Friday, 29 April 2011

How Atheism Nearly Cost Me My Life

Assalamu Alaykum.

Imagine being hunted. You cannot see your attacker, but you know that the attacker will catch up with you. So you run anyway. Run. You reach a crossroads, and you do not know which road to take. You pick any, it doesn't matter to you, because the attacker will catch up with you. At some point, you slow down, and you forget about the attacker. But then, later, you'll remember the chase. And you'll keep running, and running, and running. Until you're so tired that you don't even care about what's going to happen to you. So you stop. You say, "There's no point in this running, if the attacker is going to catch up with me anyway." And in the end, the chase ends, the attacker catches up, and the attack is vicious.

The attacker represents death.
The chase represents life.
The crossroads represent decisions you make throughout life.

That is how I felt when I was an atheist. In case you're Muslim and never had the chance to experience what it is like to be an atheist, then I thought I'd tell you. Atheism, to me, is synonymous with despair and hopelessness. Why?

Because there is no God.

Which means, life after death does not exist.
Which means, no matter how sinful you are, it would not matter to you.
Which means, the temptations (e.g. drugs, alcohol, extramarital sex) are extra tempting.

And the temptation is so strong, once you are hooked, you cannot stop. You indulge into a sinful, wicked thing, and you want more. And you do not stop because there is no God, and it does not matter.

That is what atheism was like for me.

There was a period in my life where I went through depression, and I once tried to kill myself. Astaghfirullah. Alhamdulillah, it did not work. I did it because I was selfish. I did it because I did not care about anyone, and there was no incentive to lead a better life. I did it because death was a way to stop the bad things from happening.

Getting to know God solved a lot of questions for me. It solved, first and foremost, how I am here, why I am here. It solved why suffering occurs. Religion has taught me that suffering was a way for me to become a better person, to learn from my mistakes, and also a way to overwhelm and counteract against the sins I keep on committing (see reflections on suffering!).

Atheism nearly cost me my life.
Islam has given me a rebirth.

Islam has given me the chance to become a new person, see the light and the truth, become happier, and lead a better life. I leave you with these quotes to help you through times of sacrifice and suffering. Allah Hafiz!

"Verily, with hardship comes ease." - The Holy Qur'an

"It is He Who has created death and life that He might try you—which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Most Forgiving." - The Holy Qur'an

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