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I used to be Muslim -AMA
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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:07

Born and raised Anglican, became Muslim in my early 20s after much research and having really enjoyed the academic side of Islam, now 10 years on, I’m ‘meh’, I wouldn’t say I’ve renounced it in a mic drop sense but I do feel apathetic.

I know this (leaving Islam) has garnered headlines in the news and it’s not that kind of post, I’m actually secretly hoping it might help me organise my thoughts, so AMA- I won’t hold back.

just to say, my experiences are just that, mine, and any negative ones I’ve had obviously aren’t universal and they don’t represent an entire religion/ minority community/
sect/ ethnic group.

also, please no takfiri death threats/ going to hell stuff, it will push me further from the deen and further some rather nasty stereotypes

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BattenburgDonkey · 16/09/2022 22:08

Did you marry into Islam?

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StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 16/09/2022 22:10

What did you find in Islam that you didn't in Christianity? Could you explain a bit more about the academics?

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DesMoulinsRouge · 16/09/2022 22:10

What made you convert in the first place?
How old were you?

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Buttons294749 · 16/09/2022 22:10

Do you still feel religous generally or do you feel agnostic generally?

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:11

BattenburgDonkey · 16/09/2022 22:08

Did you marry into Islam?

marry into Islam? That’s not a thing

do you mean convert because I met a Muslim man? If so, no.

did I marry a Muslim man after becoming Muslim? Yes. 5 years after.

muslim men can marry Jewish and Christian women so even if I’d met a Muslim man as a Christian there’d have been no impetus on my to convert

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:15

StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 16/09/2022 22:10

What did you find in Islam that you didn't in Christianity? Could you explain a bit more about the academics?

basically there are a few really good debaters, who debate apologetics (basically religious issues, or big questions) and I just love love loved watching the debates, it inspired me to do my own reading and then I used to go to the live debates and I found that there is or at least was, this movement of Muslim feminists, a lot converts and I just enjoyed it so much. But that looking back was position of substantial privilege.

islam, at its core is a lot more linear (not sure that’s the right word) than Christianity, more straight forward. There’s one god and prophets, that’s it, you did and there is heaven and hell. No priests, no confession, no central position of authority. I liked that

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:16

DesMoulinsRouge · 16/09/2022 22:10

What made you convert in the first place?
How old were you?

Early 20s, ive covered the why in the answer above :)

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bathorshower · 16/09/2022 22:16

What, if any, religion would you consider yourself now?

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MolkosTeenageAngst · 16/09/2022 22:17

I find it very difficult to understand why anybody would convert to another religion. I suppose in my mind all religions seem illogical in that there are so many major and minor religions, plus many denominations of most religions, how could you possibly trust that you have chosen to believe the true one? It sort of makes sense when somebody has been raised in a religion for them to continue to follow it as I guess we don’t always critically question things we’ve believed as true from childhood but to convert to a new religion seems unfathomable to me. And you say you have always been interested in the ‘academic’ side of religion, but isn’t religion about a spiritual belief rather than academia?

So I suppose my question is, why did you want to convert? How did you come to believe that the Christian interpretation of God and Jesus etc was not true and then realise that the Islamic one was right to the point of conversion? Did you also consider whether you believed other religions (Judaism? Hinduism? Buddhism?) or did something just draw you towards Islam? And on conversion did you genuinely and truly believe in all aspects of Islam and it’s scripture and believe them to be true? What aspects don’t you believe in now?

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:17

Buttons294749 · 16/09/2022 22:10

Do you still feel religous generally or do you feel agnostic generally?

I think I feel apathetic general, maybe more of a deist than a theist now, but I guess on some days I could feel truly agnostic. It’s bad I know

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:18

bathorshower · 16/09/2022 22:16

What, if any, religion would you consider yourself now?

Let’s put it this way, if I was applying for a job and they have the what religion are you box, I’d tick the ‘prefer not to say’ one… I honestly don’t know

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ThermoSpooklear · 16/09/2022 22:19

Do you still believe in a God and, if not, would you still like to?

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Haffdonga · 16/09/2022 22:22

What has made you feel apathetic now? What has changed?

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:23

MolkosTeenageAngst · 16/09/2022 22:17

I find it very difficult to understand why anybody would convert to another religion. I suppose in my mind all religions seem illogical in that there are so many major and minor religions, plus many denominations of most religions, how could you possibly trust that you have chosen to believe the true one? It sort of makes sense when somebody has been raised in a religion for them to continue to follow it as I guess we don’t always critically question things we’ve believed as true from childhood but to convert to a new religion seems unfathomable to me. And you say you have always been interested in the ‘academic’ side of religion, but isn’t religion about a spiritual belief rather than academia?

