Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Broke my fast Today. Secretly in the Bathroom...

Salaam,

I broke my fast today. Secretly in the bathroom by eating candy. I don't even know why I am fasting when I am faking my prayers and don't even really  believe in Islam anymore. I am at the phase where I am questioning Islam watching videos of ex muslims and discovered  a side of islam that is not taught to us and found cherry picked about 'religion of peace' and mercy to mankind but I feel free when I am not caging my own mind.

I thought shaitaan was leading me astray by making me doubt Muhammad 's character etc.. so I tried to resist and it was/is taking a toll on my mental health. I am reading the quran randomly and in one line Allah is cursing a non believer and the next say he is the most merciful — and this is just random, not an active search for contradiction. 

My mind and "heart" still rebel when I dislike or question something. I tell myself a scholar can explain this... and people who criticise  islam (idea) are bigots etc  (more like, people make u feel that u are evil for not seeing  the "beauty & eloquence" of the quran and tell you that doubts are from satan). 

I was reading ur article on menstruation /quran and my mind knew it didn’t make sense but I couldn't  accept the whole of it and my mind was like "there is probably a good explanation and allah is wise and menstruation is dirty" because we have been indoctrinated  since birth (I am a Pashtun Pakistani American by the way ) and I realize how toxic this way of thinking is. I think of myself, ME as dirty and I just am tired of defending statements  like "Islam empowers women"  and much more like wife beating (*sorry light beating* sarcasm). 

My question is how do you start unlearning how to see the world without the lens of islam? I know this email was long but I want someone  to talk to and everyone around me is a Muslim who supports 'death for apostasy' (but in a true Islamic  state of course they are make sure to point out and I am just sitting  there like "what?") And if they found I am no longer a "true beliver" idk what will happen so I want to give you sincere thnx for having this and the comfort of knowing that they are a people who left and I can someday too *Inshallah (*wrote it out of habit so I decided to keep it) 


So a sincere Thank You from a closeted questioning muslimah  

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Dear Questioning Muslimah,

My heart goes out to you. What a struggle you must be facing this Ramadan. Its an especially hard time of year for questioning or ex-muslims. Please know that you are not alone. There are many others in your position, only now investigating things that have been deeply ingrained since childhood. It's not easy, but it is possible - and you're definitely on track for it to happen. The first thing to do is ask questions, look for answers... and don't settle for unsatisfactory ones.

I am honoured that one of my blogposts could help that questioning process along, even a little. Yes, its hard and your instinct will be to shut down critical thinking, because you've been told it's wrong and the work of 'shaitaan' since the beginning. Power through that feeling, keep looking for answers, and watch all that unlearning come naturally. It's a gradual process, but the more you read up, and scrutinize - the more layers you'll shed, the more free you'll feel.

Read, watch and listen to alternative perspectives. I'm glad you're looking into ex-muslim views. Because they have been where you are now. With the internet, we have so much information available to us, it's harder for people to teach us cherry picked versions of Islam. Just be careful, if your family is the type that would look up your search history.

I don't quite know how liberal or illiberal your family is, on the wide spectrum of what being 'muslim' means, but if they support death for apostasy that is worrying. I'd make sure to keep my views to myself at least till it's time to move away, for work, uni - something?

Be patient with yourself, don't worry if you still feel like saying a dua before eating or sleeping...small steps. Just let it unfold organically...don't pressure yourself...the occasional inshallah, alhamdulillah will come out..no big deal. I still say those words...more facetiously now than anything... but i do enjoy retaining parts of the culture that I grew up with. I love arabic calligraphy (even religious)  - i think it's breathtakingly beautiful... I don't fast but occasionally i'll enjoy iftar with my family, I celebrate Eid...so one can retain parts of their old identity and even reconcile them with being an ex or questioning muslim. Some traditions, sights, sounds, words.... are lovely to hold on to if you take the religious conviction out from behind them. Then they are just remnants of our past, that hold no power over us....they are part of our story.

Good luck to you!


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