Paul Williams Becomes a “Freelance Monotheist” (whatever that means…)

            Some sad news to report… it appears that brother Paul Williams has “left” Islam…again. This is the culmination of a months-long saga that started with an ugly incident at Speaker’s Corner in the UK. And to be honest, I am shocked.
            According to Paul’s Twitter account, which as of this morning was active (but now seems to be inactive), he now identifies as a “freelance monotheist”. More than likely, that means he is a “deist” or something like it. So he doesn’t follow any religion, but he still believes in one God.
             Naturally, this turn of events has generated many reactions. From anger, to confusion, and to jubilation (the latter perhaps from some non-Muslim trolls). However, I think there should be only one reaction from Muslims: patience. Those of us who have been following Paul’s blog for some time have come to know him as an emotional man. For example, last year he abruptly announced that he was going to close down his blog, a decision which was met with surprise and shock. The reason Paul gave for this decision was his frustration with trolls like our canine friend Cerbie (Paulus). As a result of this sudden decision, brother Ijaz of “Calling Christians” stepped in to serve as the administrator of the blog, and “Blogging Theology” lived to see another day, alhamdulillah, even though it is now a mere shadow of its former self. The point is that Paul is an emotional man, and there is nothing wrong with that, even though his decisions sometimes appear rash and lacking in reason and logic.
             It is in this context that we as Muslims should judge this upsetting situation. We have lost a brother whom we had come to respect. His decision seems rash and uncalled for. And indeed, it is illogical. Consider the process: Paul has an argument with some brothers. Other brothers defend Paul. A petty feud starts and Paul is not heard from for a while. Finally, after months of deliberation, Paul announces that he is no longer a Muslim. Does that process make sense? Paul has an argument with some Muslims and therefore Islam is now false and he does not want to follow it anymore? Does this unwholesome experience somehow replace years of research and reading from the works of great Muslim scholars like Charles Le Gai Eaton? It seems to me that Paul is still a Muslim deep in his heart. Notice that he is still calling himself a “monotheist”. The undeniable truth about God is not lost on him (sorry Cerbie but Paul has not degenerated into trinitarianism). And that gives me reason to hope that all is not lost. We may yet have our brother back. As the saying goes: the door of mercy is always open. So instead of attacking brother Paul, let us try to reach him again. He may be an emotional man (and that is frustrating sometimes), but he is also an intellectual man grounded in reason. So if you cannot be civilized with him, then leave him alone. If you have the patience, then try to reach him. Appeal to his rationality, and perhaps he will once again find the light of Islam in his heart, inshaAllah.

17 thoughts on “Paul Williams Becomes a “Freelance Monotheist” (whatever that means…)

  1. stewjo004

    Okay…? I never met the brother but maybe one of the brother’s in the UK should talk to him?

    However, even if he leaves Islam (inshaAlllah he doesn’t because I don’t want him to go to Hell). We can learn from this:

    1. Our treatment to those New to Islam
    A good documentary to watch is: “Unmosqued”. This documentary goes into all the various issues New Muslims face with being integrated into the Community. None of the people who apostated did so because of logic. So honestly, it might sound weird but I wouldn’t appeal to that. Unfortunately, the problem is us. Which will bring me to my next point

    2. A comprehensive New Muslim integration classes
    To begin as the documentary pointed out that the overwhelming majority of masajid don’t even have a new Muslim program to begin with (it’s like over 70% I believe) and those who do:

    A. Were too advance for where they are (too much Arabic terminology, name dropping and references etc.)
    B. Didn’t cover basic practical examples for them. For example, making sure they thoroughly understood Tawheed, the 5 pillars or even the Seerah (which a LOT of Muslims don’t even know, unfortunately). But at an even MORE serious note is point 3.

    Another thing is the people teaching can be trained and then after the grooming period you can introduce them into the general population.

