Since leaving the deen, I started having little epiphanies of things I can now do. One of the characteristics of a cult:
“The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel”
This could not be more true of Islam. Every flipping detail of the Muslims life is dictated by Quran and Sunnah. From waking to sleeping to everything in between, there is a ritual derived from ayat-ul-Quran, hadith, and fatawa that guides the life of the Muslim.
Everything in the universe is based on order and chaos. All systems seek out order even the most seemingly random acts. If a system is chaotic, it will magnetize or gravitate to a system of order in an effort to correct itself or balance itself. This is why I think Islam initially appeals to so many converts. The bulk of convert stories start with a person whose life is chaotic and they found the “beauty of Islam” that helped them get on the right path. With all Islam’s rules and regulations, a person is pulled in because their life is out of whack and they are trying to find something to help them regain order in their life. This may not be true of every convert story but an overwhelming majority of converts fit the bill.
In the beginning, all the rituals and explicit details to life just seemed right. I felt superior being Muslim because I had a book that laid out every aspect of life. But as time passed, those once coveted rituals became a bane in my life. What was once heralded as magnificent became a pain in the ass to keep up with. Knowing what I know about cults now, those ritualistic practices were not put in place to aid the Muslim to clarity. They were put in place to control the minds of the people of 7th century Arabia.
I say this because I have turned over(and over and over) in my mind how I could have possibly fallen for such nonsense. I’ve found myself overjoyed at being able to return to doing some of the smallest things, things that most people would not think twice about but for the Muslim can cause alot of guilt and damnation to Hellfire.
So I will start my Fringe Benefits series which is a series dedicated to all the little epiphanies of things I can do now without fear of burning in Hell, guilt from not upholding the teachings, and shame of being a bad Muslim. These revelations are the fringe benefits of my apostacy.