I was once a Muslim, but I left the religion. Recently, I've found that my thoughts have been returning to it quite often. But there are a number of reasons why I don't believe in the Qur'an, and maybe you people here can answer them for me. Who knows? You may end up making a believer out of me. Or I may end up de-converting you. This is a debate topic, mind you, but let's try to keep things civil. I'm making this post to see if you can alleviate these problems. I promise I'm not here to stir things up.
Here are some objections I have to Islam, or perhaps "questions" would be a better word. I suppose I should call them "theses," like Martin Luther's theses to the Catholic church.
1. Why would a good God condemn people to hell over a matter of beliefs? What do beliefs have to do with your merit as a person?
2. Come to think of it, how could a good God condemn people to hell, period? That's not very merciful.
3. Doesn't the story of Dhul-Qarnain seem to you to be saying that the sun rises and sets from certain places on the earth?
4. What is the practical purpose of ceremony and ritual? I have never seen the value in them. And Islam has quite a lot of them!
5. Don't you think that having standardized prayers (the five daily ones) robs prayer of its significance by having the words exist first, and then you make yourself mean them? Shouldn't all prayer be done naturally, situationally, rather than come in a standardized format for all people? (I am aware that the five daily prayers are the mandatory ones and that Muslims also make personal prayers on the side. That isn't my point.)
6. Is it not blasphemy to attribute a book to God? To say that God is such a being that can communicate with people? To box God into a text, so to speak?
7. Male superiority is taught by the Qur'an, as is wife-beating. Even as a last resort, I think wife-beating is inexcusable. What do you make of that?
8. If the Qur'an is indeed a copy in human language of a sacred book in heaven that is in some way a necessary part of the universe, or perhaps even God (here I am referring to the rather mystical "mother of the Book" notion), then why is it so local? It talks mainly about earth, this one tiny speck in the universe, and always mentions the rest of outer space only in an offhand way.
9. Can there not be more reasonable, less violent solutions to problems than to cut off the hands of a thief or whip adulterers a hundred times?
10. Doesn't the parable of the light in the Qur'an fail, since it is so vague, and the purpose of a parable is to make something clear?
11. The Qur'an says not to make friends with Christians or Jews. Don't you think that's a rather unnecessary social division?
That's it for now. I may very well think of other points later and come back to add them on.
Well, this is your shot at converting me. Since I was once Muslim and then abandoned the religion, I am pretty much the scum of the earth according to the Qur'an. So try to bring me back. See if you can come up with plausible solutions for these eleven problems, and who knows? Maybe I will become a jewel in your crown in Paradise.