A True Story
Everything looked wonderful for me as I, (a civil Engineer) entered my office for my daily work. My father was a clerk, and though his salary wasn’t enough, my mother, a street hawker, supplemented the shortfall. In fact, it is my mother who paid for all her children’s education and maintenance. I relieved my mother of most of the expenses, but gave my father only a token sum every month.
My world took a sudden turn when I meet an Ulama (Islamic Holy Man). He showed me how the muslims were subjugated by the other religions and the world conspiracy against Islam, with the USA in the centre of it. He said, the USA purposely pushes Human Rights everywhere, because it contradicts with most of the Islamic believes and practices, and making Islam seem out of date. The Jews further manipulate the Americans for their selfish interests to control the Middle-East. Allah realized this, and said in Sura 5.51 of the Quran, not to be friends of the Jews and Christians. But the muslim countries are ‘sucking’ up to the USA. The lack of an Ustaz (religious teacher) in my area, depriving the muslims of adequate knowledge of the beauty and wonders of Islam, was another subject talked about at great length. After a month of convincing talks, I made enquiries in the state capital and got all the details to join the Islamic college. After a lot of soul searching and with the hate instilled in me, I decided to give up my job as an engineer, but my mother protested. In the end, I managed to convince my mother, as it was for Allah and I joined the Islamic College.
Having graduated as an ustaz, I was soon posted to my neighbourhood. There wasn’t a proper Islamic School and so I conducted classes in my home, at first. Though, I was good in my Islamic Knowledge, there were times when I was stuck for answers for my innocent students, and began to add a bit of a lie here and there for the sake of defending Allah. In fact, during my Islamic College Lectures there were a lot of suppositions without factual support. When contradictions within the Holy Quran arose, it was easily solved by the words ‘Allah knows best’, or by mixing up some Hadith and come to some sort of an acceptable answer. (Most muslims know how to read the Arabic language in the Quran. But generally, most muslims don’t understand what they are reading. Therefore, a muslim generally, don’t know what the Quran says and will need an ustaz to explain to them). Thus, this cooking of the facts was common and stretching the facts for the sake of Allah was prevalent. Lying became second nature to me and even I, began to believe my own lies. Hate for everything non-Islamic was part of my training.
My trip to Mecca for the Haj (pilgrimage) was tiring but eventful. I did not have the rare opportunity to see inside the holy Kabah and the holy idols inside, which Prophet Muhammud had helped to place, as explained in Bukhari’s Hadith. But, I wondered why the symbolic Stoning of the Devil ritual (by men throwing stones at a pillar in a pit) was made so important in such a holy place. I felt only holiness and sacredness should be observed, and no ritual about a devil had any place, especially in Mecca. Due to the extreme heat, everyone was sweating profusely and was smelly. But the gathering of more than one million people was awesome and chaotic. After I returned from Mecca, I began wearing a white skullcap to show that I have done one of the 5 pillars of Islam (pilgrimage to Mecca).
Two months later, my father came to me for support, for his idea of having another wife. To justify his case, he told me he had already made this 19 year old girl, pregnant. I was furious, but Bukhari’s Hadith told me that Allah created women as ‘play-things’ for a man. But thinking of my mother, struggling to feed and educate us, I felt so sorry for her. Without her, my father would not have been able to feed, educate and clothe his children. With my mother’s support, even he enjoyed life, and after using her for all these years, he now wanted another younger wife, less than half his age and younger than three of his five children. But Allah is merciful and has given men advantage over women, as a man could even have four wives at any one time. Though, I found all sorts of excuses not to support my father’s idea, I did talk to my mother about it. She was all tears, and did not go to work that day. We discussed the second wife issue at great length. When she said she will not agree to a second wife, I told her she had no choice, as he could divorce her without her consent and marry this woman anyway, and that will mean, she having to leave her children, as the father owns the children in Islam and not the mother. This tore her apart even more.
