Les Misérables is my all time favorite novel. This great literature of all time, written by Victor Hugo, is an excellent work which fathoms the author’s humanity and vision. The emotional intensity of this dramatic story revolves around an ex-convict ‘Jean Valjean’ as a central character. His life and dignity were restored by a Bishop’s trust and kindness, which drastically converted him from a miserable and hated criminal into a heroic, peaceful, loving and responsible human being. Bishop said “Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!” Later on Valjean was faced with obstacles that made him choose between right and wrong. He had always chosen the right path. This is enlightenment.
In Indian history, we read the famous story of Ashoka (273 BC to 232 BC), the great emperor of the Maurya Empire and his spiritual conversion from “murderer and heartless Ashoka” (Chanda Ashoka) to “the dutiful and kindhearted Ashoka” (Dharma Ashoka). The extent of killing he witnessed in the Kalinga war (265 BC or 263 BC; Ashoka’s powerful army, advanced weapons and experienced generals and soldiers had plundered and destroyed the neighborhood kingdom Kalinga. Historians had written that more than 100,000 people were killed on the Kalinga side and 10,000 from Ashoka’s army; thousands of men and women were deported. It was the greatest invasion ever recorded in Indian history until then) enlightened and transformed him into an ideal and righteous ruler, propagating Buddha’s message of peace and non-violence after adopting Buddhism.
In Hindu mythology, there is a story of a heartless highway robber, Ratnakar. He once chanced to confront Brahma and Narada which caused his spiritual transformation. This merciless bandit later on became Maharshi Valmiki, who was the author of the original Ramayana. In Buddhist mythology there is a similar story of a dreaded bandit and killer, named Angulimala. He too gave up killing and looting and achieved nirvana after coming in contact with Tathagata Buddha. This is enlightenment.
And, when a seventy year old Imam advices a Muslim girl to “run” from Islam “before it is too late”, I lower my head in great respect and feel like to touch his feet and seek blessings, because, this is also an excellent example of enlightenment. It is no fiction or no mythology. This has happened in front of our eyes.
Incidents like suicide bombing, killing, murdering, hating others in the name of religion sadden me a lot. During this time I prefer to read the true stories of “leaving Islam” on FFI and Islam-watch. On one morning, I read the above wonderful testimony. Aisha, a young Muslim lady talked about her “spiritual journey” out of Islam. She read few articles of Ali Sina in FFI, which are written in a “very powerful and uncompromising way”. She decided to show some of the articles to the Imam. The Imam is a “well-educated man in the Islamic science” and upon reading the articles this already enlightened Imam said “I’m old. My life is coming to an end. But you, Aisha, are young. Run, girl, run before it is too late!” At the end Aisha thanked Ali Sina “for the freedom that I enjoy now.”
What the Islamic fundamentalists fear most is rational thinking and debate on Islam. If the Muslims are given the liberty of expressing their doubts on Islam; then the spiritual bankruptcy of this 1400 years old cult will come into limelight and in that case, who will be ready to go for suicide bombing? From the very deep bottom of their heart, every Mullah knows this truth. But they have to remain silent and maintain the “trade secret” – after all their bread and butter come from the Islamic business. Take the case of Ahmed K. After reading Koran and Hadith few times, his rational mind started asking questions. The conquest and subjugation of the Jews, rape of innocent women, assassination and all sorts of other criminal activities of the Prophet disturbed him a lot. He went to the mosque and asked the Mulavi. Initially Mulavi tried his best to explain, but, “… its like I knew that he wasn’t going to be able to justify some of the atrocities committed by Mohammed. However the part where he got stuck was the Aisha question. How can a man of more than 50 years old have sexual feelings for a girl of only 6! After he gave me a dissatisfactory answer I just went quiet and walked away. I was out the door and I looked back, He looked at me and he put his head down… I think he knew I wasn’t going to come back. Since then I have been rather heart broken as I have lost my faith. Islam is a falsehood, a pure hoax”.
Another example is Qadir Sheikh. Qadir is from India. When he asked some “forbidden” questions — “Maulvi did not like the questions, he also did not have the answers and called it a highly unislamic behavior to ask forbidden questions which challenge the validity of the Quran”. Ultimately, “I was called a “kaafir” (some who commits a kuffr [blasphemy]) and physically thrown out of the same mosque, where I had offered my namaaz (obligatory prayer) for the last 37 years, by the Maulvi’s assistants.”