So I suppose my question is, why did you want to convert? How did you come to believe that the Christian interpretation of God and Jesus etc was not true and then realise that the Islamic one was right to the point of conversion? Did you also consider whether you believed other religions (Judaism? Hinduism? Buddhism?) or did something just draw you towards Islam? And on conversion did you genuinely and truly believe in all aspects of Islam and it’s scripture and believe them to be true? What aspects don’t you believe in now?

Your first point, it’s called a leap of faith, it’s the definition of faith right, you have no definitive proof but you believe anyway

so no I didn’t consider Hinduism (to my knowledge you can’t convert to being Hindu due to the caste system) or Buddhism, because I knew enough about them that I knew they, whilst lovely in their own ways, didn’t tie in to what I believed, probably due to Christian cultural inheritance. Much like Christianity presents itself as a continuation of Judaism, Islam does as a correction and continuation of Christianity so it felt like a logical conclusion.

(the correction is pure monotheism rather than the trinity)

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:24

ThermoSpooklear · 16/09/2022 22:19

Do you still believe in a God and, if not, would you still like to?

I think I want to, wouldn’t it be so nice, if death wasn’t the end, that it all meant something and we got to see our loved one Again?

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:28

Haffdonga · 16/09/2022 22:22

What has made you feel apathetic now? What has changed?

One word, people.

the hypocrisy of so many so called religious individuals, just over time eroded my faith. I started to think, you know, maybe my interpretation isn’t right or correct becuase look at how all these people act. At first I’d comfort myself with how their interpretation is incorrect and religion weaponised to subjugate minority groups (other religions, women, lgbtq etc) and then I used to just get angry, but over time, it just wore me down to the state of meh I’m in right now

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BattenburgDonkey · 16/09/2022 22:40

Are you still married to the Muslim man? Is he still Muslim?

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:43

BattenburgDonkey · 16/09/2022 22:40

Are you still married to the Muslim man? Is he still Muslim?

yes I am, he still is yes, but he feels a bit meh too due largely to the same reasons as me, but being Muslim is all he’s ever known, so he’s still culturally Muslim if that makes sense and will find it easier to fall back into it maybe one day

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Thiswillpasstoo · 16/09/2022 23:22

That's such a shame @Tiddlywinx that people put you off something that, at one point in your life gave you so much comfort.
I would say that people are fallible human beings and not the religion. I, like yourself have met soooo many people who blatantly don't practice what they preach and give the faith a bad name. But then I look at myself and realise that I'm not perfect and nor am I ever meant to be so each to their own journey. What I have noticed about converts to the Islamic faith is their zest and yearning to live it with all their being. This leaves me in awe sometimes but what you have to remember is that any faith/ religion you enter, it's a way of life. You will meet good , bad and the outright ugly. People in all walks of life leave us feeling a bit 'meh'. At work, our friendship groups, even our own family!

My question for you is, if you eventually decide to leave Islam, will you still be searching for the answers to your existence or will you be satisfied without?

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Amarette · 16/09/2022 23:31

Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 22:15

basically there are a few really good debaters, who debate apologetics (basically religious issues, or big questions) and I just love love loved watching the debates, it inspired me to do my own reading and then I used to go to the live debates and I found that there is or at least was, this movement of Muslim feminists, a lot converts and I just enjoyed it so much. But that looking back was position of substantial privilege.

islam, at its core is a lot more linear (not sure that’s the right word) than Christianity, more straight forward. There’s one god and prophets, that’s it, you did and there is heaven and hell. No priests, no confession, no central position of authority. I liked that

I'm interested that you talk about priests, confession and a central position of authority. That sounds like Catholicism not Anglicanism. The Christianity that I know is about having a personal relationship with God, it's got nothing to do with religious institutions, priests or confession. It's about being in a relationship with God.

In the Bible, (Matthew 11:28-30, Message version) Jesus says:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 23:48

Thiswillpasstoo · 16/09/2022 23:22

That's such a shame @Tiddlywinx that people put you off something that, at one point in your life gave you so much comfort.
I would say that people are fallible human beings and not the religion. I, like yourself have met soooo many people who blatantly don't practice what they preach and give the faith a bad name. But then I look at myself and realise that I'm not perfect and nor am I ever meant to be so each to their own journey. What I have noticed about converts to the Islamic faith is their zest and yearning to live it with all their being. This leaves me in awe sometimes but what you have to remember is that any faith/ religion you enter, it's a way of life. You will meet good , bad and the outright ugly. People in all walks of life leave us feeling a bit 'meh'. At work, our friendship groups, even our own family!