When my father brought his new wife home, my mother spent most of her time out, but bringing back less money. This put the pressure on my father, as he did not have enough for himself and whenever my mother was home, it became like a war zone. We siblings kept to ourselves with my mother, leaving this new member of the family, all to herself, until my father came home from work. During this time, I was promoted and was even sitting at times, as a judge for the Sharia court (Islamic Court). My own mother’s experience, shadowed me all the time and I could not except Allah’s pronouncements in ignoring the love, care and importance my mother provided for all of us. This had a bearing on my judgment, of some of the cases in the Sharia court. I have seen the arrogance of man against their muslim wives, and most of these women had, just like my mother, contributed so much for their children and household, and being presented to me many a times beaten to a pulp, all sanctioned in Islam by Allah. I thought, at first, these to be exceptional cases and Allah could not be wrong in his pronouncements. But when I kept seeing more and more women (usually 35 years and above, and one came to court in a plaster-cast on her entire left hand and left leg in a wheel chair), I began to have doubts, and began pouring into my Islamic books for a better and humane solution to a muslim woman’s treatment by her husband, and a muslim man’s easy divorce etc. but in vain. (Marriage in Islam is not a sacrament before God, but just an ordinary contract – usually verbal – between the groom and the bride’s father or closest elder, and can be broken anytime the groom wishes, without his wife’s consent. This always infuriated me, because in her prime, she is used as a loving wife, only to be discarded later, like a used tissue paper). But, I could not find any more humane a solution to these abuses and to the rampant divorce issue in Islam. It only made me more tense.
I was called one day, to the Mufti’s (Chief Islamic Priest and Administrator) office. I was asked to form a committee to try and standardize the Judgments of the Islamic Justice System applied in the Sharia courts. You see, because the Quran, Hadith, & Sunah were all open ended (not precise, for instance, Allah says in Sura 4.34 of the Quran, that a ‘disobedient wife should be beaten by her husband and deserted’ until she is corrected. It does not say how many beatings, which part of her body, when a husband should beat her, how, why, if she is pregnant or not, whether forcefully or not, with his hands or a whip, for what reason, in which place, etc. It is completely left to the husband and his sole judgment of his wife’s disobedient way. Many times, we had women coming to us to show the beating marks on their bodies, but there was nothing in Islam to stop this, except in cases where the wife’s bones were broken, to advise the husband, if at all). If 4 witnesses gave evidence of a man’s theft and his right hand was cut off as punishment, and sometime later, if 1 of the witnesses admitted to giving false witness under pressure (false witnessing is common in the Sharia courts), what then? There was a lot of chaos, with different judges interpreting Islam in various ways. (Islam is not open to present ideas, like applying DNA, or accounting systems, or cyber crimes, medical, environment, civil aviation, democratic principals, human rights, or pay interest for purchases or loans, etc. but sticks to a 1,100 year old patriarchal system’s way of life, to be applied to today’s conditions). The accused in our courts, began choosing some judges to be present and absent for other judges. So you could have a queue for a few judges but no case for most of the other judges. Lawyers were not required in Islam, but witnesses were very important, and we do get many false witnesses coming forward with all sorts of accusations against people they have fallen out with. When I started my work to standardize the judgments, I began having numerous problems, arguments, etc from every direction and became very unpopular. There were no two judges who had the same interpretation of the Quran and penalties to be meted out. They couldn’t even agree on a broad margin of interpretation and penalties (like the minimum and maximum prison terms, etc). The judges’ main protests were ‘it is not in the Quran’. In the end, the plan was scrapped, and Islamic Justice was allowed to be meted out, according to each judge’s interpretations and knowledge of Islam, and the chaos continues to this day. I was very disappointed, of course. (In fact, for every failure of the muslims, there is at least one Christian and/or Jewish conspiracy made up for the blame. The muslims, will never accept their 1.100 year old justice system to be out of date. It is easier to blame the West and to say ‘they don’t understand Islam’, than to try to justify Islam, because muslims know in their minds, it will surely be considered barbaric and out of date, and also because the Quran contradicts itself and the verses are open ended, and ignorance of the actual meaning of the verses in the Quran. So it is easier to blame the West for ‘ignorance’ and keep them wondering, when in truth the West is right all along, in their assumptions of Islam. Because the Quran contains many contradictions and out of date material, a muslim will never debate with a non-muslim, because the non-muslim could use the Quran against him, so it will be better to say ‘you don’t know the beauty of Islam’ and save face. This is the mindset of a typical muslim. A muslim generally cannot take a joke. This is the truth. Keep arguing with him and you will actually do him a favour). (Go to the website www.answering-islam.org and see the long list of contradictions within the Quran, yourself).