So, this is the Maulavi’s “Islamic” reply to Qadir’s all “unislamic” questions. Later on Qadir left Islam and returned to Hindu culture.
“I was beaten by Imams because I asked too many questions. I was beaten all the time.” This is the bitter experience of Alkaliel, a Muslim woman from Russia. Her testimony is a burning example of how Islam had been protected for over 1400 years. Muslims must be kept in ignorance, to keep them in slavery of Islam. No wonder Ali Sina said, “Muslims are the first victims of Islam”. See the Imam’s advice to the battered lady “Being a good mother doesn’t require education”. Mullah’s capital for Islamic business is the follower’s ignorance.
Another thought-provoking testimony is written by Abul Kasem. Abul, during his childhood days in Bangladesh, witnessed the murder of an entire family of a non-Muslim. Though he had hardly any knowledge about Islam, his little doubting mind and moral values could not support the idea of killing. It was a devastating experience which left a scar in his soft mind. He was more shocked to see that, some Muslims were rejoicing over the deaths. This horrible incident helped to plant seed of doubts in his mind and most probably, on that very day Abul took his first step towards enlightenment. This is where all the Islamic scholars, Imams, Mullahs and fundamentalists are failed.
God has given us two eyes to see. But we need hindsight and rational power to understand and analyze something. Here again the so-called Islamic scholars are failed. Take the case of Abu Lahab. Abu belongs to an Arab family, and from USA. Before enlightenment he was a “super religious Muslim”- this is how he introduced himself. He was doing all 5 daily prayers since he was about eight year old and had a record of never missing one prayer from 8th grade, till his 4th year in college. He even walked out of movie theaters to catch sallat and prayed extra prayers to remain in the good book of Allah. During his college days he met a Christian girl. He was astonished to see her love for God. Then in one auspicious day his rational mind took the upper hand and he asked a question to himself – how could God put someone who loves Him so much into hell? He then began to observe other Christians, Hindus, Jews, whoever; they really loved God, but weren’t Muslim. All to hell? His spiritual journey started here.
Enlightenment is a completely one way journey. For an enlightened soul, there is no coming back. It is the end of a long nightmare. You wake up from sleep and discover that what you had experienced is actually a bad dream, not reality. Enlightenment is entering into the real world of freedom. You enjoy real freedom when you come to understand that the purpose of your life and your true essence are actually beyond the world of religious thoughts. The enlightened soul is like a free bird out of the cage; free from bondage, slavery, and religious superstitions; on top of everything, you obtain your basic right, ie, your freedom of thought. Initially it is a painful climb, but the pain of it turns into a positive pleasure very shortly. Each step upwards makes an enlightened soul feel stronger and fit for the next because God is now on his side. Have a look at the testimony of Ali Sina. His journey to freedom was not easy. After reading the Quran he was depressed, because it was hard to accept the violent teachings of the Quran, which jolted him and shook the foundation of his religious belief. Ali said, “It is much easier to keep our eyes closed and pretend nothing has happened. Believe it or not for one year after leaving Islam I kept praying and doing the fast. It took me one full year to stop being a hypocrite. I knew Islam was false yet I feared giving up the rituals that I had grown up with.” Religious faith is deeply rooted in mind. Sometimes it takes some time to uproot the wrong ideas. This is normal human psychology.
Enlightenment is the liberation of a soul from his self-caused state of slavery. It is so easy to be free, but it still looks like so difficult. A person cannot make him free unless he prepares himself for that. Freedom is not for the cowards. Cowards live and die within the bondage. The cowards move in a circular way and keep searching for the end till they die. Take the case of an American ex-Muslim, who reverted back to Islam. The reason as per him is — “I see it as essential that I remain within Islam, in order to push for reforms from within, I refuse to let the extremists have it all their own way and abandon the majority of Muslims to their clutches!”. I think, this person actually could not uproot the Islamic superstition of Allah’s “hellfire” from his mind, though I might be wrong. Reforming Islam in not possible. So far, many reformers and rationalists in Islam had tried but, all of them had failed. He root cause is unchangeable Quran. Can we reform the “Untouchablity” of Hinduism? Can we practice untouchability by giving it a touch of humanity and make it Godlike? Is not it justifiable that we eliminate the total “concept” of Untouchability completely from the root? Can you reform Nazism? Islam is a hoax, a falsehood. How can you modify a hoax? Is not it ridiculous? It shows very clearly, how Islam truly “conquers” the mind and heart of some of its followers. But again, as I had said, enlightenment is not for cowards.
