OP - November 28, 2014, 01:25 AM
I would like to introduce myself to the CEMB community, I'm a 17 year old male who lives in south Yorkshire. I was born into a Muslim family with my father being from Libya and my mother being an English convert and I had a somewhat strict religious upbringing. Between the ages of 4-9 I would go to various mosques to learn Arabic and the Quran but at 10 my father stopped sending us (my older siblings as well). I've always been a Muslim who's prayed five times a day and would often go to the mosque to pray the majority of them due to constant nagging of my father to "go do salat at the masjid". I've always been much more closer to my mother due to her being less strict about religion and due to this I've always related to my English heritage and have always been able to get along better with English people rather than Muslims (Pakistanis, Arabs etc.). I think due to this I've always held secular and open views even whilst being a muslim. However most if not all of my english friends were atheists and I always wondered to myself "how can you not believe in a God if you don't believe in Islam atleast be a christian or something" but now looking back I find it remarkable that I believed in a God for so long. By the time I had turned 15 however I had become skeptical of islam but kept the faith. I think I kept the faith for so long is due to the fear of hell, I'm guessing a feeling all too familiar to most ex-Muslims, the fear of hell that sometimes makes you wish you had never been born or curl up and beg the invisible tyrant not to send you there even when you feel like you've done nothing wrong. One thing that gave me serious doubts about Islam was the promise of an eternal hell for non-believers and after giving it serious thought I came to the conclusion it was all BS that was the best tool in history for controlling weak willed people considering how much control it had over me, I mean seriously God creates us in this imperfect state of existence with the only way for a better existence is to grovel at his feet or he'll make it even worse by burning you in hell, I didn't ask to be born, he didn't ask me if I wanted to take the test, it's sadistic. Giving up Islam was the hardest thing I've ever done but afterwards I think I'm better off now that I have my entire life to look forward to without being scared of hell or being dragged down by a religion that asks way too much of its followers. However for now I have to pretend to be a Muslim for my family because of all the fallout with my mother and father for being an atheist, I still regularly go to mosque and I'm amazed by how blind these people are, for example earlier after Isha the imam talked about how its important to pray extra after all prayers and saying "whoever prays extra salat will be given a golden palace in paradise" with the majority of the mosque saying "Subhan Allah" , it angers me and at the same I also pity them due to these people dedicating their lives to worshiping a non-existent being. I eagerly await the day I am truly free from Islam and can finally enjoy life.