How It Feels To Break Free From Religion After 18 Years of Devotion

Emotions, Thoughts, Feelings, Residues

Norman Eisenhower
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readSep 19, 2023

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Photo by Persnickety Prints on Unsplash

I can’t remember the first time that I have thought of leaving my religion. I feel that, in a way, I never did. The convictions of my childhood and society have been deeply ingrained in me that there wasn’t even the possibility that I would ever leave my religion.

Islam was the only truth I knew.

I grew up in a conservative Muslim community, and until the age of 18, I was a fairly religious person. I have even gone as far as to memorize the entirety of the Holy Quran. I didn’t just take in what Islam said, I also understood it. I felt like I’m a true follower.

That all changed after I started a process of questioning that eventually led me to becoming Agnostic. During this process, I lived some of the hardest days of my life, being in a continuous existential crisis. Fears of death, motivations to live, and societal challenges.

I’m a curious person, with a passion for astronomy and science. One day, while exploring the IMDB list for best tv shows, I found Cosmos. It impressed me with a 9.3/10 rating, IMDB thinks it is the 10th best tv show of all time. As I started watching the series with an open-minded approach, I wondered if what they said were true? Was evolution theory and other theories of the cosmos correct when compared to what I have been taught by Islam my whole life. I went on a research journey reading books, watching videos, and learning more in any way I could.

Even I remember one of the toughest days when I was nearing to the conclusions that, “There might be no religion,” or “There’s a real possibility that there’s no God,” I have read a book called, My Journey From Doubt to Belief by Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud, one of the wise religious people of his time. In the book, the author explains his life story, from when he was agnostic to returning to Islam as he got older and wiser. He explains how God is the most just of all, that everything is equal in God’s eyes. That every creature will naturally be led to believe that there’s a higher power, looking after him, taking care of him.

I remember that day I digested the whole book in one day. It came as a relief to my…

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Norman Eisenhower
Human Parts

An all-time learner of topics of self, existence, science, and all that stimulates thinking and curiosity. I'm also a self-proclaimed genius! Athens Uni Alumni.