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#1
Hello everyone,

I joined the Nirmukta community a while ago but have been a passive member.

I turned an atheist a few years ago. It was a gradual change. Like any average muslim kid in Coastal Karnataka, I attended madrasa after school. I did this until I finished my schooling. That was quite a lot of religious education and was enough to make me an atheist. I think as you study more about any religion, Islam in particular, you grow more skeptic.

I haven't had the courage to tell my family about my skepticism so far. So, whenever I go back home for vacation, I end up praying five times a day, and sometimes even leading the prayer.

I am currently working in Bangalore. Hope I will get to meet some of you who are in Bangalore.

Jabir
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#2
Welcome Jabir.

You should take a look at the Richard Dawkins video on faith-based schools in the UK (it should be on youtube), he visits an Islamic school and I think a lot of what he sees will be familiar to you. (Although the difference I suppose is you went to a "normal" school and a madrasa after that - while in this school the same institution does both things.)

One question - did your madras encourage ijtihad? Or were you expected to swallow everything they told you?
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#3
(04-Nov-2010, 01:46 AM)mejabir Wrote: I turned an atheist a few years ago. It was a gradual change. Like any average muslim kid in Coastal Karnataka, I attended madrasa after school. I did this until I finished my schooling. That was quite a lot of religious education and was enough to make me an atheist. I think as you study more about any religion, Islam in particular, you grow more skeptic.

Its nice to have you on board, Jabir! Your story is inspiring. What you said about studying religions and growing skeptical is actually borne out by the evidence. You may have heard about a recent comprehensive study showing that Atheists and Agnostics are more knowledgeable about religion that theists are!

Quote:I haven't had the courage to tell my family about my skepticism so far. So, whenever I go back home for vacation, I end up praying five times a day, and sometimes even leading the prayer.

Sad Let's work towards the day when the social pressures that force some of us to remain closeted about our atheism will no longer be a problem. I saw that you have proposed some changes to the Kannada translation of the Out Campaign. Perhaps someday you will be able to enjoy its fruits!

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#4
(04-Nov-2010, 03:37 PM)unsorted Wrote: One question - did your madras encourage ijtihad? Or were you expected to swallow everything they told you?

Ijtihad? No way. What is right and wrong for you has been documented centuries ago by many Imams.

Also, these madrasas are like schools in some way. You have syllabus to complete and exams to pass in each grade. There are two boards in Kerala, which madrasas are affiliated to. These boards create syllabi, publish text books, and conduct exams.

We hardly ask any questions in our science classes, let alone talking about Ijtehad in your fiqh class where you learn how to do namaz and observe fasting.
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