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An Open Letter to the God of Islam

Written by Amil Imani

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Question markIt is axiomatic that to be a Muslim you must: believe in Allah by taking him as your one and only lord, accept Muhammad as Allah’s beloved messenger and take the Quran as a literal work of Allah and a perfect prescription for living.

Hard as I tried, I had a terrible time being a Muslim right at the entry level. I, therefore, decided to write this open letter in the hope of receiving some satisfactory answers to the many questions that trouble me greatly.

From the first breath of life to the last pang of death, Islam relentlessly bombards us: surrender yourself fully to Allah, pray for his help, let him make all decisions for you and run your life, don’t ever question anything, since questioning is the whisperings of the accursed Satan who strives to take you astray.

Islam says that Allah is the javaab-ul-doaa (answerer of supplications/prayers) and that to him we should supplicate for any and all help in all matters.

Well, I am doing exactly as I am advised. I am supplicating Allah in the form of this open letter, to provide me with answers to some of my numerous and troubling questions.

It must be a peculiarity about me. I am loath to surrender my inquiry about things and allow others, divine or not, to do the thinking for me. If I am to let Allah do all the thinking and deciding for me, then why am I given my own brain? I have challenged the Islamic divines.

See, I have already failed the test since I have not surrendered fully to Allah and, by questioning, did not place my total faith in him.

I have been spending much of my life trying to get some satisfactory answers to my questions about Islam from Islamic scripture and authorities without success. More often than not, I get conflicting answers, confusing responses and even outright contradictory statements.

Hence, I decided to pose some of my perplexing questions in this open letter directly to the god of Islam, Allah, earnestly hoping deliverance from the anguish of doubt.

I will do my very best to conduct myself with decorum and courtesy toward Allah. At no time will I behave rudely toward him, just in case he is indeed the sole author of this awesome universe, as Islam claims. To be discourteous and rude is not my habit. I don’t even behave rudely toward anyone, much less so in dealing with a purported unfathomably magnificent being.

The list of my questions is long indeed. Here are some of my questions, not necessarily in order of importance, presented in all meekness to Allah, the Lord of Islam. To me, all questions are important and assigning relative importance to them is arbitrary. So, I get started.

I have no illusions of grandeur and no pretense at knowing very much. I am a sincere seeker after truth and it is in this spirit that I am humbly composing this missive to you, Allah. I hope that I am not being discourteous by simply addressing you as Allah. I mean without preceding invocation of your name by honorifics.

I fully realize that I really am most insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But, again, you have created me so I must be worth something. It is this realization that gives me the courage to address you with my questions, your lordship.

Without further ado, here are some of my questions.

So, I think maybe I can supply a rationalization, not a plausible reason, for it. I said to myself, your lordship, perhaps it took you twenty years because Muhammad was illiterate and slow in getting your dictates and taking them to a scribe to jot them down. That’s why. Yet, finding someone who could actually write things down among the horde of savages was not an easy task.

A follow up question! Why a supremely august being, as you are, with all the indescribably exulted powers and attributes, chose an illiterate Arab, a hired-hand of a rich widow, as your messenger is a mystery. Couldn’t you have chosen a Rabbi from nearby Medina, a Zoroastrian Mobed, a Christian Priest from Mecca itself, a Hindu Monk, a Buddhist Clergy? These were people who had specialized in matters of religion, rather than an Arab whose only skill was helping drive caravans of camels.

I have seen Islam’s pat answers to all questions: to no one is given the right to ask Allah about his doings, he does what pleases him and ordains what he wants. But this is no answer. It is a copout.

Science tells us that women are as capable as men in every sphere other than those that require brute force. But, machines are much more superior to men in brute force and women can and do operate those machines as well as men.

Is there something inherently inferior or evil about women? If so, then, pardon me, your lordship. It is you who designed them that way. Didn’t you?

Is it not a fact that the savage chauvinist Arabs of Muhammad’s time are the ones who instituted this oppressive scheme against women and Muhammad stamped his approval of the fraud in your name?

How can fueling the fire of polarization bring about the peace of unity after what Muhammad did and his disciples continue to do, killing the unbelievers en mass and without the least bit of mercy?

Compounding the problem is the fact that as Muhammad was still gasping his last breath, his senior disciples were busying themselves with the business of killing one another in their lust for power and leadership. And Islam has been on a mission with the internecine as well as infidel killing ever since.

Whether or not I receive answers to these questions, I will persist in posing more of them in the future. Who knows? As unlikely as it may seem, Allah may indeed deem it appropriate to send another of his archangels with a Quran addressing these and other troubling questions. Keep in mind that he does what pleases him and ordains what he wants.

Amil Imani is the author of Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and Operation Persian Gulf.

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