Islaam is not a punching bag for your cognitive dissonance nor is it burial grounds for your existential woes.
If you don’t want to be a Muslim, fine. But don’t play a mindgame where you’re trying to ‘expose’ Islaam’s fallacies and thus get a clean exit. Don’t flatter yourself, thinking that Islaam will fall like a house of cards should you exit.
A man is allowed to marry 4 wives
The prophet married Caaisha young He also split the moon and travelled to Jerusalem on a winged beast
Under a legitimate caliphate, there’s jizyah ( taxes for non-muslims) and xadd ( pl. Xuduud, fixed punishments for specific crimes)
Xijaab is waajib (obligatory) and it’s literal, not metaphysical
Don’t try to warp Islaam to quell your cognitive dissonance, or to appease critics. Accept it unconditionally, or walk out.
That doesn’t mean that you *have* to do every thing. There’s leniency for individual struggles as long as you don’t warp the truth itself to fit you.
Many practicing Muslims have similar doubts like the ambiguous Muslims – but they choose to bury their doubts instead. They are so consumed by the fear of those doubts taking over them that they become extreme and judgemental.
In a way, they are afraid that their doubts will ‘prove’ that Islaam is false, that Allaah doesn’t exist. Which is a problematic premise to build your faith on – avoiding doubts. If you believe that Allaah is the truth, you should have faith that flimsy doubts can’t dispel the truth. And if your doubts do dispel what you held as the truth, then it can’t be the truth.
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
— Francis Bacon (The Advancement Of Learning)
The truth remains. It’s indestructible. Seek the truth, wherever it is. Feel the doubts and believe anyway.
I remember I went through crazy periods of doubts and agnosticism ( in my early teens). In a contradictory and self-protective move, I adopted a very strict interpretation of Islaam, to check out of this existential crisis loop by leaving no room for uncertainties. But that didn’t stop my inquisitiveness. It just went haywire in protest of my suppression. Once I realized that my curiosity was an integral part of me that I couldn’t switch off, I decided to settle this feud once and for all – to the bewilderment and discouragement of many who thought that acknowledging doubts was akin to opening a Pandora’s box. But I knew that I had tried to hold my breath for years and my soul was calling me to this.
In simple terms : I put my faith on the line. I had to find out for sure if Islaam was compatible with the truth. And to say that it was scary is an understatement. But I asked Allaah for guidance towards the truth by removing inner barriers that could cloud my judgement. Sounds paradoxical, but I figured that there WAS a God right? So, why not ask Him for clarification? And if there wasn’t, at least my ducaa would be a way to accept whatever truth I came to find.
I wasn’t trying to run away from anything, I wasn’t trying to find a way to slink out of Islaam without all the guilt – I was honestly and genuinely seeking the truth, like Salmaan al-Faarisi did by going from priest to priest seeking the ultimate truth. That was me, in a nutshell.
I read a quote somewhere that has kept me steady during many a trials ; “The faith that *can’t* be shaken is the faith that *has* been shaken”
And think about it; how are you ever going to evolve if you’re going through life scared? If you’re protecting what you deem as safety?
Whilst my friends were cramming for Naxwa and Balaagha exams, I was in a corner highlighting in my dog-eared copy of Tafseer imaam as-Sacdi ( تيسير الكريم الرحمن) or al-Fawaaid and Madaarij as-saalikeen by Ibn al-Qayyim or al-cubudiyyah by Ibn Taymiyyah (I’m not just name-dropping to sound cool, these were and still are very important and dear books in my journey) and making notes. I’d start with a hypothesis or a question that I’d get from an aayah I’ve read, then I’d read the tafseer of Imaam as-Sacdi – my favourite – and if it wasn’t sufficient, I’d read that of at-Tabari, Qurtubi, Ibn Katheer. If THAT wasn’t sufficient, I’d go to the circles of the scholars and jot down my question on a note – with the help of my Egyptian Qur’aan teacher who often attended the same classes. Or I’d ask her to pass the question to the sheikh if I couldn’t make the class.
I’d use philosophy and psychology to try to supplement my understanding. I used secular and Islaamic knowledge in equal measure.I went at it from every angle possible.
And in the end, I got the yaqeen I was seeking. At least in the fundamentals. My heart rests in that truth and it can withstand the occasional gust of doubts that may come along. The difference now is that a doubt won’t threaten me or my identity. And that allows me to be tolerant and easy with the way I approach Islaam. And I still have a long way to go, but at least I’m sure of the road I’m taking. Istiqaamah ( steadfastness) rests solely on the degree of yaqeen ( certainty) in one’s heart. And ironically, yaqeen is a belief in the face of doubt and uncertainties. Many try to get pseudo yaqeen by doing everything perfectly on the outside, but not knowing that true change starts within.
Doubts and things you avoid are obstacles in your self-discovery journey. You can’t let go of what you fear to face. So you’re forever shackled at the ankles with it.
Whatever choice you’re going to make for your life, make sure it’s *your* choice and not a reaction to fear or doubts.
I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.
— Simone de Beauvoir