One day, I caught my mother swallowing some tablets and found it to be pain-killers. I took her for a hospital check-up and it was revealed that she had cancer. She must have had it for a long time, because the cancer had spread all over. She was suffering everyday. Two years later, she succumbed to the sickness. We siblings were devastated. My world came crashing down with this loss. I tried to concentrate on my work, but became more and more frustrated for lack of proper answers. (For instance, a rape required 4 witnesses to convict the rapist, which is not generally possible or likely, so I always had to let the rapist go free, and at times, the same rapist was brought to court, having raped another girl, and without the 4 witnesses, I was paralysed, and had to let the rapist go free again. Innocent young women’s lives were destroyed in the name of Islam, and knowing him to be the actual rapist, yet Islam did not permit me to see justice done. Worse, if the Islamic court did not think it to be a rape, then the victim gets stoning to death for getting pregnant out of wedlock).
The old Christian lady in my neighbourhood, a few houses down the road, was diagnosed for cancer. Her Christian family prayed to Isa Al-Maseh (Jesus Christ) every night for her fast recovery in hospital. I thought this to be a futile effort, because without Allah’s mercy, this old Christian lady’s fate is assured – death. Three weeks later, I was shocked to see this lady, tending to her flower plants in front of her son’s house. I plucked the courage to talk to her. She told me by the grace of Jesus Christ the Lord, her prayers were answered, and she was fully recovered. Her son came out and invited me in, for a drink. After talking at length, I went home confused and wondering, why did Allah not take care of my mother, who was a good muslim, much younger and sinless, but this old Christian lady, who has so much of faith in this Isa Al-Maseh (Jesus Christ), was completely cured. Perhaps, I thought, this could be Satan at work. The next day, I could not remove the thought of this old lady from my mind. I was bent on getting to the bottom of this episode. After work, I went back to this Christian’s house to disprove this Jesus Christ theory and asked for their Injeel (New Testament). At first, they were reluctant, as my country is a Muslim country, and preaching Christianity to a muslim will lead them to all sorts of punishment. Later, this Christian man (her son) pointed to his Bible on the side table with his eyes. I picked it up (This meant he did not give it to me, but I had picked it up on my own accord from his house, and he could not be accused of giving me a blasphemous material). That night, I read the Gospel of Mathew and browsed through the rest of the Bible. I was astonished to note, how well the whole bible was written chronologically, and it was easy to follow the events. But I needed more insights into the events and their significance, and made many more trips to this Christian’s house, always at nights, as neighbours could get suspicious. Knowing my position and standing in the community, my hosts were also nervous of the situation, I was putting myself and them into. Days became weeks, and I used to rush back home to read more of the Bible every day. I liked the part where Jesus Christ asks any man who is without sin, to cast the first stone at a prostitute. There is so much of love, for one another in this Injeel ( New Testament). All the tension and stress in me, began to subside, as I found peace and tranquility in this Jesus Christ. But my hate for all other religions was deep and still there.
I have always wondered, why only muslim females see shadows of ghosts and get hysterical collectively or individually in classrooms, factories, etc. whether in the night or day. This is not only common in my country, but in other countries as well. A muslim is not to take or keep photographs of any living thing (including humans), and this sounded so ridiculous to me, as I would have liked to keep a photo of my family for posterity. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was built about 60 years (685-691 A.D) after Prophet Muhammud died (8th June 632 A.D. in Mecca). There was nothing significant to Islam in Palestine at the time of his death. Then why did Prophet Muhammud’s body go to Jerusalem to rise to Heaven, when it should have been more appropriate for him to rise from the Kabah in Mecca, which is the holiest site in Islam. These serious doubts have always bothered me, with no answers, even from my older and wiser colleagues.
