WHY I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A MUSLIM EVEN IF I WAS RAISED ONE (A TRUE STORY)
My knowledge of this topic has since become more robust but I will strive to tell the story free from influence of any information I did not have at the time of its occurrence.
It started in pre-elementary school. Our teacher had taught us about the three major religions in my home country. Christianity, Islam and the Traditional worshippers. I cannot fully remember anything about the lecture except the final statement, “The conclusion is that all religions believe in one God”. As a result of this one lecture, I sort of took it for granted that this was true even if there was some minor mental discomfort about the vast difference between both religions and in particular the fact that they followed the teachings of separate holy books.
Fast forward a decade and a quarter later, I am in my final year in the university with a GPA hovering nicely around the second-class upper region, I decide to play it safe with my electives (optional choice modules) and take a course that would be an “Easy A” to assist my result. It was at this juncture I turned to Islamic Law. It was the one course everybody I knew of who took it came out with an A, this added to the fact that the relevant material was very light and simple to read, I selected this course. I did not end up with an A in it, but I did learn two far more important lessons: First, there is zero similarity between Christianity and Islam. Secondly, if I was a Muslim, that course would have made me abandon my faith totally, this is a run down of what I learnt.
First, the key differences.
For one, the Quran points to the prophet Muhammad and no one else, it repeatedly admonishes those who believe to believe in Allah and his messenger. In fact Surah 4:80 says whoever obeys the prophet Muhammad obeys Allah. There is no admonition to follow Jesus whom the Christian faith revolves around.
Secondly, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the pillar of the Christianity never happened according to the Quran (Surah 4:157). Again, the Quran is crystal clear in its rebuttal of the Christian faith’s stand that Jesus is the son of God. It calls Him a messenger of Allah (Surah 4:171). The concept of the trinity is also contradicted by the Quran (Surah 5:73, 4:171).
Third, the concept of marriage differs in both world views. One man one wife under Christianity, a maximum of four wives at a time according to Islam. It was at this point I understood that if my pre-elementary school teacher was right, then the one God all religions serve has to suffer from border line personality disorder and extreme schizophrenia.
Now, the reasons I would have without doubt discarded Islam if I was born a Muslim…
First and most importantly, I learnt that the prophet Muhammad died of food poisoning. This alone was more than enough to demolish any prospective faith in Islam especially as Jesus Christ assured those who believe in Him that they would drink deadly poisons and it would not harm them (Mark 16:18), this was even put to the test when a poisonous viper fastened itself around the apostle Paul and nothing happened to him, his audience were so impressed by this they concluded he was a god (Acts 28:3–6). If this supposedly very special prophet of a supposedly all powerful God died such a cheap death then something did not add up.
Secondly, the concept of taqiyyah. Surah 106:16 reads,
“Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief… except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their breasts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment;”
The explanation behind this was that Muslims were permitted to physically deny their religion when their lives are in danger as long as they remained Muslims at heart. This again struck me as dodgy. Why does Allah not protect them in the circumstances or at least promise to? Why would he encourage them to lie and deny him when convenient? Why would he approve that?
Thirdly, the “special exemption” granted to the prophet in order to exceed the maximum number of wives permitted was disturbing.
“O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah 33:50)
Notice that the list of women extended to even his family members and every believing woman irrespective of marital status. This was the final blow. It did strike me as extremely suspicious.
Again, the paradise promised in the Quran seemed inconsistent with that of the Bible. Mentions of beautiful eyed virgins with strength matching that of those accounted worthy to enter in, quality beds, allures of sex (Surah 56 particularly 34–37). It did not make very much sense to me. It sounded more like a bordello than the paradise of a holy God.
After these findings, my verdict on Islam was clear and it is clear to anyone reading this so there would be no further comments at this point.
Thankfully, I now know without a doubt that even if I was born into an Islamic family, I would at least have become an atheist by now.