrations can be false. I used to love this excuse back when I believed. But the Mithak al Ossur (ميثاق العسر) guy I mentioned above tend to always mention how strong/accepted/etc. a Hadith is, and how many Hadiths that he mentions have long been accepted during all of Shia history. Also, if we were to start accepting and rejecting Hadith based on what we currently think makes sense or not, isn't that a clear indication that we are building a religion based on what our minds accept/reject? How are we then different from any secular society, except that secular societies use their mind freely in creating their laws and are not weighed down by 1400 year old texts and narrations - ? Imam Sadek says, "whatever you get from our Hadith, then put it in the face of the Quran, whatever falls in line with the Quran is to be accepted, and whatever does not fall in line with the Quran is rejected" [loosely translated]. Alright. Now lets go back to all the Hadith about slave women: there is nothing in them that contradicts the Quran. The Quran spoke normally about slavery and sleeping with slave women. Here is another example: When I used to attend religious lessons in my adolescence, we were learning about the Ghusl (washings), and there was this particular law that I found a bit bizarre at the time (not so bizarre because I was a religious soul that accepted anything): if we killed a certain type of lizard thingy (أبو بريص), then we have to do the washing (Ghusl) after killing it because there is some sort of Jinn living inside it. This was a normal fatwa in a normal book issued by Khomeini (actually by Khamenei but he just issued the same fatwas of Khomeini so they are the same). Now I am pretty sure this is based off some Hadith by some Imam. Fast forward to a year or two ago, I saw a Sheikh posting on social media that the 'Ghusl' after killing the lizard is no longer required (the fatwa changed). Alright nice. Now look at it: why would such a Hadith (that mentions a need for a Ghusl after killing the lizard) - why would it contradict the Quran? Where does the Quran even mention such a detailed thing? The Quran talks about the existence of Jinns, but that's about it. There is nothing in the Quran to disprove (or even: to approve) such Hadith. So when the Marje' decided to no longer follow this Hadith (that is probably Sahih because they issued a fatwa based on it in the first place) - on what basis did the Marje' decide it is no longer to be followed? If I am being too ambiguous, what I mean is: there was a Sahih Hadith that stated something, and it was Sahih enough that the Marje' thought it should be followed and be a basis for a fatwa. Then, after some time, the Marje' decided to no longer abide by the Hadith even though the Hadith 1) Was Sahih (in terms of the line of people who narrated it, etc), and 2) The content didn't have anything that contradicts with the Quran. On what basis did the Marje' no longer accept this Hadith? Is it on the basis of - God forbid - their BRAIN? So the Marje' thought the Hadith was illogical? The whole thing comes crumbling down if this is the case. This means that I am building my religion based on what some Marje' thought was logical or not. It also means that the Marje' can now start to accept or reject Hadith based on what they think will make sense or not. Why does the brain of the Marje' have more authority than my brain? [This is a Marje' that, in other areas, issued a 'letter' to the youth of western societies, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_the_Youth_in_Europe_and_North_America, a letter that I myself found to be embarrassing back when I believed, a letter that lacks understanding of the people of those societies and how to talk to them]. But I am expected to consider this Marje' to be someone very knowledgeable, and accept his judgment of the Hadith when I have good reason to think I know a thing or two more than he does? So if the Marje' doesn't find much fault with a Hadith that says, for example, that stoning someone to death as a punishment is okay - and I find fault with it, I should still follow the Marje' brain or my brain? Because it seems we ended up following the brains of people. Which again, I don't see how different it is from secular societies, except that we have this huge body of text and narrations that we can pick from as we please and then say that it is the 'real religion'. If it is my brain against the Marje', I honestly prefer my brain (which eventually led me to disbelief). If I remember correctly, a very known Sunni Scholar once said, من تمنطق فقد تزندق - That who follows logic will end up Kafir - and I think these are the truest words ever spoken. 