Unlike cowards, an enlightened person is aware of the true nature of the universe and thus moves closer to the real God with every step. He cannot make any mistake, like the fictitious main character of Les Misérables and there is no evil power in this world which can force them to deviate from the true path, because he knows the truth. Let’s have a look at the wonderful statement of Mehmood. Who was “100% ready to blow himself up” for his Islamic faith. Few quotes from his testimony are as follows, which are self explanatory,
“The mind is its own place, and can make of itself a hell or a heaven ….. Just six months ago I was another person. Today I can stand on my feet and call myself a free man. Then it was darkness, today it is light. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Then I would have bowed down to the Demonic Allah”.
“I have no words to express my feelings. I want to rejoice in every moment, to live every moment to the full. I want to rejoice in this beautiful earth and our wonderful human race, in spite of the ugly misery they live in because of the cult invented by the psychotic, evil terrorist Muhammad”.
“The task (enlightening other Muslims) is not as hard as it may seem. Islam is a house of one billion cards. If a man 100% ready to blow himself up like me can change so fast so can the others.”
Change of Islamic faith can change a person completely. It can reform a murderer. Take the case of Anwar Shaikh. During the partition of India / Pakistan, he was a young man, he was so filled with hate against non-Muslim that he went out with a knife and killed two innocent Sikhs, a father and a son and a Hindu. He did not know anyone of them. But he killed them because they were the first non-Muslims he saw on the streets. This gruesome memory of his crime under the influence of Islamic “drug” haunts him to this day. Today Anwar is a famous anti-Islamist. He also authored few books to expose Islam.
Jean Valjean, Mahmood and Anwar Shaikh; all of them had crossed the point of no return. Their souls do not belong to Satan anymore. They are now God’s own soldier in his army of truth. All of them are now valuable asset to mankind. Nowhere, I have ever witnessed any situation where fact and fiction are inseparable with each other.
Only an enlightened soul can advance humanity in the right direction. The way is open to everyone who is willing to step on this path. It’s never too late. Age does not matter at all. Enlightenment is a spiritual gain by self-realization, which will keep on giving you dividends not only this life but afterlife also. No guru or teacher can give you this. No super-computer or modern technology is required for self-realization. It should come from within your heart. Here, you are your own Prophet and follower, both.
Everybody has a different perception of God. I believe there is only one universe, one soul. Every individual part of this mankind is equal to each other. God is a loving, wise “energy” which dwells in every cells of every living body on this earth. God is all loving, all forgiving and needs nothing in return from us. God is not in any way hostile or desirous of sacrifice or desiring to cause harm or demanding obedience of anything of a sacrificial offering. There is no spiritual gain or blessings by committing act of violence and inciting others to act of war, attacking or killing to those who do not share our beliefs. Any Prophet who promises heavenly gain of earthly materials in afterlife cannot be a messenger of the true God. If God is the creator of this universe, how he can command you to sacrifice your life to kill others. Look at the word “terrorism” – you can clearly see an “error” in it.
Gandhi said “religion cannot be over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side”. If your religious belief supercedes your moral value, then either your belief is false and it has got no “divine touch” or you have lost your moral values. If your religion does not have a divine touch, then it’s a dangerous cult. If you have lost your moral values then you are not a human because humanity and morality are inseparable.
Every enlightened soul turns into a torch of guidance to others. This is how the number of ex-Muslims grows exponentially. In fact it is the moral duty of each of us. This is the only way we can save the mankind. The evil must be destroyed before it destroys us.
A World Beyond – Ruth Montgomery.
Buddhism and Society in Southeast Asia, (Anima Books. Chambersburg,1981) — Swearer Donald.
Les Misérables – Victor Hugo,(English translation by Lee Fahnestock)
Leaving Islam section of Faith freedom International
Leaving Islam section of Islam Watch
Many Lives, Many Masters – Dr. Brian Weiss,
Only Love Is Real — Dr. Brian Weiss.
Same Soul, Many Bodies — Dr. Brian Weiss.
The Life of Mahatma Gandhi – Louis Fischer.
Testimonies: Why I Left Islam of Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society (ISIS)
Author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org