My engineering training gave me an analytical mind to decipher point for point. Prophet Muhammud had no prophecy before him, where as Jesus Christ had. Allah never talked to prophet Muhammud (except indirectly through an angel), But Jesus Christ had and was the Son of God. One of Prophet Muhammud’s punishments for a thief, was to gorge the man’s eyes out (Bukhari’s Hadith), where as this Jesus Christ has nothing but forgiveness and love for any man. Women are not blamed, for all the evil in this world, as in Islam, and is looked upon with equal dignity in Christianity. Allah seemed so remote, where as Jesus Christ seemed so close. In the Sura 3.7 of the Quran, Allah says only he can interpret the Quran properly. (According to the Hadiths, only about 700 of more than 6,000 Verses of the Quran is clear to man – less than 12%). Then why did Allah give us such a Quran, which no man can interpret properly? Isn’t the Quran for man’s use like the Bible? Most of the verses in the Quran is open ended, leaving a lot to guesswork, unlike the Bible. (Even for an Arab, it cannot be clearly understood, because it is presented in old Arabic – like the present Englishman trying to understand old English or Shakespearean English). Archeology cannot base their work on the Quran, because there isn’t any history or geography in it, just verses of what Allah expects of man with punitive punishments specified, etc. where as the Bible is the story of Mankind, and even today, I am told, archeologists base their excavations in reference to the location and events mentioned in the Bible. Prophet Muhammud was uneducated, where as Jesus Christ was a teacher educating others. Prophet Muhammud had 12 wives, numerous concubines, temporary wives and female slaves (taken by beheading their husbands), and one of his wives was only 8 years old (Aisha) when he was 52. (After he was poisoned, according to Bukhari’s Hadith he died on the lap of this wife, Aisha). He even had sex with his wife’s slave at her dismay (out of wedlock). We would call such a man today as a sex-maniac, where as Jesus Christ was pure. In Sura 18.86 of the Quran, Allah says the sun sets in a dirty pond on earth. If Allah is the creator, how could Allah make such a stupid mistake? Shouldn’t Allah have known the world to be round and the sun does not dip into a dirty pond on earth everyday, unless Allah is not God and the Quran is not from God. In the Quran, Sura 2.106 and 16.101, Allah says he re-edited the verses in the Quran and abrogated other verses for better ones. If Allah is God, then he did not need to change what he wrote in the first instance, because it should have been perfect. But re-writing the Quran seems to be not God to me and Allah is just as a man, making corrections to his own work. (This Allah could have used a lot of ‘Liquid Paper’). Who can ever believe, that Allah needs to correct his own work – but this is exactly what Allah says in these Suras of the Quran. In Sura 11.114, 17.78-79, 20.130, & 30.17-18 of the Quran Allah says every muslim must pray 3 times a day. But in the Hadith it says 5 times a day. Couldn’t Allah make up his mind? Why this contradiction? There are so many contradictions, that I could not believe, that it took that old Christian lady to open my eyes to these blunders. Islam now seemed to be a complete and ridiculous farce to me. In contrast, the bible does not prescribe amputating the right hand and left leg for theft, or killing a person for giving up his religion, or killing unbelievers, (if Allah is the creator of man, then why should he prescribe the 1 billion muslims -1/6 of the world’s population to kill the balance 5/6, – it sounds so ridiculous to me now) or stoning an adulterous to death, or blowing oneself up to bits, so that he can supposedly enjoy life in heaven as a martyr, with about 70 voluptuous fair virgin maidens, rivers of wine, honey, fresh fruits etc. It looks so false, barbaric and gruesome. In Sura 19.71 – 72 of the Quran, Allah says all muslims will go to Hell (Any muslim who reads this, ask your own ustaz what sura 19.71-72 means). That means, if anyone follows this Islamic path, will surely go to Hell (unless you explode your body with a bomb to bits and pieces, as a martyr). This sounds so barbaric and gruesome a thought to me. (Muslims always criticize Christians, Taoists, Hindus and Bhuddists of praying to idols. But in Bhukari’s Hadith, it is stated that Prophet Muhammud helped the various tribes, replace about 30 idols inside the Kabah in Mecca, after it was expanded and re-constructed. Some of the idols have cracked and disintegrated over the years by the intense heat. They have the cheek to criticize other religions when muslims themselves pray and bow to idols). Time passed, with me in this limbo state and the more I went into the bible, the more convinced I became that this is definitely the right path to God, and the Quran is not from God, or Allah could have been the creation of this barbarian, Muhammud, and claiming to be a Prophet or Satan himself in disguise. If Islam will only lead a person to hell, then it is the wrong path for me. In Christianity, I have hope of reaching Heaven, without having to go to Hell. (If Islam is so good, it should have united muslim countries, but all through out history, muslim countries have always been at war with one another). But I needed proper guidance to confirm my convictions to proceed further.
One day, I slipped in front of a shop. A stranger put out her hand instinctively and caught me from falling. I found out her name to be Maria, a Catholic Christian. She was single and by a coincidence, worked as a clerk, in the very Bank I go to. I managed to tell her my story and asked her if she could help me. She totally refused. I could not blame her though, looking at me, with my long beard, skullcap and my muslim robe, I looked ghastly and could frighten anyone. Furthermore, a Christian will get into trouble for helping a muslim to give up his religion (apostate). A few days later, I met Maria again and we talked for a while, and I could sense her giving in to my sincerity, she then said, she will help me only when she is free. It wasn’t long, before we began going out together to her friend’s isolated house, only after darkness fell and without my muslim robe and skullcap. My dates with Maria, were at first, more for a Christian education lesson than romance. But I began to get attached to her as time passed. It became obvious to me at this juncture that I could not lie anymore for Allah and Islam. I knew this part of my life was finished for good. Later, I made more official day trips to Maria’s bank, to cash my cheques and deposit the money back, but in reality, only to steal glances at this beautiful and gorgeous lady in her early twentys. My brothers and sister liked Maria, when I brought her home, (but when my father and his second wife were not in). I also went for religious education and Bible readings in secret, often together with Maria. We soon fell in love, but were always cautious in public. My brothers and sister were also very worried for my safety.
