I am not an Ex-Christian
I used to think I left Christianity, but I realise that is not the whole truth. Like many professed Christians in the UK, I was Christian only ‘once a week’ with regards to practicing the belief. Although I believed in God, and I believed in Jesus as the messiah and had high regard for the Bible – to call Christianity my ‘way of life’ would have been a stretch of the imagination.
What does having a ‘way of life’ even mean? If a way of life meant calling oneself an adherent of a religion, practicing it once a week, and saying prayers before going to sleep – then yes, christianity was my ‘way of life’. But the truth was, my way of life wasn’t Christianity – for how can something be the way I live my life when it has so little manifestation in my life, and didn’t contribute any purpose to it. I lived my life WHILE being a Christian, not BECAUSE of it.
So what was my way of life? Well, you can tell what your way of life is, by looking at what purpose you have submitted your life to.
From a child, like the millions of children around me, I was fed incessant messages, ‘live for yourself’, ‘enjoy life’, ‘be free’, ‘paradise is here – live your dreams’, ‘acquiring material objects will make you happy’. I was told that I was the centre of my own universe. It even affected my ‘Christianity’, where I would only pray to God, when I wanted some SERVICE from him, to grant me more benefit to my ‘purpose’, which was ME.
This was the way of life I believed, I conformed to, I SUBMITTED TO. It was the vain belief in my own self-entitlement, and my own entitlement to ‘Freedom’, which was nothing more than merely another form of enslavement – but the society I lived in perceived it not. For when we make our own desires our god, then those who can influence them, become our masters. I realised since, that all the tastes I had, all the interests I pursued, all the dreams I had, were given to me, and I accepted them falsely under the belief that they were my own. That was the real ‘inception’, and I was living in a dream spun around me.
‘Have you (O Mohammed) seen him who has taken as his Ilah (God) his own desire ?…They are only like cattle – nay; they are even farther astray from the path (i.e. even worse than cattle)’ [Qur’an 25:43-44]
I have since learned that this way of life has a name, and like a man who takes off a blindfold, I realised the true colours of all the things I only previously was allowed only to feel. This name is not ‘freedom’, nor is it ‘liberty’, but rather it was political system based upon the cult of the individual – otherwise known as ‘Liberalism’.
Christianity no longer rules the West – it is long gone. Even the most fanatical of evangelical Christians are but shadows of their ancestors. Liberalism has neutered all religion it encounters, and renders it impotent. Religion used to be the medieval word for what we would call ‘Ideology’, but now it has only the meaning of a set of spiritual beliefs and rituals. To describe the meaning it once had, people use the new words of ‘ideology’, or ‘worldview’, and restrict it only to descriptions for modern day ‘religions’ of Liberalism (secularism, capitalism, democracy, individualism) and Communism.
Religion can never be separated from politics, because religion WAS about politics – it was about life, about how to live every facet of it, about its very purpose.
But Liberalism defeated Christianity and confined it. So thorough was its defeat of Christianity, that Christians now interpret their bible according to Liberal morality. This leads to absurd situations, as we encounter Christians who debate with Muslims honestly believing that Islam (along with the ‘Islamic God’) is unjust, because of various laws Islam advocate – DESPITE these exact same laws (or harsher) existing in the bible!
The fact that for hundreds of years, Christians hardly ever criticised Islam for its laws until the ‘modern era’ is no coincidence.
So I was never a real true Christian, in fact, I’d be hard pressed to name any Christian that has remained true (in belief) to their Bible’s teachings [e.g. The Bible bans Usury – but how many Christians denounce Interest-based loans?].
In truth, I am an ex-Liberal. I left the Liberal way of life, and renounced its description of the purpose for my life to live for myself. I, by the grace of God, freed myself to my true purpose as a creation of God. And just as everything in the universe is under a natural law behind its creation, so God has revealed the natural law for mankind, a law that brings us into relationship with God, and into harmony alongside all creation – Islam (i.e. submission to God). And just as the laws of the universe are operative without exception, rest, or break, so the way of life for humans is not limited to only once a week, or just 5 times a day, but orders all aspects of our lives, including every minute or every day, in every area of human activity, private, social, spiritual AND political.
