(This post is mainly intended for the Christian/Jewish readers of this blog. Atheist/Agnostics might not be able to relate to it that much. But of course, everyone is welcome to read and comment. ;-) )
I haven’t stepped into a mosque in about 4 years, if I remember correctly. And I don’t miss a thing. Yes, it was my past and yes, I still have memories from those horrible days of my life but that’s all it is. Memories and past. I have moved on. I have adopted a Christian name and I have changed.
One of the first thing that I tried to do (and I think I have been very successful at it) was remove everything that was part of my life or my self that was even remotely Islamic. I have changed my thinking, my culture and everything else to become this new man that I am. I have lost a lot too along the way but there is nothing that I have now that I would even think about giving up for things that I had in the past. I have lost my old family and friends but in their stead I have gained many times more—both family and friends. God has been good to me.
God. I have devoted my life to getting to know who God really is. What he likes, what he doesn’t like or what he out-rightly hates (This might be shocking for some Christians but God does hate). Reading the Bible (mainly the Tanakh) over and over and obsessing over different passages, I have gotten to know a God who is caring, loving, just and real! The God that I know exists is a God that I have gotten to know not only through the Bible but also through personal experience (no, I didn’t see any visions or bright lights and crap). And this is the God I want to worship when I go to church.
However, today when I was at church, all of a sudden the people decide they wanted to sing a song with one of the lines translated into Arabic. And guess what they replaced the word God with. Yup, Allah. And that is not even the worst part. For normal songs, people were just singing but when the Arabic and the word Allah came up, they all went crazy with their arms in the air, waving from side to side. It was a real worship but after so many years of carefully staying away from the mosque, I felt like I had stepped into one again and I did so innocently and unknowingly but I did so willingly.
Anyone that believes that Allah is the Arabic word for God is nothing but stupid. Because if you were interested and studied Arabic even a little bit, you’d know that the Arabic word for God is “Ilah” and the Arabic word for “the God” is Al-Ilah. Allah is not even a definable word. Allah has been used as a proper name for chief pagan deities in Mecca since before the advent of Islam. The war-cry of Islam “Allah-hu-akbar” meaning “Allah is greater” attests to that history of the word Allah. Point is, Allah is the proper name of the Islamic god (La ILAHa il ALLAH…—means there is no god but Allah).
It is true that the first ever Bible that was translated into Arabic (9th century AD) used the word Allah for God, however, don’t forget that that translation was 1) intended for the Arab world 2) translated by a Christian living in Muslim lands 3) translated so that Muslims won’t find it offensive and might even come to Christ if they think Muslims and Christians believe in the same god. Every other translation that has followed has followed one or all of the above points.
I have said this before but now I see it in my own church, with people that I think and know love God and actually believe that they’re doing the right thing, I see that slowly everyone is bowing to Islam. And innocent people don’t know a thing about what they’re doing. It breaks my heart to see that in this age of information technology the one thing that people don’t have is information and if they do, they have the wrong kind, the kind that is known as “a lie”. It is easy and it is comfortable to believe in a lie. It is comfortable to think Jesus was some sort of a teddy bear that would hug everyone because people accept you better if you’re all love. People don’t like you if you tell them they’re wrong. And people want to be liked. For some reason it has become people’s need to be liked. To be accepted.
There are a lot of things that we believe in solely because that’s what makes us comfortable (for example, my belief that there is one true God might be thought as a false belief by some). I was very comfortable when I was a Muslim. But what I saw the truth, I took hard, solid steps to get out of my comfort zone and change my thinking and personality. I changed my whole life and I am very glad about it. I am willing to do the same all over again if I find out that what I believe to be true is, in fact, not true. A lot of us might have to do that if we stand a chance to come out alive of this mess that Islam has made. A lot of us will need to understand that Allah is a different god. A lot will need to understand that Jesus wasn’t all love. And a lot of us will, after we realize it all, need to change our lives radically.
Sadly, I don’t see a lot of us willing to do that though.