This article is to make those Muslims, who wish to discover the truth about their religion, aware of the fact that the truth about real Islam can be hard to come to terms with; it may even turn fatal as happened with my father. (Read in Bahasha Indonesia)
I am a non-Arab Indian Muslim. I went for a job to Saudi Arabia as a pious Muslim and returned to my beloved country as an Atheist after ten long years of service there. I was trained by my parents to pray five times a day from childhood and read the Quran daily in "Arabic". In a simple term, I was the perfect Muslim according to the Indian standard of Islam.
There were several factors behind my conversion to Atheism from Islam in Saudi Arabia. Out of them, the very important factor was: I was teased by my Arab colleagues for not being a perfect Muslim. I found it an insult to my religious pride, because I was thinking that I was the perfect Muslim.
The mental torture, which I had received from them, forced me to study and analyze Islam. They laughed at me for not knowing the meaning of the Quran. So, I read the translation of the "Holy Quran" in my mother tongue URDU, which I hadn't done before. In India, we never read the Quran in our own mother tongue. Instead, we were made to read it in the holy language of Allah and the Prophet -- “the language of afterlife” -- which is Arabic. Though we don’t understand the meaning of a single Arabic word, it is thought to bring more virtue (swaab).
When my Arab colleagues teased me of not understanding the Quran, I took to reading it in Urdu so that I could understand its meaning and could become a more pious, a better, Muslim.
As started reading it in Urdu, I had a shock and was confused after few pages. Many of the verses seemed barbaric. And what I did: Instead of suspecting the teaching of the supposedly perfect divine Quran, I suspected my proficiency in Urdu. Then, I read it in other languages I knew, including English. All the translations were consistent: Whether in Urdu or English, those verses gave the same meaning. Then only was I sure that my knowledge in Urdu was not the problem; the Quran itself is problematic.
After coming back from Saudi Arabia to my motherland as an Atheist, I felt pity on my aging parents, who are wasting their precious time in praying five times a day, plus in additional midnight prayers. Apart from that, they were always in fear about their death and the tortures they may receive in their graves as per the teachings of Islam. As a filial, loving son, and a responsible human being, I vowed to liberate my beloved parents from the shackles and tyranny of the Islamic dogma.
But it was a very difficult tusk to explain the faults of religion to people in their 70s so as to change their belief. I explained to my religious parents the complete scenario of my experience in Saudi Arabia: the disrespectful behavior of most of the Saudis and their “(in)hospitality” toward non-Muslims and non-Arab Muslims.
They simply rejected my words and were not prepared to hear anything odd about their Arab brothers. It's because the non-Arab Muslims hold great reverence for the Saudis, since they belongs to Islam's holy land, the land of their beloved prophet. Let me, here, make it clear that I do not hate the Saudis, who have been fooled by Prophet Muhammad and his Islam. Instead, I feel pity for them, as they are the first and worst victims of Islam.
Determined to enlighten my parents about the true face of Islam, I persisted and my parents eventually accepted my words about the Saudis. But to absolve Islam of the Saudi's bad behaviour and attitude, they now switched argument: Maybe you are correct, because the bad Saudis had given so much trouble to our beloved prophet during his lifetime.
Here, my parents now tried to shield Prophet Muhammad, the only one Saudi man, thanks to tremendous reverence they hold toward him. Then, I revealed the true character of Muhammad to them from his hadiths, which also make the Saudis behave in such manners. Then they said, they don’t trust the hadiths, as most of them were written by the enemies of Islam.
Since they said they don't trust the hadiths, I told them, in frustration, to stop praying five times a day, because the Quran never mentions anything about praying five times a day; it is only mentioned in the hadiths.
While Muslims overwhelmingly believe hadiths as the holy tradition of the Prophet, it has now become a new tactic amongst non-Arab Muslims of our age that if a hadith preaches something about Islam and Muhammad, which is contrary to local ethics and morality, then it is a weak hadith. They are taught by the mullahs that most of the hadiths, which reveals the true character of Muhammad, but does not suit the culture of the locals, were written by the enemies of Islam.
The culture of Saudi Arabia, which fits well with teachings of the Islamic scriptures, can’t fit with cultures of the rest of the World. I like to share with the readers one such “cultural difference”, which I witnessed in Saudi Arabia. I witnessed an old man, aged over 75 years, with his two wives alive, took a third time -- a 17 year old Jordanian girl (Because the “cost” of the girl is comparatively cheaper in Jordon. Readers please excuse my language. But this is the reality). As he returned with the young bride, he was given a very warm welcome by his well-educated sons, aged between 40 and 50. They took him on their shoulders, clapping and singing. They don’t even bother about the fate of their own mothers. They shared the joyful moments by praising their father's “manliness” with their neighbors and friends. The language they used to glorify their father’s “manliness” can’t be explained here, as it is too crude, pornographic. Given the sons were well-educated, we can't blame their lack of education for such behavior. It is impossible for the civilized societies to adopt such culture, not even by the cultured non-Arab Muslim societies.
The blame lies on the culture, created and encouraged by Muhammad, which can be seen in many hadiths. After all, it's a central doctrine in Islam that Muslims must emulate the Prophet as best as possible.