My question for you is, if you eventually decide to leave Islam, will you still be searching for the answers to your existence or will you be satisfied without?

That’s true but my experience isn’t based on a few bad eggs, those I was able to sweep aside because there’s arseholes everywhere. The hypocrisy does really get me and unfortunately I’ve personally seen more examples of hypocrisy than sincerity. This is from people too who are typically held up as ‘very religious’ (look up nouman ali Khan scandal), it’s horribly common. So then after a while I started thinking, Is this ^ what it means to be more religious, it this^ what it does to you.

and then you have doctrinal issues, ie a lot of Islamic classic scholars are very misogynistic, homophobic,
sectarian etc (scholars have informed jurisprudence which has informed how the religion is interpreted) and because that’s the majority consensus on many things and you see at grass roots how it’s interpreted in practice, at the beginning I thought that they were all misguided and interpreting the religion ‘wrong’ to suit their own goals but now I’m wondering if that’s actually me who’s wrong and misinterpreted the religion to make it suit my beliefs, you know?

you also have the fact that, in my experience, converts aren’t treated particularly well, unless they are ultra conservative, in the Muslim community in the UK, particularly the south Asian community, from my experience the mena community is a lot more welcoming. There is an initial novelty factor, and a lot of instructs I’ve questions from nosey so and sos but that soon wears off and it’s very lonely, especially in ramadan. That, combined with the pressure to do a lot very soon (veil, turn your back on non Islamic family celebrations ) becomes unsustainable for a lot of people.

i don’t think I’ll ever ‘leave’ in a grand ceremonial mic drop sense, the only real ‘reason’ for me to do that would be if I found another religion I vehemently believed in. I’ll most likely plod along as is, which is sort of how I used to be as a Christian (although that was more doctrinal apathy it wasn’t really people that put me off that but I didn’t really believe in crucifixion and resurrection)

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 23:53

Amarette · 16/09/2022 23:31

I'm interested that you talk about priests, confession and a central position of authority. That sounds like Catholicism not Anglicanism. The Christianity that I know is about having a personal relationship with God, it's got nothing to do with religious institutions, priests or confession. It's about being in a relationship with God.

In the Bible, (Matthew 11:28-30, Message version) Jesus says:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Christianity still has that trinity, and there is still hierarchy in CoE. I was just pointing out that the basis of Islamic theology (v similar to Jewish) is one god and prophets that’s it, there isn’t the god in three persons (ice, water , steam etc). Islamically Jesus wasn’t fully human and fully divine, Jesus was a man, a good man and a prophet but just a man, he wasn’t the son of god and he didn’t die and get resurrected.

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magma32 · 16/09/2022 23:53

I’m born again muslim and pretty much feel the same, really disillusioned with religion generally lots of bad experiences with religious people (lots of bad experiences with non religious people too) using religion to control people etc and while many will say it’s culture not religion I’m not too sure. Focussing on taking the good and leaving the bad for now. I can’t help but believe in a creator but I’m not dwelling too much on it.

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Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 23:59

magma32 · 16/09/2022 23:53

I’m born again muslim and pretty much feel the same, really disillusioned with religion generally lots of bad experiences with religious people (lots of bad experiences with non religious people too) using religion to control people etc and while many will say it’s culture not religion I’m not too sure. Focussing on taking the good and leaving the bad for now. I can’t help but believe in a creator but I’m not dwelling too much on it.

Were you born Muslim? (I’ve not heard anyone use born again in the Islamic context)

it sucks because you can’t talk about it in the community because of the hugely negative reaction it will insight, you couldn’t sit down with an imam (for a few reasons lol) and say I’m struggling here for xyz reason without being seriously shamed

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magma32 · 17/09/2022 00:06

Tiddlywinx · 16/09/2022 23:59

Were you born Muslim? (I’ve not heard anyone use born again in the Islamic context)

it sucks because you can’t talk about it in the community because of the hugely negative reaction it will insight, you couldn’t sit down with an imam (for a few reasons lol) and say I’m struggling here for xyz reason without being seriously shamed

I say born again because when I was about 12 I was convinced there was no god etc but around my 20’s started reading up and felt I had found it again. I guess the term isn’t used much as many wouldn’t admit it or maybe once they’ve left they don’t come back who knows. There are Muslims I can talk to but only friends and family I trust, other people just don’t get it but I don’t really get anywhere because they’ve had different experiences to me, I think if you’ve had nothing but good experience with it you won’t understand why others are cynical and the really religious folk are on some other planet where any kind of pondering if out of the questions despite being written in the Quran we are meant to ask questions, why stop when the questions start getting uncomfortable? Why are people so scared? Surely god will understand we aren’t idiots that will follow blindly all the time right.

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