On Valentine’s day, I sent a parcel to Maria, containing a rose, a ring and a card, saying “take the rose for the beauty and fragrance, but the ring for my yearning heart and my love for you”. That night, as planned, I went to pick Maria for dinner. Maria excitedly, waved her ring finger at me, as she got into my car, and whispered in my ear “Dreams do come true, but I did not expect it, in the form of an ex-senior Islamic officer.” I whispered back in her ear, “Thank you for saving me from Allah’s path to Hell, and showed me Jesus Christ’s path to Heaven”. Some months later, Maria and I went separately (not to arose suspicion), to the country’s capital for my Baptism in the Cathedral. This was arranged by the church. After the Baptism, it looked like the sun had come into the Cathedral, and all was so bright and peaceful. I even felt lighter. Everyone congratulated me. After we had lunch in the Parish dining hall, Maria returned to our hometown, but I stayed back to find a job in this capital city.
I managed to get a job as a design engineer, in this country’s capital through a friend, far away from my own city, for my safety. I know what muslims will do to an apostate (Kill me). The next thing I did, was to have a clean shave (no beard and mustache). I then went out to taste all the food I could eat. You see, a muslim is supposed to eat only Halal food (cooked by another muslim) or it will be considered Haram (forbidden and a sin). Without my skullcap, beard and muslim robe, no one took a second look at me eating Haram food. I felt so free from the yolk of Islam, not being able to do so many things before. Islam kept me in a straight-jacket with so many restrictions. It was like a very heavy weight taken off me. Life looked so wonderful, and I did not have to think of this and that before doing something. I even began singing often, to myself. One night, during my prayers, I cried to Jesus in joy, for all he had done for me and hoped my brothers and sister, could one day share my joys in Jesus Christ, who has given me nothing but happiness and comfort. All the hatred in my heart had disappeared, and I only had love, for my fellow men (even muslims). I presented Bibles to my three younger brothers and my youngest sister. (One of my brothers and my sister have found the true path now and converted to Christianity. God bless them.)
Two months later, when I drove back for Maria, she was so thrilled to see me, especially without my beard. Caressing my cheeks with her hands, she said “now you fit my dream, of my handsome hero”. She kept stroking my cheeks tenderly. When Maria and I visited the old Christian lady and her son, they were shocked and could not believe I was the same person, (without my beard, skullcap and my robe). Before we left, we all knelt down before their alter and said a prayer, thanking Jesus for his blessings, and the old lady made a special request for Jesus to keep us both safe and to watch over us forever. Then she turned to Maria, held her hands and said to her that she will always remember her in her prayers.
Maria and I got married in a very quite ceremony at the Cathedral of the country’s capital. My brothers and sister, and Maria’s parents, brothers and sisters came together in my chartered bus for our wedding. Though now, we have three handsome sons, Maria has not given up hope of having a daughter, and has my work cut out for me. Every night, we pray as a family together and Maria has been and is my mentor and the bulwark of the family, by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Reflecting back, to all those days, I think, it was not providence, that I accidentally noticed the old Christian lady, or Maria catching me from a fall, but the wonderful and mysterious work of my Lord, Jesus Christ, and I have never stopped thanking him, for all his wonderful gifts, to make my life the most pleasant, I could ever hope for. Thank you Jesus, my wonderful Savior.
P.S. If you are a male muslim, believe me, your path can lead to happiness and Heaven, if you discard the yolk of Islam and take the path of Jesus Christ.
If you are a female muslim, (based on my own mother’s experience and my previous work as an ustaz and judge), I know what you go through (the pain, suffering and humiliation) and can honestly sympathize with your position. But it does not need to be this way, does it? It is never too late, for you to break yourself free of this yolk, which binds you down.
Male or female, get rid of your world of untruths and hate (like me), and open your heart and set yourself free today, and experience love and joy through Jesus Christ. Take the first step now and believe me, you will never regret it.