These are not why I left Islam. They are reflections after leaving Islam. Keep in mind that even if I was completely wrong about every single one of these, it would not make me come back to Islam. As a Secular Humanist, I find these to be troubling issues we find and they seem to show that Allah is not the intelligent supreme being that sent us a beautiful wise religion but rather a 7th century invention with barbaric rules and orders that matched that early era but do not belong in today’s world.
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
There’s a particular argument that some Muslims bring up that Muhammad was only doing defensive battles. That he was only protecting himself from the “evil” Makkans who wanted to harm him. That this verse and others are for defending the faith but not for attacking others. That Islam didn’t spread by the sword.
If we go back to the beginning, Muhammad and his followers were persecuted for their beliefs. But what is obvious is that according to the seerah, the problem is not that he wanted to worship Allah, but because he didn’t want them to worship their idols.
A deal with the Makkans?
Ibn Kathir tells us that the Makkans would have tolerated him in the Tafsir of Surah Kafiroon. The Makkans offered a deal to Muhammad that they would worship their idols for a year, and he would then worship his god for a year. But he rejected this deal. He didn’t want to have a partnership or agreement of any sort. It was his way or the highway.
Meaning, Muhammad wanted to force his beliefs onto others.
There is the famous incident of the conquest of Makkah, where Muhammad “cleansed the house of idolatry” and broke all the 360 idols at the kaabah.
But was that it? He just wanted to clean up his town and be done with it? The Makkans could now live in peace doing their thing while he did his?
The intolerance of monotheism
You see, monotheism can be intolerant. As Karen Armstrong wrote in ‘A History of God’:
“Today we have become so familiar with the intolerance that has unfortunately been a characteristic of monotheism.. Paganism was an essentially tolerant faith: provided that old cults were not threatened by the arrival of a new deity, there was always room for another god alongside the traditional pantheon… We have seen that in Hinduism and Buddhism people were encouraged to go beyond the gods rather than to turn upon them with loathing. Yet the prophets of Israel were unable to take this calmer view of the deities they saw as Yahweh’s rivals.”
The Yahweh of the Bible was a jealous god. And as we see, Allah was a jealous god who wouldn’t tolerate other religions.
“It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although they who associate others with Allah dislike it.” (9:33)
“Get rid of the disbelievers from Arabia”
Muhammad wasn’t about settling with others. He wanted to get rid of all the disbelievers from Arabia
In the book of Jihad in Sahih Muslim it states that Muhammad said:
“I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.”
This is also repeated in Jami At-Tirmidhi, Muwatta of Malik. And in Sahih Bukhari it said that Muhammad’s dying wish was to expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula.
The Prophet (ﷺ) on his death-bed, gave three orders saying, “Expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula…”
So Muhammad wanted to kick all the non-Muslims out of Arabia. This was his DYING wish. He’s already dying. What’s the point? So much for peace and harmony! So much for ‘lakum deenukum waliya deen’ (to you your religion and to me mine). So much for ‘la ikraha fi deen’ (no compulsion in religion)
But what else did he do? Surely this is bad enough already?
Whenever he appointed a man to lead a military detachment, he told them to give the enemy three options.
1) Invite them to accept Islam
2) If they refuse to enter Islam, then ask them to pay the jizyah in humiliation
3) But if they refuse, then seek the help of Allah against them and fight them.
These are the three options. What a peaceful religion. Convert people or make them pay a heavy tax, or fight. How is this defensive? It’s not. It’s all about money and power. The entire process of jihad is to grow the Muslim empire. Either with new converts who will fight for you, or with taxes, or by fighting and capturing booty and slaves. No surprise Islam grew as quickly as it did. And to top it off you can’t leave Islam or they would punish you with death as a murtad.
Destroy the idols of neighbouring towns
But we’re not done yet. What else did Muhammad do? He couldn’t leave well enough alone. He sent an army to destroy each of the idols that the each city worshipped.
An-Nasa’i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said, “When the Messenger of Allah conquered Makkah, he sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed him of the story, the Prophet said to him, (Go back and finish your mission, for you have not finished it.) Khalid went back. When he approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah, who said to him: That was Al-`Uzza “
What a strange story. So he didn’t just send his general to break the idol, but also to kill the custodian who was a harmless naked woman throwing sand on her hair.
Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated, “Al-Lat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in the area of Ta’if. The Prophet sent Al-Mughirah and Abu Sufyan to destroy Al-Lat.
The Messenger of Allah sent Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali to Dhul-Khalasah and he destroyed it.
Ibn Ishaq said that Fals was the idol of Tay’ and the neighboring tribes. Ibn Hisham said that Muhammad sent Ali to Fals and he destroyed it. It even says that he found two swords in its treasure that he of course took back to Muhammad and was given the swords as war booty.