3) Okay, this already got so long, but one of my main pitfalls with Islam is this: Islam definitely doesn't work for all times and places. It only worked for the type of people that lived back then [and maybe was even good for them. In many ways, one can see Muhammad as a good influence on the society back then. But that good influence has long outstayed its need, and is now halting our ability to move forward in a tremendously horrible manner]. There are stories/narrations talking about that era that go something like this: "When these [new people] heard about Islam and its rules, they found it so logical that they became Muslims immediately". These are told to make Muslims feel the importance and "logicality" of Islam. But in fact, if one were to think about it, it is a huge red flag. It is a red flag that I am following an ideology that people at that time found to be extremely logical. These people lived 1400 years ago, they lacked all of the accumulated human knowledge that I have now, they lacked all of the advancements that happened in thought, philosophy, study of ethics, psychology, sociology... It is a huge red flag that I am relying on their logic and what they think is "extremely logical and marvelous" to abide by in my modern era. 4) My last major pitfall with Islam: Muslim societies are very ignorant because of Islam. Muslims societies will ignore all of the vast knowledge that is being built in the 'west' in the fields of humanities and social sciences, because a lot of that knowledge cannot be accepted if one if following the ideology of Islam. Many Muslims think that the "important knowledge" is that in the fields of the science (math, chemistry, medical, etc), and that if they succeed in those they are being part of the "Modern Knowledge Force". They will say, "those who hate Islam say that Muslims are ignorant, but look at our religious children! They get PhDs in Math and Sciences! Who is the ignorant now!". They think that History, comparative religion, sociology, etc., are fields for the illogical mind that only knows how memorize stuff and talk a lot. (This might also have to do with colonialism and is not just an Islam issue). I can expand on this but I've written so much. I don't think that if I somewhat became able to 'share' this thoughts with everyone else, and tomorrow everyone woke up non-Muslim - I don't think this will be a positive thing (on the contrast, I think it will be very negative). I am not very knowledgeable about these topics, but as far as I understand, the 'social contract' under which I live has 'religion' as its main component, and if 'religion' were to suddenly be taken out of the equation, it will crumble in an ugly manner. I do think that it is better that religion be taken out of the equation, but this should happen gradually. Maybe 400 years from now people will look back and see how bizarre it was that their ancestors relied on religion so much. At least I hope so. For the time being I myself will not be religious, and it is not a choice, it is just something so clear to me. I cannot choose to believe again after I've learned so much. Talking with someone 'more knowledgeable than me' in Islam will not help, as I am not planning to go back, and I don't think that any extra knowledge in Islam will make me believe again. Also, based on my life experience, religious people and Sheikhs are people who have very limited knowledge about the "world", and I will have to explain a lot of things to them before I can even start to tell them why those things make me disbelieve in Islam. I don't think Sheikhs who I deem to be less knowledgeable than me [and who grew up in a vastly different environment where internet and ease of access to information was not available] - I don't think that such Sheikhs/"wise persons"/etc. will offer a lot of help when it comes to "solving all the illogical and unethical things of Islam".
  3. I don't think this will be approved by moderators. I also don't have any specific reason for posting this here, except maybe that I want to tell someone. I came across this forum today while reading some things relating to leaving Islam, I don't really know how the 'ambient' is over here. I never thought I would leave Islam as I was very religious, and loved Islam dearly in the past, and wished to 'serve' it. It just got to a point where the mental gymnastics no longer work, and I couldn't view the Quran as a word of a wise knowledgeable God, nor view the Imams as infallible people. I will keep wearing the hijab as it does not bother me (at least for now). I will keep some sort of 'Muslim appearance' because I still care about the people in my society, and if I stopped keeping appearances, they will view me as an outsider. My family is religious but we live in Lebanon - I do think that things are 'easier' over here in terms of leaving Islam and so on. I am mean not that easy, but I will not be kicked out of home for example. I am also the 'main provider' of my family so I guess that helps quite a bit too. They will notice at some point that I stopped praying. So I will eventually have to tell them that I left Islam. Life seems serene and hopeful. I still kind of think that there is a God that watches over me and wants good for people. I still also 'hope' that there is some form of judgment after life, thought I cannot prove to myself that any of that is true. It doesn't matter that much to me, I just hope it exists.
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