    3. No support
    This can be broken down into 2 categories:

    A Financial
    I would say between 1 and THIS we would see world-changing growth. For some reason, this doesn’t register for a lot of people. Many new Muslims, for example, have haram jobs (like my mother who worked in the financial industry and quit). There simply told it’s haram and to leave it but have nowhere to go afterward. This is also why you see a lot of bad marriage setups and why many marriages fall apart. You also have people fresh out of prison or homeless because their parents kicked them out and no type of system to help them. I’ve noticed during my time as a Muslim (and again this might only apply to where I am) but for some reason, everyone’s scared to talk about money. Like I was volunteering at the masjid and suggested to pay the volunteers (I had done the budget and knew we could afford this) and she replied: “I’m so tired of people talking about money”. And it didn’t just register that this is an issue that needs to be solved if you keep hearing about it. When Allah brought Bani Israel out He provided Manna and Quail to them so that their needs in the dunya were taken care of. So that they could focus on worshipping Allah. Same when the Propet(saw) migrated the Muhajiroon were paired with an Ansar to help them. Simply fut people’s faith drops when their bellies are hungry and then they turn to haram.

    B. Emotional Support
    QB touched on this well in the article. This person is going through many life changes and is obviously stressed/ emotional. This is why it sometimes bothers me when people call me ‘brother’ because that’s a powerful word to me that I don’t think is truly being comprehended. Studies showed that simply smiling and being friendly DRAMATICALLY shot up Church retention rates.

    Sometimes we (and I’m guilty of this too) have a tendency to ‘clique’ up at the masjid with our friends. And don’t introduce ourselves to a brother we never have seen before or try to get him into our conversation we’re having. This actually allows them to make friends. And also encourage them to volunteer and give them responsibility. This has been shown to be major when integrating them into the community.

    I think if we Muslims implemented these three things situations like Paul’s wouldn’t happen because I can almost guarantee you it’s one or a combination of the above (however I could’ve missed something I’d like to hear your guys thoughts)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. i am unable to post brother ijaz ahmed comments, but let me tell you, it was more than a feud . that it does not make sense should give you a clue that there is more to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ibn Uzayr Al-Qurtubi

    Ya I have noticed they kinda had a feud . What happened at speakers corner ? Sorry for asking its just I don’t know anything about speakers corner and am really sad for a guy like Paul leaving Islam

    Like

  3. Khaled Ahmad

    He’s a good guy, but man, I could tell he was going to do something rash. I was following him on Twitter and he made a post about how BloggingTheology was a shell of its former self. So I DM’ed him to show him support, and he was replying to me saying things like “Muslims are all this and that”… I was so puzzled, he was acting like I was part of the people he was feuding with even though I live in the US and don’t know or understand anything about this Speaker’s Corner stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Salaam,
    Unfortunately , Paul Williams is so biased to his western mindset. The whole situation has nothing to do with br Ijaz.
    To be fair, I think br Ijaz did engage with Paul with respect, but Paul was so rude toward Ijaz.

    I do not agree with all Ijaz’s policy in the blog, yet Paul Williams is the one who had decided to leave that blog and to shut it down. Then suddenly he wanted it back and gathered all the writers against Ijaz? What a childish attitude!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Im too saddened with the news, Im sure his ejection from BT (the very blog he created and made popular) could be one of the reason of him becoming antipathy towards muslims om general. Although I understand that Ijaz is a legitimate owner of BT I dont think censoring Paul was a wise move, thats why Im not keen to contribute to BT for the time being and also partly to show some emotional support to Paul, a man I always consider a brother in faith, a valuable ally to give da’wah to westerners , who I knew for more than a decade online from whom I learnt some insight about biblical scholarships… and even has the opportunity to meet him in person.

    … however I remember I read Paul had once vowed to xtian trolls that he’d die as muslim, whatever the circumstances surrounding his ordeal lets keep him in our du’a , that Allah Al Muqallib Al Qulub / the Controller of hearts, shall make him to return to the deen and that he wil taste the sweetness of faith until the end..

    Liked by 1 person

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