So Muhammad sent out armies to destroy idols in towns that were bothering nobody. Notice the purpose for sending his generals? It was to destroy the idols. What was the point of risking people’s lives to destroy idols? The Muslims already had their state, Makkah was “cleansed” of idols, so why bother?
Why was it so important for Muhammad to expel Christians, Jews, and the Polytheists (everyone except his followers) from the Arabian Peninsula?
Because he was fiercely intolerant and oppressive towards everyone. There is so much horrible precedent set by Muhammad in these actions. He has left a horrible example for his community to follow. And today we have not just Non-Muslims being attacked, but even Muslim minorities like Shia who get accused of being idolators and their mosques bombed for it. I wonder where they got that idea….
This is the problem with religion. It packages together wonderful things like feeding the poor and sponsoring orphans with terrible things like jihad against the unbelievers and killing apostates. All of them are placed on the same level.
The originally pagan God “Allah” was the chief God of the pagans. This is similar to the idea of Jupiter being the high god of the Romans and Zeus being the high god of the Greeks.
Ancient humans were polytheistic and felt that the high god was too difficult to reach, so they also made lesser gods (demigods) that were more humanlike and were easier to relate to, to petition for favors to the high god.
The Quran itself also confirms that the pre-Islamic Arabs believed in Allah:
If you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” they would surely say, ” Allah .” Then how are they deluded?
It is well known that Muhammad’s father’s name was Abdullah. Servant of Allah.
From the article:
In the religion of the Meccans and the other pagan tribes of the Hijaz, al-Lāt was not the wife of the high god Allāh but was one of his daughters, along with the other two chief goddesses, Manāt and al-‘Uzzā The gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic Arabs were usually tribal deities; legendary ancestors; spirits of place (jinn), or personifications of natural and social phenomena unique to the individual Arabian tribes: although there were certain deities that were widely recognized throughout the pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula. The religious beliefs of the Arabs often differed from region to region; smaller tribal pantheons being found among the merchants and Bedouin of the Hijaz and Najd; with more advanced religious structures thriving in the Yemen. In the sparse desert regions inhabited by nomadic Bedouin such as the Nefud desert, religious thought took the form of a practical animism chiefly concerned with pastoralism and tribal life – this is not to say that the pagan Bedouin did not enjoy a rich spiritual experience: their belief in many gods, angels, spirits, ancestors and sacred sites confirms otherwise.
This idea of going from many gods to one god actually has repeated itself in history several times. See the following video which is a summary of Karen Armstrong’s “A History of God” and documents this process:
This is the same process Muhammad performed on Pre-Islamic Arabia. He eliminated all of the lesser gods and left only the main high god.
A Muslim on Twitter threatened my children with death/war. Yes, a keyboard jihadi actually said to me: “By 2060 we will hit 3 billion and your murtad kids will be paying us jizya (a tax for non muslims) when we dominate and if they refuse ⚔️”
If I could go back in time and restart my life, there are so many things I would change, but the one thing I would not change is leaving Islam. This one change opened up the doors for me to freedom.
Leaving Islam gave me the ability to live my life the way I wanted to live it, not the way the muftis and molvis and scholars determined it should be.
We don’t know for sure what Muhammad really said and did. But what the companions and the scholars decided to preserve is what we got. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live my life being free rather than being a slave to what Muhammad wanted me to say and do.
It’s reported Muhammad once said that this life is a prison for believers. Do you want to be in a prison your whole life? Both a mental and physical prison, where you are told what to wear, what you can read, what to do and not do, all for an imaginary paradise?
“The day of judgement is coming” is another technique of prophets and scam-messiahs. They use this technique to keep their followers in check. Not just Muhammad but even modern prophets have been known to scare their followers with threats of the next world coming. Wayne Bent who was the leader of Lord Our Righteousness Church eventually told them he was the messiah and that anyone that follows him will be safe from the coming wrath of God on a specific date. The date came and went and nothing happened.
You would think his followers would have seen through him by now, but they didn’t. He just gave them a new date. Wayne was eventually arrested for sex with minors and put on a 10 year sentence, of which he served 7 because he got skin cancer.
In “Strangers” Malcolm Gladwell talks about our truth-bias. We have a bias to assume people are telling the truth, and it takes insurmountable evidence to flip that. We also tend to believe people are transparent. This gives confident con-men an advantage in deceiving us.
The only difference between modern cult leaders and ancient religious leaders like Muhammad is that in an age of superstition and darkness these weeds grow and over time they change into religion. Once cults become a religion and get state approval births and conversions push the religion into the millions and billions. Other than that, there is no difference between a modern cult that is shut down and a religion like Judaism or Islam that began the same way.