The true way of life, is nothing but the submission to the creator of all things – Allah (Swt). This does not mean that my life merely has new rituals to perform, and new beliefs to believe in – compared to those while I was Christian. But rather, Islam as my way of life is my very purpose. It doesn’t just give you rules and limits to the actions you perform while you strive for your goals; it tells you what your very goals should be.
If something is your purpose of life, how can it be detached from lifes affairs?
‘These are clear evidences to men, and a Guidance and Mercy to those of assured Faith’. [Quran 45:20]
As young as was, I realised from early on in my life, that there was something wrong with the society I lived it, something unnatural about its construction – like humans were not meant to live like this. I questioned and questioned, until when I encountered Islam, it gave me liberation (by God’s grace) from the darkness of the Liberalism, and it offered truth and justice, and the promise of a better world. Its comprehensive solutions to all lifes problems were elegant and rational, and it was only then as a human, I was able to see what was missing – that empty void in the human heart, that people in the West spend their lives trying to find new entertainments to keep them distracted from. Those who run out of distractions, or slow down, become depressed.
Imagine my surprise, to discover the meaning of life, and its comprehensive solutions for all life’s affairs was already within the grasp of a billion people (the Muslim Ummah), yet virtually none of them applied it in their societies! There I was, having to claw out of a pit of ignorance to find something that was already under the noses of a billion people, but all their governments and institutions – nay most of the people themselves, lived lives without purpose, blindly imitating customs, beliefs and traditions bequeathed to them from their ancestors which they understood only superficially, or some of them were blindly imitating the fashions and cultures of their colonial subjugators – which were Liberals!
And if that was not bad enough, there are people amongst the Ummah (but it is questionable whether they could be considered still part of the Ummah), who identified themselves as secularists and Liberals (called Modernists) – who were calling to the very ideology I had left behind! But they were not just calling Muslims to renounce Islam, but shockingly, they were calling Muslims to embrace Liberalism/Secularism as COMPATIBLE with Islam! These Modernists were either ignorant of what Secularism/Liberalism is, or they were ignorant of what Islam is – but suffice to say, the object of their call is a deception and absurdity.
Of course, I’d be damned if I was going to let them deceive Muslims. For I knew very well what lies behind the pleasant sounding sound-bytes of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, and the truth was that it gives neither!
I realised that what the West is trying to do now to Islam, they had already (successfully) done to Christianity. We were next to be absorbed, neutered and confined to a small social prison cell in the Liberal new world order. But unlike Christianity, the Quran and the Sunnah could not be so easily absorbed – for the very mission of Islam was to make clear what was previously unclear and corrupted by the people’s of previous revelations. Where the Jews and Christians had failed, Islam would succeed. Now is not the time for Muslims and Christians and Jews to fight, for very few truly exist of the latter. Now is the time for Muslims to fight on behalf of the religion of Abraham (millah ul Ibrahim), and bring back the world to a state of harmony and peace, from the incessant social anarchy, crime, depression, injustice, environment pollution and wars for resources, that currently underline the Liberal world order.
‘And now have We set thee (O Muhammad) on a clear road of (Our) Law; so follow it, and follow not the whims of those who know not’ [Quran 45:18]
I left Liberalism after I realised its falsehood, and embraced Islam in
pursuit of truth. I did not embrace Islam, only to return back to Liberalism!
So I renounce Liberalism, but not because I was part of a subjugated people in a ex-colonial country, nor am I merely being ‘anti-west’. I renounce Liberalism which the modernists spew, because when I converted to Islam, I had already left Liberalism. For when I encountered the truth, it wiped away the falsehood that had ensnared me, and freed my mind.
“Nay, We hurl the Truth at falsehood so that it (the Truth) crushes it (falsehood), and lo! it (falsehood) vanishes. Woe to you for what you utter!” [Quran 21: 18]
So I call on my brothers and sisters, let us not fall as our predecessors fell. Let us not be awed by the temporary technological and military superiority of the Liberal nations – it won’t last long, and there is nothing to say we can’t match it if we really put our minds to it (under a purpose). Rather, let us return to our way of Life, Islam, a way of life, worldview, religion, ideology that gives us enlightenment, gives us guidance, gives us direction, gives us purpose, and – gives us life.
‘O you who believe! answer (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life; and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered’ [Quran 8:24]