This blog is for Muslims who are flirting with atheism or are otherwise having some sort of crisis of faith. I’ll be up front with you: I don’t want you to turn your back on believing in God or the Quran. But I do understand some of the uncertainties or ill feelings that you may be experiencing. Personally, for a long time, there was a huge gap between my love of Islam as a guidance to life, worship, and spirituality versus those who say they are practicing it. I’d faithfully go to jumah on Fridays but it would certainly be a test more than an enjoyable experience. But I always knew that these were cultural differences. I’m African American and I came from a predominately African American masjid where we were always told to approach this religion with reason based on a study of the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
As I grew up and left my home community to experience other (i.e. fobby) masajid, I came across a great many people who were anything but reasonable when it came to their outlook on Islam. They were blindly faithful. While that may sound like a desirable quality for proponents of faith, in Islam I never saw much that required a blind faith. Things generally made sense. Reading and learning more about the history and sequence of revelation, the laws and development of the Muslim community, and the world historical context at the time, I could logically appreciate Islam without needing to simply “just believe” in any of it.
After leaving home, I came across all of the undesirable elements of a Muslim community that, thankfully, I never grew up with. Women not being accommodated; inconsiderate parking; broken English and irrelevant Islam 101 khutbahs; and people generally thinking they know enough to tell you the exact single way to do anything in Islam – these were all alien to me. After leaving home for college and work, this was when I saw a growing gap between my love of Islam and my feelings toward those claiming to practice it.
While this blog is called Atheism or Islam, I will try to distinguish whether I’m writing to those who are questioning or lacking in their belief in God (atheism) versus those who are just questioning their belief in Islamic doctrine. The former I actually won’t go much into unless I receive some specific question or request. The latter, however, I believe is where many Muslims are struggling. Rightfully so when we look at every “Muslim” society and see nothing but chaos, ineptitude, corruption, and general oppression. In a nutshell, what you will see is that this post-colonial period (i.e. my father’s lifetime) is an outlier in the 1400+ years of Islamic history; the blasphemy laws, lynching, and wanton violence on TV are imports from the colonial period and are not based on Islamic doctrine; and even the notion of a nearly exclusively Muslim population is new to us, starting in the 1920s. Simply put, there is a galactic difference between the Muslim world that we see today and the one that existed for the majority of the last 1400 years.