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Breaking free from Islam Between Halal and Haram: Part 11

by Khaled Hammad

Khaled’s fascinating story is serialized on this site every Thursday. You can read it here:

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here. Part 5 is here. Part 6 is here. Part 7 is here. Part 8 is here. Part 9 is here. Part 10 is here.

 There is also a poem by Khaled.

A Journey Through Hell Fire

Chapter 11: “The Four Books”

I was hungry for information. I needed to understand more about the religion I had spent my lifetime believing in the God I worshipped, and the Prophet I thought was the perfect creation of God.

I reached out to my phone and called my friend, Ahmed. After all, we were on good terms when I left Egypt, and he would probably be happy to know about my doubts about Islam. He was warm and gentle as usual, and as expected, was most excited to hear the development I was undergoing. I asked him for some book recommendations that I could try to get my hands on. The book he suggested to start with, The “Hashimite Part, was by a contemporary Egyptian secular writer and thinker called Sayyid Al-Qemanyy. It referred to Hashim, the great-grandfather of the Prophet Mohammed. At the same time, I started asking other Paltalk users for suggestions to widen my research. A book by an Egyptian writer called Sanaa El-Masry, The Footnotes of the Arab Conquest of Egypt, was proposed. Both writers were highly controversial, and the government confiscated their works. Trying to obtain them in the UK, especially since they were written in Arabic, was far from an easy ride. It was hard enough in Egypt, but I knew my dad could get hold of them, but what if he questioned my intentions for reading such books? He gave me a really hard time when he saw that I was reading a book about addiction when I was 13 years old. Yes, that was because I was very young, but even at the age of 30, you are never old enough to read books questioning your religion, it seems!

Ultimately, I decided to ask Ahmed to get hold of them, and to send them to my dad wrapped as a gift. He would respect that and keep them wrapped without questioning. I also asked my dad to buy some history books covering the period of the Umayyads Caliphate, which lasted for just under a hundred years and also Abbasid State which lasted around 750 years. These books documented political Islam from a historical perspective.

I eagerly awaited their arrival with my cousin’s friend, who was visiting the U.K. from Egypt. Finally, I got my hands on them. The books documented the history of the two biggest states, which remained in power for several centuries. The first book covered the era prior to the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, highlighting the tribal and political atmosphere at the time, and indicating the need for some sort of  leadership from Mecca in order to unite the Arabic peninsula, particularly relating to the “Quraish” Tribe. The second book was about the history of the Arabic invasion of Egypt, which took place in 640 AD, seven years after the death of the Prophet. Both of these books made interesting reading because they contradicted all that I’d learned in schools and mosques about how the Egyptians had met the Arabic invaders with open arms because of the persecution and oppression they had suffered under the Roman Empire.

What was written in these books to have made them a significant turning point in my journey from Islam to Atheism?

[To be continued…]

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