So, the mullahs do their best to reject such hadiths, which contradicts the local culture, as non-authentic and weak, although they are from Sahih Al-Bukhari, which Muslims accept as the authentic collection -- a book, regarded next to the Quran in the Muslim world.
I explained to my parents about the six authentic collections of hadiths, out of numerous collections. Their faith towards the dogma of Islam was so deep that I failed to convince them in this effort. But I am not of the sort, who would give up easily. So, this time, I showed them the Quranic verses, in which Allah asks Muslims to follow Muhammad’s sunnah and also the other important, but unacceptable, verses of the Quran.
Then my father, in his 70s, also started reading the Quran, like me, in his mother tongue Urdu for the first time. For the past 70 years of his life, he had been reading the Arabic Quran daily, which he didn’t understand. As for my mom, she is an illiterate, like most of the Muslim women of her age in India, and never read the Quran even in Arabic.
After reading a few pages of the Quran in Urdu, in a language that helped him understood the meaning of verses, my father, too, become disturbed because of many unacceptable verses. Having gotten a shock, he started doubting the reliability of the author, the translator and the publisher, and stopped reading it. He now scolded me for purchasing the Quran, which has been printed by the enemies of Islam -- either Hindus or Christians.
I was able to convince him with facts that the translation was done by the scholars of Islam, and that it was published for the benefit of Muslims. He now asked me: why Muslims are printing such wrong translations of the Quran?
I told him that those scholars and publishers were not to blame; the problem was his lifelong misunderstood perception of Islam as a divine and perfect creed. My father was not ready to accept my explanations, neither was he ready to read the Quran further -- even if it was published by a reliable Muslim publisher -- because he was now afraid of losing his faith.
At this point, I tried to encourage him to continue reading it, saying that it was not a good sign that he is afraid of losing his faith. But he totally refused to read it, and I, kind of, failed again in my mission at this point. Here, the readers can sense the level of ignorance amongst moderate Muslims, who know nothing about the real Islam, and their obdurate refusal to enlighten themselves about it.
I continued nurturing hopes that my father would eventually discover the truth about Islam and free himself from its shackles. And It took me almost 10 years for my father to, eventually, read the whole Quran in Urdu. To my joy, he, at the age of 80, showed courage to read it completely. The atrocities perpetrated by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda over recent years were vital in my convincing him to read and understand the Quran's messages. Initially, whenever he would hear a news of Al-Qaeda's heartless terrorist atrocities, he would start abusing Osama. But I used to argue with him so as to defend Osama as the best amongst Muslims as per the teaching of the Quran and hadiths. The atrocities committed by Osama's Jihadi followers in the name of Islam, coupled with my arguments with him, induced my father to read the Urdu Quran, hoping to understand its real message. All thanks to Osama.
Then my father requested me to brief him about some hadiths, which I had previously tried to explain to him to show Islam in a negative light. But I felt embarrassed to explain the semi-pornographic hadiths about Muhammad to my father, as a major portion of the hadiths glorifies sex and violence. So, I told him to read them by himself, instead of hearing it from someone else to be more credible. He read only a few hadiths and stopped, because he couldn’t go beyond. He had lost his faith already and declared it scrap.
The reading of the Quran, biography of Muhammad and few Hadiths in a language he understood led my father into depression and may have effected his health. He was not able to come out of this shock. He repeatedly asked me, like an innocent child, about the outcome of his 80 years of worship of Islam, and the valuable time he had spent in five-time daily prayers, mid-night prayers and other Islamic deeds. I consoled him by saying not to worry about the past; instead, I encouraged him to feel happier, as he has been freed of the fear of all alleged punishments and tortures during death, in the grave and in the hereafter. He was convinced, but still, he couldn’t tolerate the way he had been cheated by the mullahs all his life. He thanked me for rescuing him from the fear of the horror of the Islamic grave and the Hell.
Sadly, I have lost my beloved father within a few months of his enlightenment about Islam, as he was unable to come to terms with the shock, which not only perished his faith but also deteriorated his health.
He was very dedicated Muslim and spent all his life (except the last few months) praying and reading the Quran in Arabic -- "the language of Paradise" -- without understanding its meaning. During his last days, he felt heavily not only about his wasted precious years, more so about the way he -- an educated and intelligent person -- was deceived by the mullahs for 80 years, which accelerated the worsening his health and eventually his death.
At the first instance, I felt a sense of guilt for his early death, which was caused, to a good extent, by my being able to convince him to study and understand Islam. But when I recall his last days, I also feel satisfied that he faced his bodily end on earth with confidence, without the fear of tortures and hellfire as taught in Islam. Indeed, I feel proud of myself for being able to liberate him from the barbaric beliefs of Islam. I believe he would have accepted my effort at his enlightenment about Islam as the best return for the fatherly love and affection he had bestowed upon me.
For a Muslim, getting to the truth about Islam is the toughest battle in life. And the shock they get when they find out the truth can be tough to come to terms with, as was with my father, for whom it, to some extent, turned fatal. Muslims, who seek to discover the truth about Islam, should be mentally prepared before doing so.